Meet three new jury members of the Startup Battle
We continue to introduce you to new jury members of the Startup Battle that will take place at Robotics Expo on November 25. Meet another three experts that shared advice on successful presenting to investors.
- Dmitry Sutormin – one of the major business angels in Russia, invested in 15 projects for the overall amount of $8 million;
- Elena Gavrilova – director of business incubator of the University of Information Technology, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO University);
- Elman Kyazimov – individual entrepreneur, independent business angel.
Specialists answered questions that interest participants of the Startup Battle and everyone looking for the support of investors for their new project.
What projects do you prefer?
Dmitry Sutormin (D.S.): I focus on technology and IT startups, primarily in their early stages, R&D-MVP. Currently, I’m interested in projects in the field of robotics and related areas: capture, vision systems, pattern recognition, software for robots. I’m also keen on additive technologies, e-sports, and computer games.
Elman Kyazimov (E.K.): Scalable and unprecedented. When something interesting, new is created, something that has not been done before, another implementation. Innovations, true innovations.
Elena Gavrilova (E.G.): Projects dedicated to the development of innovations and business.
By which criteria, apart from the return on investment, do you choose a startup?
D.S.: Apart from the return on investment, I pay attention to the project’s business strategy, strength of the team, and market reach.
E.K.: The main criterion for me is the readiness to strain every sinew.
E.G.: We do not finance projects, as we are a business incubator. The main admission criteria include the availability of a prototype or a readymade technology, high motivation of the creator to develop the project, innovativeness, and scalability.
What can restrain you from supporting a project?
E.K.: Good understanding of the market, insight into the problem, capability and readiness to solve it – that is what’s needed for the success of the project. If something is wrong with one of these aspects, that’s not a reason not to invest. Lack of understanding of the intellectual property formation process.
E.G.: A big number of competitors and the lack of a distinct separation from them, or vice versa a total absence of similar solutions in the market (it can signalize the absence of a market or a too small niche for the product), impossibility of technical implementation (eternal engine or expensive technology in a low-priced product).
What would you like to hear from startupers during the presentation?
D.S.: I ask different questions as startups differ (laughs – Ed.).
E.K.: Different things from different projects (smiles – Ed.). It’s impossible to reply briefly as for what I would like to hear – everything depends on the project. I’m interested in how you are going to sell, realize your project, protect intellectual property, how relations in the team are built, which incentive system is applied, how well you have investigated the market, how well you know your competitors.
E.G.: Standard information: what’s the target audience of the project, what problems it has, how the offered product solves them, what’s the global and local market volume, main competitors and what differentiates your product, plans regarding entering the market and further project development.
Now you have even more recommendations from experts that have joined the jury of the Startup Battle, so do not hesitate to apply for participation! Hurry, the deadline is on November 15.