Tenders of Start-Ups: Favourable Environment and Substitution of Notions


Annually in Russia there appear new (in addition to those which have become annual) tenders for start-ups. Moreover, they become even more thought out. As for prizes, and simply participation, they are more valuable for prospective ''sharks'' of Russian innovation market.

Based on the international and accumulated Russian experience, start-ups, participating in tenders, can get quite good PR, and thus attract either future buyers of their products or investors' attention. Consequently, participation in such events can become an important part of a promotion strategy. Besides, additional competitive spirit gives rather good motivation to team members, makes it possible to know other projects and their experience — as regards the structure of management, marketing and so on. Tenders provide the possibility to receive  competent, and often critical, estimation from people working in the industry, by means of which a start-up can move to another level or leave the market until investing a large amount of its own capital.

Here are some examples of tenders held in Russia. On October 15 they announced four winners of one of the largest events in Russia — Generation S accelerator led by the Russian venture company along four directions: IT, industrial solutions, biotechnologies and medicine, energy efficiency and resource-saving. There were 1 858 applications from 142 cities of  13 countries. Selection of applications for Start Fellows — the project of Pavel Durov and Yuri Milner to support IT start-ups on the ''seed'' stage of development — is held on the permanent basis: winners receive up to 25 thousand dollars for advertising purposes. Another famous tender is Silicon Valley Meets Russia in Digital October centre, within the framework of which the most promising, according to the jury, start-up gets the main prize – a trip to the Silicon Valley, from Sberbank, with acceptance by Silicon Valley Bank.

Tenders for start-ups are held both by representatives of the public sector, including public companies (regional ministries of economic develoment, Skolkovo, Rostec, RVC and others), and private business like Forbes or VKontakte.

For the initiator region and the state, as a whole, such tenders are an efficient method of improving the investment climate, as well as development of business environment and innovative activity of youth. Another aim, though less noteable, is application of budgetary funds directed at business development.

Companies and individuals, acting as organizers, increase their value by means of such social activity.

However, beginners among innovative businessmen should always remember that getting into finals and even victory do not mean real recognition among consumers. For high-quality participation a team should create bright presentations of its project as a business, practise skills of public speaking during live presentations of start-ups, adjust the idea to often subjective preferences of judges of competitions and so on. Thus, an inexperienced team can get into a trap of substitution of aims and waste its enthusiasm and energy. However, in reality, the most valuable thing a start-up has is time.