How residents of the IT city live: 3 stories of Group-IB employees moving to Innopolis

Innopolis is a Russian IT city built 40 km from Kazan in a picturesque place at the confluence of two rivers: the Volga and

Sviyagi.Designed by Liu Tai Ker, Singapore's chief designer, the city now has more than 4,000 residents, and one in three residents is an IT professional or scientist. More than 300 residents, startups and partners work in the Innopolis Special Economic Zone, including: Sbertech, Yandex, Tinkoff, Group-IB, Bars Group and others. The Innopolis Science Center is a university that specializes in education, research and development in information technology and robotics.

Yana Mikhailova, head of the sector for communications with residents of the SEZ "Innopolis":

“Group-IB is one of the first IT companies in the SEZ"Innopolis", which received the status of a resident and opened an office in our technopark in 2015. It is a pleasure to watch the company's product development and gain technological leadership in the cybersecurity market not only in Russia, but also in the world. The Group-IB team has long been a significant part of our IT community, which strengthens the community with its competencies and developments. It is also valuable that Group-IB contributes to the development of IT personnel and organizes internships for Innopolis University students. An important part of our cooperation is joint projects and events. Over the years of partnership, we have already made sure that if Group-IB participates in meetups and conferences, then the content will definitely be relevant and in demand, and the organization will be clear and well-coordinated.”

Why does a leading international company need an office near Kazan

In 2015 Group-IB, the leadingan international developer of solutions in the field of cybersecurity, became a resident of the Innopolis SEZ and opened an office there. As Yaroslav Kargalev, Operations Director of the Group-IB office in the Innopolis SEZ, recalls, in addition to the obvious advantages that the status of a participant in a special economic zone provided, allowing the company to optimize tax issues, there were three more important reasons. First, to strengthen cooperation with local customers, local big business. “The specificity of the region is that local companies are more willing to work with “local” ones,” notes Yaroslav. Secondly, it was important for Group-IB to establish contacts with Innopolis University students as potential promising personnel. Today, Group-IB and Innopolis University are implementing several joint projects: from classic internships to laboratory and industrial projects. And, thirdly, Group-IB has always been interested in providing employees with the most comfortable working conditions - this issue arose especially during the pandemic.

The story of moving into a pandemic

Yaroslav Kargalev, COO of Group-IB in the Innopolis SEZ:

Five years ago, Group-IB, having become a resident of a specialeconomic zone Innopolis, opened its first physical office outside of Moscow in Tatarstan. I was among the first "settlers", but returned to Moscow two weeks later, because then the infrastructure was not as developed as it is today. At that time, it was difficult to call Innopolis a city in general: six half-empty residential buildings, a university, and construction pits between them. Some of our employees stayed for several months, but still left. So the company's office was then left without employees and was mothballed until better times. Paradoxically, these times came during a massive lockdown. We returned to Innopolis five years later in 2020, when the pandemic hit, in order to survive the isolation as productively as possible in an ecological area.

Yaroslav Kargalev

From open field to infrastructure

Now on the territory equal to the Ostankinsky district,but with only five streets, there are two huge technoparks, where the local offices of Yandex, Tinkoff Bank, Sberbank and other residents are located, a university where 900 students from 44 countries of the world study, 22 residential buildings and a complex of townhouses with a school, kindergartens, shops, pharmacies, cafe restaurants. And also the construction of a new quarter "Yu" is underway. Unmanned taxis drive through the streets, courier robots deliver hot food from restaurants. Drones fly over the city every day for aerial photography and other various studies. And all this is “in the field”, where fantastic sunsets happen in the evening with a view of the Sviyazhsk Museum-Reserve.

In summer it is especially comfortable when the winds blow, withhigh banks offer a gorgeous view of the Volga floods to the horizon, as well as the amazing island city of Sviyazhsk. Clean air with beautiful scenery is a great combination for jogging. During such races, it was even possible to meet several hares, a powerful elk, wild boars and foxes. This creates an incredible feeling - you live in an IT city surrounded by real wild nature.

Technopark Popov - "Bublik"

Let's look at our city from aboveonce seen and designed by the architect Liu Tai Ker. In place of the wasteland, a separate area of ​​townhouses and cottages appeared called Zion (maybe this is a reference to the Matrix?). Two technoparks are located 500 meters from it, where they develop IT solutions in the field of FinTech, MedTech, cloud computing, Smart City, transport and industrial security, education and other areas. In Innopolis, 22 residential buildings with more than 1,500 apartments have been built today. The residential quarter is divided into two areas - the old housing stock and the new one. The old quarter has a more comfortable layout. The apartments are spacious - from 50 sq.m. with tall windows. The apartments in the new housing stock are fresh and compact. Group-IB occupied six apartments. The company took over the rent, the employees only paid for utilities (an average of about 3 thousand per month).

Kindergarten, school, IT lyceum, medical center,three supermarkets: Pyaterochka, Magnit and, of course, Bakhetle. There are restaurants, cafes, a pizzeria, a hookah bar, as well as a post office, pharmacies, beauty salons, and a household. Technoparks have coffee shops and a food court with robotic waiters. Waiter robots deliver food from the kitchen to tables and wish you bon appetit. OzonBox is in several houses, delivery is prompt, verified. On the territory of the city there are tennis courts, a football field and, of course, a fitness room, which is difficult to ignore. This is a spacious, high-quality gym with a swimming pool and a sauna. I even started going to yoga here: it's hard not to start doing it when such classes are held in the house opposite. By the way, yoga is holistic, in an hour and a half breathing, physical practices and meditation charge 100%. An unmanned Yandex.Taxi runs around the city, on which, in bad weather, you can get from home to the office and back for free. In general, today the IT city has everything you need for a comfortable life.

Our office

Our office is located in the fashionable technopark named after A.From Popov to 2,200 jobs. For his shape of the puck in Kazan, he is called "Doughnut". Inside, everything is conditionally divided into three zones, which symbolize stone, wood and plants. Each zone is decorated with materials from these elements. It took us a long time to deliver furniture, network equipment, computers and other peripherals. Now the office has 10 workplaces, but there is enough space for greater scaling, although we do not plan to do this yet, we want to leave the working spaces free, corresponding to the location itself.

Company office

The view frompanoramic window. On the contrary, another technopark named after N.I. Lobachevsky for 1,500 people. During sunset, the sun sets behind the glass facade and it looks very impressive.

Now our office in Innopolis employs sevenpermanent employees, some of whom moved from Moscow, the other part were recruited from local Innopolis residents, and four interns from Innopolis University also visit the office in a hybrid format.

IT area

For seven years, a compact forest has formed here in the middle of the forest.An IT community where your neighbors are programmers, and everyone you meet on the street is one way or another from the field of information technology, every house is a public place with its own telegram channel, many utility issues are resolved there.

From Moscow to Innopolis: the story of one family moving

Alexander Simonyan, Senior Presale Manager of the Group-IB Digital Forensics and Malicious Code Research Lab, moved to Innopolis with his family:

We moved with the whole family:me, my wife, an eight-year-old son and a newborn daughter. Coincidentally, our daughter was born and at the same time I was informed that a two-room apartment with all the necessary living conditions was being vacated: with a good repair and furniture. And we decided, why not try to move to an eco-friendly area where you can walk in the fresh air away from the metropolis and the bustle, spend more time with your family. Everything is nearby, and it's five minutes to work. The nature there can not be compared with Moscow, just fantastic, fresh air. We packed our things in a GAZelle and moved for a year.

Infrastructure for families with children

The infrastructure of the city is maximally equipped andoffers everything you need. Three grocery chain stores, private stores where you can buy fresh products, there are many entertainment programs on the territory. Mugs for children provide full employment and development for children: football, basketball, martial arts, swimming, chess, robotics, developmental programs - in general, all the conditions for maximum employment of the child. On the territory there is a school, two kindergartens - all within walking distance.

There is an urban space Artsspace andother venues where various entertainment programs are held, bands come, music festivals are held. If suddenly something is missing for us, we get into the car, drive to Kazan: 30 km, 40 minutes on the road. There is absolutely everything there. Very clean, well maintained and beautiful city. And a two-minute drive from us is the Sviyazhsky Hills ski resort, where last winter I learned to snowboard and even managed to break a rib.

Alexander Simonyan in the center

Work, study

My wife is a designer, activelyjoined the work on outsourcing, she also makes orders, only there is more time for walking with the children. She more than loves everything. The only negative: relatives and friends stayed in another city, there is no opportunity to see each other often in person.

I close all work tasks for Russia and the CIS in Group-IB. All I need to work is a phone, a laptop, the Internet, a quiet environment - this is in the coworking space for startups in Innopolis.

Our eldest child at the time of the move waseight years old, he was in the third grade. We decided to leave him at a Moscow school, transfer him to family education, that is, he studied online for a year. In order to enter the school of Innopolis, we would have to train him according to the program, we decided not to put the child under stress. My son studied well online, returned to Moscow, passed the exam to move to the 3rd grade, all with fives. During the year he went to football, swimming, drawing, chess. We have already been in Innopolis for a year, we are thinking of extending our stay.

The history of one magistracy in Innopolis

Anton Shashev, Senior Analyst, CERT-GIB

Anton Shashev first graduated from Innopolis University with a master's degree in Computer Security and Networks, and then got a job at Group-IB, and for several years now he has been a resident of a special IT zone.

I am from Ufa, I was born, lived in Ufa, graduated thereundergraduate There came a time when it was necessary to move on. Somehow I came across an advertisement on the VKontakte social network of the technology city of Innopolis: I went to the Innopolis University website, studied information about grants for studying at a master's degree. Applicants can win a competition for an educational grant that fully or partially covers the cost of education, can enter state-funded places or study for a fee. At the same time, after training, it is necessary to work for 1-2 years, depending on the conditions of the grant, in Innopolis with a resident company or create your own startup. My Computer Security and Networks program is based on the program of the University of Amsterdam. All training is conducted in English. When I first arrived in Innopolis in 2019, at the entrance to the city I had the feeling that I was not in Russia, I took out my phone and started filming everything.

Anton Shashev - second from right

Education

Regarding training:there are serious programs where you can gain knowledge. At the university - 30% of foreign teachers. In a year of study at Innopolis University, I received more hard skills and practice than in four years of undergraduate studies in Ufa. I wrote a diploma in forensic science, and at the same time I did an internship at Group-IB. Education was not divided into semesters, but into blocks, each block contained two courses, which were taught every day. From Monday to Thursday - lectures from 9 to 13. Then everyone works in the laboratory room and does specific work. The laboratory is open until 6 am usually. Students come to the laboratory in slippers and bathrobes, because there time flies by unnoticed.

I had only 11 students in my class. Among them: from an African country, from Bolivia, two from Afghanistan and from Iran, as well as guys from Ufa, Uzbekistan, Crimea.

Teachers are from Italy, Bosnia, Canada,Pakistan. Many graduates stay to work at the university. Group-IB employees regularly hold workshops at Innopolis University, try to work with them as early as possible, introduce them to the company, and I also met Group-IB where I work to this day.

Prices in Innopolis

About 40,000 rubles - a scholarship per month.

2,500 rubles - a hostel per month.

9,000-13,000 rubles - renting an apartment with a fresh renovation.

What to visit in the area

Kazan

At almost any point in time, you canproblems to get to the capital of Tatarstan. In Innopolis, there are always free carsharing cars from Yandex, direct buses also run, and during the day, taxis are indecently cheap by Moscow standards. The road to the city center usually takes 40 minutes, but there are traffic jams.

Sviyazhsky hills

Just outside the city in a 3-minute drive are located"Sviyazhsky hills". In winter, this is a ski resort with all the attributes, in the summer season - a golf course. Nearby is a trap shooting complex, where you can take out the stress accumulated after working days on skeet.

Moving guide

  • If you are interested, we recommend that you come toInnopolis for exploration, for example, for 1-2 days and see everything with your own eyes. You can rent a coworking space for a short time and try to immerse yourself in this amazing working atmosphere.
  • To become a resident or a startup, you needmeet a number of conditions, fill out an application and successfully present the project, having received a positive decision from the Expert or Supervisory Boards.
  • Having the status of a resident, the company will be able to provide its employees with housing in the city.

You have decided to try to live in an IT city, where to stay?

  • in a cozy hostel in Innopolis;
  • in Kazan in any hotel (it takes 30-40 minutes to get to Innopolis);
  • in the all-season resort "Sviyazhsky Hills", a three-minute drive from Innopolis;
  • in a comfortable and modern student campus of Innopolis University;
  • in a daily rented apartment in Innopolis;
  • in 2022, it is planned to commission a robotic hotel in the city of Innopolis.

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