July 23, 2019

Projects Hatched in the Incubator. St. Petersburg Startups Have an Open Access to European Markets

Petersburg was built as a European city. The window to Europe is still open – we have access to European markets, expertise and experience in technology entrepreneurship. Therefore, our startups can test out their projects on international markets. The universities located in St. Petersburg have become working platforms for the generation and rapid implementation of technological business ideas of capable student projects.

Big companies are ready to work with startups. As a rule, they already have departments or entire lines of business that work with innovations and are ready for their implementation and adaptation to internal processes. Companies such as “Gazprom Neft” have their own testing grounds for trialing such projects. A business incubator identifies the needs and demands of large businesses (including industrial companies) and forms a funnel of projects conforming to their criteria. They are interested in start-ups at a mature stage, which have a prototype and are ready for the implementation of a “pilot” project.

Most often, key market players are ready to create their own accelerators, invest in projects and adopt them based on the acceleration results, but they are not interested in working with projects at the stage of an idea. Other companies outsource acceleration processes (for example, Kirovsky Zavod, partners of GenerationS).

If it comes to the ratio of IT and industrial projects, of course, the former will be more numerous. Recently, we more often encounter ideas where industrial solutions are wrapped in information technologies. As a rule, such projects, as well as those at the intersection of industries, are in high demand on the market.

Our residents receive not only “Ingria”’s business advice, but also they gain access to the Technopark infrastructure, i. e. Prototyping Center, regional engineering centers (in the field of pharmaceuticals, radio electronics and secure quantum communications).

There is an opinion that the development of startups in our city is driven by businesses only, but this is not quite the case. It is just that the support offered by universities and city infrastructure practically does not participate in the financial part of the story that makes headlines, i.e. investment deals, withdrawals from a startup or selling a patent or technology.

Venture funds have many tactics and ways to invest, but they are still associated with high risks. However, by investing and supporting innovations, the city opts for a deferred effect, since with the advent of infrastructure, the number of business projects will be growing. In turn, they attract investors, large players, increase the attractiveness of the city for professionals and entrepreneurs who generate revenues, create jobs and pay taxes. For example, Chinese university and city-based technoparks set about creating 500 startups per day. It is obvious, that only a few will survive long enough to witness the investment, but the rest will receive the necessary technological entrepreneurship skills and experience for their next projects.