Helsinki Business Hub, the regional development agency for the Finnish capital region, makes Helsinki the best place in Europe to accelerate business. MOCT is an HBH initiative that seeks to market Finland’s strengths to the highest potential Russian high tech companies and investors. MOCT was seeking ways to better understand the Russian ecosystem and create a marketing tool to raise awareness of the initiative among Russian startups.
We decided to implement a graph based interactive visualization of the Russian startup ecosystem. In order to achieve this, we evaluated a number of different data sets and identified Rusbase, the Techcrunch of Russia, to have the most complete set of data. Together with their developers, we created a REST API for exporting this data.
Within two months, we launched VentureMap, a D3.js based web app for desktop and mobile browsers. In addition to receiving real time updates from Rusbase, the service implement text based search and shows the relative sizes and links between different entities such as startups, founders and investors. In order to make the service more accessible to a wider audience, we also implemented automated translation of Russian entity descriptions via a third party API integration. VentureMap was well received by other members of the MOCT consortium and helped identify new potential partners for the initiative.