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Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California recently led a U.S. delegation of government representatives, technology company executives and venture capital investors to Russia. Among the governor’s posse: Princeton Engineering alumnus Don Dixon, co-founder of Palo Alto-based Trident Capital.

The delegation met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, took part in the Global Innovation Partnership forum, and discussed plans to develop the Skolkovo Innovation Center in a suburb of Moscow.

Dixon told ABC News correspondent Norman Hermant that he was impressed with what he saw during the visit.

“These companies are world scale,” Dixon said. “They are the same class of companies that we would see in Silicon Valley and that was actually quite surprising to me.” But Dixon noted that the Skolkovo Innovation Center has a ways to go if it aspires to become a Slavic Silicon Valley:

“In Silicon Valley, we’ve got the benefit of the entire infrastructure, of companies, executives, consultants,” said Dixon. “For us it’s very easy to start up a company very quickly. That doesn’t exist here. They have to do everything from scratch.”

Dixon, who majored in mechanical and aerospace engineering, is the co-chair of the School of Engineering’s Leadership Council.

Photo courtesy of California State Governor’s Office