Why i2istudy did not cooperate with IIDF

    The Secret of the Company publication published an interesting story of the entrepreneur Ilya Osipov, the founder of the i2istudy training web service . Ilya told “The Firm's Secret” about why he did not take public money and write down the Internet Initiatives Development Fund as partners.

    "Megamind" gives the main points of the monologue of the creator of the startup.

    About service

    We came up with the i2istudy.com service, which works like a time bank. For example, you teach a Russian to a foreigner for 30 minutes, during which 30 minutes you will be taught English, or, for example, Spanish. The slogan of our service is “Stop paying tutors, thousands of people around the world are ready to teach their language for free.”

    About state participation

    At the stage of experiments with the alpha version of the service, we went to the project support fund existing under the government of the Nizhny Novgorod region and tried to get financing. We were literally welcomed with open arms, and the head of the fund personally promised, I quote: "We will untwist you at the top." I was even a little dumbfounded. We obviously did not expect such a reception from uncles in expensive suits, with offices and secretaries. We were assigned a “specialist” who undertook to prepare a business plan. As it turned out, they themselves can’t give us money, but, winking playfully, they assured us that “we will receive money for you in RVC”.

    About state management

    I have some flair for the bad development of events and therefore I registered the rights to all the texts that we transferred to the fund with an independent copyright depository. Negotiations began: the director of the fund, deputy director, a diligent employee and lawyer from the side of the fund, and a couple of people from us. And here, almost a year after the start of cooperation, I learn that we are required to ultimately give 7% of the company for intermediary services. RVC, under the draft agreement, received approximately 35% of the company. Moreover, we also had to find a private investor who would co-invest and receive about 10% of the company.

    About promises

    The negotiations turned out to be long and complicated. I stood my ground: 7% for intermediary services is too much. In the end, they amicably agreed that they would receive 3% of the company and 3% in money from the amount raised, but only on condition that RVC would finance us. The papers were signed - and here RVK refused us, despite all the “connections” of the fund employees.

    About government money

    Well, we think that’s all, the money is in our hands. We have agreed in advance that we will not give a significant share in the company. And they asked for only 3%. But at the same time, we had to change the charter of our company and introduce new standards. Without the consent of the IIDF, we would not be able to: appoint and change the general director, carry out major transactions, accept new shareholders. Thus, IIDF became a privileged participant, without which no significant decision could be made.

    And about the market

    And even more frightening was the need to coordinate changes in the constituent documents with the state fund, which had the right to veto almost everything.

    We have now raised a total of $ 300,000 in private investment and are continuing to build the project. Investors are private individuals from Russia, Latvia and the USA, where I now live. For example, a professor at an American university. He personally helped me make out a couple of scientific articles for publication in American scientific journals and was so interested in the project that he not only became a user, but also “hooked” his wife and his friends.

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