On December 11, Startup Huddle launched in St. Petersburg, Russia in partnership with the Center for Entrepreneurship ― Union of Business Angels Network.
Startup Huddle is an international program developed by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs.. The program provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to ask questions and get instant feedback from their communities. Since its launch in 2017, Startup Huddle has launched in more than 40 cities in 30 countries.
“We’ve been looking for an interactive way to engage our Union of Business Angels Network members and startups—we finally found one. The Startup Huddle format is aimed at development of businesses that come to us for investment. The more successfully a project develops, the sooner it attracts investment. Our investors have ample experience building successful businesses and they are eager to share their wealth of knowledge. Startup Huddle allows them to learn more about emerging businesses long before they make a decision to invest,” said Louise Alexandrova, development director at Union of Business Angels Network.
During the launch event, four entrepreneurs gave six-minute presentations of their businesses that highlighted competitive advantages and challenges.
Alexey Tikhomirov, CEO of Aquastyle, had been producing bubble panels for 11 years, but recently became interested in attracting investment. During his presentation, he shared that he is eager to learn about the types of indicators investors prioritize when deciding to invest.
Roman Egorov, the founder of an orthopedic shop, InStep, and the chairman of an organization for amputees, was next. Having walked with a prosthesis for 15 years, he has a deep understanding of what users experience and need. InStep makes it easy to obtain custom prostheses—simply upload a photo and their unique technology measures the dimensions for a tailored-fit design. Then, the prosthesis is developed with innovative materials. Within just three days, the customer receives the finished product. Egorov is interested in increasing their market share and optimizing their product positioning.
Pavel Nekrashevich is the CEO and founder of Encore, a company that focuses on biodegradable systems development for dental therapy targeted for diseases and the prevention of unbalanced oral microfloras. Encore’s unique biodegradable microcontainers with biologically active compounds help companies that produce specialized oral care increase the stability of their ingredients by 15-20%. Pavel asked the community for support in assessing his company’s road map and profitability. He also asked for help to launch in foreign markets.
Last, but not least, Denis Koryakov presented KITIBOX, an innovative cat litter. The litter retains odors for more than a month, doesn’t stick to paws, create dust, or require the owner to constantly remove lumps—you don’t even need to wash the tray. After Korvakov’s presentation, the community raised questions about his business strategy: should he lessen the emphasis on its imported nature? Should sell to retail chains or would that diminish his profits? Should his target market be mass or luxe?
Overall, the launch was a success. The business community, mentors and investors who attended the first Startup Huddle in St. Petersburg were deeply engaged and look forward to supporting more entrepreneurs in clarifying their challenges and coming up with solutions.
More Startup Huddles will be held on a regular basis. For more information please visit the Union of Business Angels Network’s website: https://soba.spb.ru/.