Round table of the MCCI Committee for Industrial and Innovation Policy "Technological Sovereignty of the Russian Federation - startups and SMEs as a vector of development, their "pains" and solutions"

On 28 September the problems of support measures for startups and ways to solve them was discussedat the Technopark "Kalibr". This topic was the subject of a round table of the MCCI Committee for Industrial and Innovation Policy with representatives of startup projects, the Venture Capital Development Fund and the MIC Fund within the framework of the Acceleration Programme.

Mikhail Kogan, Chairman of the Committee, opened the event with a welcoming speech: "Over the years of work in the SME segment and startup communities, from the outside it seems to us that the main problems are related to the lack of a venture capital market, the outflow of experts, investors, IT specialists, top partners and firms that provide services and financial support to the SME segmentfrom the country; in this case, a solution seems to be suggested, but instead of it we get a new problem - lack of solutions to replace the outflow, culminating in "no single platform" for SMEs, start-up communities on the one hand, venture capitalists and state institutions on the other".

When considering the specifics of a startup as a term, Victor Malinin, Director of the Centre for the Development of Technological Entrepreneurship at Bauman Moscow State Technical University, referred to the words of Steve Blank and Bob Dole: "A startup is a temporary structure that is searching for a scalable reproducible and profitable business model." He said, "In the absence of business angel funding and a massive institute of business angels, startups as instruments will be high risk and virtually unworkable.For business angels to work, there needs to be an institute to lock in investor profits if the startup is successful."

Kalibr residents - representatives of startups Konstantin Kutuzov, CEO of Valeko LLC, Maxim Bogush, founder of NeoPixel and graduate of the accelerator on the basis of Technopark Kalibr, Marina Sokolova, founder of the project "I will be near" - spoke about the problems that startups face "on the ground".

"We need to work with startups and investors systematically, increasing the accelerator's investment fund, launching an investment platform for issuing tokens to startups to attract additional funding and conducting syndicated deals with investors," said 2Stars* CEO Alexander Makhnyov, who systematically works with projects of different levels within accelerators.

Anna Pakhomova, leading investment manager of the Moscow Venture Capital Development Fund, and Anastasia Novozhilova, Head of the Centre for Digital Infrastructure Development of the MIC Fund, spoke about financial support for projects and successful cases. The presentations by the representatives of the funds aroused great interest of the participants due to the references to specific projects and business cases from the funds' portfolios.

Mikhail Kogan summarised the event: "Despite the difficulties in finding funding, there are solutions and they are different. Foundations, banks and other organisations, including the public sector, do not give up, but constantly try to provide real assistance to SMEs and startup communities".

The event ended with active networking and a tour of the residents of the Kalibr Technopark within the framework of the "Day without turnstiles" project.