As Russia undergoes transition from a command to a market economy, almost all aspects of the economic landscape are changing. One of the more promising changes is the emergence of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship depends heavily in turn on the availability of financing and advice for new businesses. For the past several decades in the United States this help has come largely from venture capitalists, so it is logical to consider the role that venture capital can play in Russia. Some understanding of this role can be gleaned from reviewing the development of venture capital in the United States. This paper reviews this development and suggests ways of building and utilizing venture capital firms in Russia, recognizing that there are many differences between the circumstances in Russia and those surrounding the development of venture capital in the United States.