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RVC SmartFuture: Russian and international experts notify of high potential of the Russian technology investment market

The most efficient instruments of new high-tech projects financing, advantages of large corporations’ venture funds and their cooperation with R&D departments, effective networking of start-ups and investors – these and many other issues were under discussion at the InvestDay events within the RVC Smart Future program.

InvestDay – it is the series of panel discussions, master-classes, round tables, informal meetings, which have aroused interest of more than 1000 guests with the existing and prospected investors in technological assets among them. The speakers at the events were managers of Russian and international venture funds: KPCB, Arch Ventures, iTech Capital, Frontier Ventures, Prostor Capital, Bright Сapital, corporate venture funds of such global giants as IBM, SAP, Philips, as well as representatives of Russian corporations – RAO "UES of Russia", RusHydro, MTS, well-known Russian venture entrepreneurs – Alexander Galitzkiy, founder and managing partner of Almaz Capital Partners, Vadim Asadov, president and general director of NeurOK group, and many others.

The key topic that was discussed within the InvestDay framework – investments in R&D and technology projects from the part of new players which were not traditionally active in the market. Potentiality of private investments is extremely high too – all the necessary prerequisites exist, and effective infrastructure has been created. The experts’ opinion is that an increase of investments of private Russian corporations and individual entrepreneurs in venture projects and funds is expected in the nearest future.

Venture corporate funds have made a good showing at the West already, as it was noted by speakers at the LP Unlimited conference – an outstanding InvestDay event. Corporations, representing significant market players, are the important instruments for capital attraction to innovative industry, getting in return an effective instrument for searching new ideas and products. According to Debora Magit, partner in IBM Venture Capital Group, its fund is a “bridge” between innovation entrepreneurs and IBM.

According to estimates of international experts invited by RVC, near 80% of international corporations consider corporate venture funds to be instruments for development which unite strategic and financial interests of corporations.

In parallel to discussions by investors the issue of working with technological assets, start-ups discussed their views on work with different types of investors. It’s interesting that both start-ups and corporations noted that a class of professional intermediaries and special grounds which assist start-ups in gaining access to investments and expertise is being formed in the market.

Among the issues which were under consideration within the InvestDay, a subject of finances attracting by start-ups was developed. Experts noted that start-ups must be more exigent to investors and keep in mind that venture capital – is smart money, so a start-up has a right to count on mentorship and other non-money inputs from the investor side. At the same time, this rule is applicable to business angels as well as to venture investors.

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