October 22, 2020

Denis Kovalevich: startup studio – a full-scale substitution for entrepreneur’s functions at early venture-building stages

The speech-session of Denis Kovalevich, a co-founder and shareholder of the TechnoSpark Group of Companies, was one of those starting the Open Innovations forum. He presented the startup studio business model utilized by the company being a part of the investment network of the Rusnano Group’s Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs.

The classical startup selection with a following mentoring and consulting do not work in Russia, where technology entrepreneurship is at the very initial development stage. We have nothing to do but to buckle up and plunge into the startup building from scratch. In the innovations sphere, this model is called a startup studio or a venture building company.

“A startup studio is an innovation in the creation model for high-tech companies. All by its own, it opens startups, analyzing the bottlenecks of the operating industrial sectors and identifying the products, which will be most likely welcomed on a particular market. Quite often, it replicates what has already happened in more developed markets. Rather than saturate itself in R&D, a startup studio is more likely to buy some ready-to-use technologies to piece the product together like a puzzle. It headhunts for troupers instead of stars and accepts the main business risks,” explained the leader of TechnoSpark, the company which became one of the first startup studios in the world for material industries.

A startup studio does not wait for the entrepreneur to appear – it substitutes the entrepreneur’s functions at the very beginning of the startup building. Later on, it sells the startup, as a material blank, to the ones, who will scale up the business and invest tens and hundreds of million dollars in its development.

According to European analytics, 45% of the startups brought up by startup studios succeed. This number is much higher than the results of the traditional ecosystems. It also exceeds the number shown by venture funds. On the one hand, startup studios tremendously increase the chance of getting a useful output in the venture industry. On the other hand, they dramatically reduce the cost of technology company building. It will bring much fewer expenses for them to create, let’s say, a robotics startup, than it would cost to their competitors – single entrepreneurs. This is caused both by conveyor startup building principles and the infrastructure shared by all the companies created by the startup studio.

A virtual exhibition that is traditionally held within the Open Innovations forum demonstrates the results produced by the investment network of the Rusnano Group’s Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs. You will get introduced with 48 high-tech startups in the most various domains like microelectronics, medical equipment, genomics, robot engineering, light engineering, sports medicine, flexible electronics and photovoltaics.

Source: Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs of RUSNANO

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