A cardboard cutout of a character for a mobile video game created by Playtox, an Akadempark startup, stands in the main incubator office space of the towering main building.

A cardboard cutout of a character for a mobile video game created by Playtox, an Akadempark startup, stands in the main incubator office space of the towering main building.

 Nick Volynkin manages projects for Academ Media, one of the biggest startups in Akadempark. The tech incubator fosters new companies at a steady clip and gives them a one-year runway to find a business model and become profitable.

Nick Volynkin manages projects for Academ Media, one of the biggest startups in Akadempark. The tech incubator fosters new companies at a steady clip and gives them a one-year runway to find a business model and become profitable.

 A machine is used to wind wire for transistors in the innovation center's fabrication building. Akadempark is a cluster of buildings, one dedicated to office space, one for biotechnology and another to fabricate components that are hard to acquire in the middle of Siberia.

A machine is used to wind wire for transistors in the innovation center's fabrication building. Akadempark is a cluster of buildings, one dedicated to office space, one for biotechnology and another to fabricate components that are hard to acquire in the middle of Siberia.

 Akadempark holds two startup accelerators a year to create new companies. At the end of the incubator period, aspiring entrepreneurs face a panel of five judges that measure a project based on its level of innovation.

Akadempark holds two startup accelerators a year to create new companies. At the end of the incubator period, aspiring entrepreneurs face a panel of five judges that measure a project based on its level of innovation.

 An aspiring startup founder presents his invention, an automatic servo, to the judges. They grade ideas' innovativeness on a scale of 1 to 5. This entrepreneur was not among the funding winners.

An aspiring startup founder presents his invention, an automatic servo, to the judges. They grade ideas' innovativeness on a scale of 1 to 5. This entrepreneur was not among the funding winners.

 Institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences surround the incubator. Academics there study everything from science to humanities. Anna Bolshakova, a numismatist, reviews ancient Slavic coins she collected during a field expedition for her studies at the Institute of Archaeology.

Institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences surround the incubator. Academics there study everything from science to humanities. Anna Bolshakova, a numismatist, reviews ancient Slavic coins she collected during a field expedition for her studies at the Institute of Archaeology.

 Elena Salina studies the genes of wheat. She has worked in the Academy of Sciences since just after the fall of the Soviet Union. She expressed concern about a federal takeover of the Russian Academy of Sciences last year, part of a larger trend of consolidation of power in Moscow.

Elena Salina studies the genes of wheat. She has worked in the Academy of Sciences since just after the fall of the Soviet Union. She expressed concern about a federal takeover of the Russian Academy of Sciences last year, part of a larger trend of consolidation of power in Moscow.

 Inside the annex of the Institute of Archaeology and Paleontology, a building on the outer edge of Akademgorodok.

Inside the annex of the Institute of Archaeology and Paleontology, a building on the outer edge of Akademgorodok.

 Elvyra Skorynina is the curator and academic behind the Museum of the Sun, dedicated to sun mythology and recreations of sun icons from around the world.

Elvyra Skorynina is the curator and academic behind the Museum of the Sun, dedicated to sun mythology and recreations of sun icons from around the world.