Maria Netaeva, a 20-something public relations professional for Russian technology consultancy and accelerator Global TechInnovations (GTI), demonstrates the innate entrepreneurial spirit of many Russians, which for years was suppressed, by holding out her hand to hail a car. “You don’t need a taxi,” she said “many people like to earn a little extra money.” Three beaten-up cars pull over and she haggles for a ride.

Netaeva is part of a new generation of Russians, excited by innovation and entrepreneurship. She…

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