New East Digital Archive

Start-up city: the young companies leading Kazan’s creative renaissance

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The soaring minarets of Qul-Sharif mosque that dominate the medieval skyline of the Kazan Kremlin serve as a perfect reminder of a rich history of a city which has long served as a principal melting pot of languages, cultures and religions. Kazan’s harmonious polyethnicity is also reflected in a heightened sense of tolerance and acceptance, which have fuelled the emergence of one of the most diverse creative scenes in Russia. The city is also one of the first in Russia to establish a Sunday Up Market, a movement of markets and shows for young fashion designers to promote and sell their creations. And despite being the thriving capital of oil-rich Tartastan, Kazan has invested heavily and smartly in its digital talent, with some of the biggest tech communities and promising start-ups in the country based there and reaching out worldwide. Walk its bustling streets and it's hard not to believe that the best is yet to come for Kazan.