Clamp the investor in the corner

    One of the main problems of any startup is the lack of expertise and experience of its creators. These two things are often necessary in order for the prototype to become a full-fledged product or service that can be developed by attracting investment. Sometimes even a few minutes devoted to a project by a competent mentor or investor can determine its success. The problem for young entrepreneurs is only where to find a platform for constructive communication with industry professionals.

    Each year, up to 500 new startups appear on the Ukrainian market. However, it comes to the stage of full implementation no more than in 10% of cases. This state of affairs can be explained by the fact that the development of startup culture in Ukraine, and in the CIS as a whole, is still in its infancy. As well as the dampness of many projects and teams. In addition, the strategic problem of the market is the lack of a culture of venture investment. In our countries, the majority of wealthy people, unfortunately, do not think of investing in an innovative business.

    What should young online entrepreneurs do in this situation? Count on the fact that it will be possible to illuminate your project with foreign angels or venture investors. For this, for example, you can go to the States. But this, of course, is not an option for everyone - because of its cost. Not to mention that the effectiveness of a trip to the Valley can also be zero if the team does not have enough personal contacts. Of course, you can get advice or even find seed investments online, for example, at several specialized sites for investors and startups. But this option also does not always work.

    In practice, almost the only chance for an entrepreneur to get high-quality feedback from an experienced and professional mentor or investor is to run their project in an informal setting. This, first of all, is possible at specialized conferences. In Ukraine and the CIS as a whole, venture capital funds, investors, incubators and accelerators are quite actively involved in their organization. Thanks to this, the visits of world-wide venture capital investment gurus to give lectures and conduct master classes are no longer perceived as something unique. The problem is that, despite their frequent visits, top speakers do not become more accessible to newcomers to the industry. As a rule, at these startup conferences, most investor stars confine themselves to speaking on common panels and hold private meetings with themselves detailed, after which they disappear behind the curtains. Or access to them is blocked by security (it happens!). Therefore, even for active entrepreneurs who want to sell their idea directly to investors, it is often simply impossible to get access to the “stellar body”.

    But even a five-minute communication with people of this level for any entrepreneur is a chance to significantly upgrade your project. So, the founder and CEO of startup. Aladdin Righteous-Happy considers one of the key to the development of his project the recommendation of startup guru Bob Dorf . Her serial entrepreneur voiced during a master class that he held for Ukrainian entrepreneurs as part of the accelerating program of the Happy Farm business incubator. The essence of the advice is that the investor needs to propose a project, looking at which you can immediately see that "you invest a dollar, but you get two." Dorf said that in the US, startups are checking future profitability even before writing at least one line of code. Then Aladdin worked on the concept of online promotion of musicians. “After the master class, I made a test web page with a description of the services and tariffs for them for independent musicians, although the service has not yet worked. I bought an advertisement for $ 20 dollars and began to observe. "Orders" came in for $ 1800 dollars. So I got confirmation that the model is working and very profitable. After that, I could present my project not just as my dreams of making money, but a ready-made plan with specific verified numbers. Then he won a $ 10 thousand grant from CRDF Global for the development of a product ”, - the entrepreneur recalls. According to him, the mentor’s advice allowed him to avoid the standard mistake of start-up business beginners, in which a lot of money is invested in a long-term product development, and after launch it turns out that nobody needs it.

    Kartoon Art project founder and CEO Alexander Shalakhin recalls that after talking with top manager, mentor and branding guru John Gover, the project decided to change the concept. “Before meeting with John, we walked towards the comic book platform. Looking at our prototype, he said that he saw in the project an application for digital publishers, including his company. Then we decided to take this new course and saw a number of new opportunities. At the moment we are making an editor for animation for iPad, which can be used by artists of digital publishers, simplifying and reducing the cost of the process of creating animations, cartoons, ”says Alexander Shalakhin.

    Well, of course, the most important thing for many entrepreneurs is the opportunity to convince the investor to invest money in the project. Practice shows that to do this in a limited period of time is quite realistic. So, Andrey Zhivolovich , CEO of the Ugift project , recalls that his partner Ken Liver introduced him to the venture investor Semyon Dukach. “We talked for 20 minutes, and he decided to invest in us,” says Andrei Zhivolovich.


    It is the opportunity of live communication with top investors, mentors, representatives of the largest IT companies and creators of startups that will become one of the main features of the Startup AddVenture conference, which will be held in Kiev on December 4-5. It will be possible to closely interact with them in the framework of six interactive workshops - mobile, pitching, growth hacking, design, gaming, fintech. Each of them is a rare opportunity in a short time to get expert assessment from a guru in your industry, expand your network of contacts, and check potential team members and partners right on the spot. Workshops will be supervised by real industry stars. In particular, Dave McClure , founder and managing partner of one of the largest startup accelerators in the USA 500Startups and investor of more than 500 companies, Adeo Ressi, founder of the world's largest network startup incubator The Founder Institute, creator of startups worth $ 2 billion. As well as well-known venture investors who have invested in hundreds of startups around the world, Alexander Galitsky (Almaz Capital) , Igor Ryabenky (Altair Capital) , Maxim Gurvits (Eleven Accelerator Venture Fund) , Marchin Heika (Intel Capital), Than Sertoglu (Earlybird Venture Capital) )

    In addition to communication within the framework of workshops, you can present your project to the stars of the event at a private VIP meeting with Dave McClure and other distinguished guests of the conference. It is on it that participants will receive maximum time and opportunities for full communication with the stars. Invitations to the event will be given to those projects that rent a demo table at startup expos .

    You can find out more information and register for participation on the Startup AddVenture website

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