As an innovative project through difficult times What is the " Death Valley start-ups " and how to survive .

The Ministry of Education has taken the creation of a new information system that will help the development of innovative projects in Russia.However, Russian innovators very little oriented to what fate awaits their project and what to do with his invention.Our researchers are often not prepared for the ups and downs inherent in new beginnings.Within the framework of the project "Innovation Space" we have collected and summarized the experience in the development of innovative start-ups, which can be useful to the project participants.

no secret that many innovative projects do not reach success.This notorious fact.There is even a special semi-slang term in the field of venture capital investment "valley of death" - a stage of development, which breaks down to 90% of the projects.This is usually a time when the project has run out of money, and a lot more work.Or when it turned out that the basic concept of the project is insolvent and have to think how to change it.In short, it is the moment of maximum decline of the morale of the team, when often it is not clear where to go and whether to move at all.

By the way, this time going through absolutely all projects are successful or not.But the hardest thing to overcome this valley, according to the author of the book «Into the Valley of Death», provides two types of projects:

1) which form a completely new market for innovative products.

For example, it is in a position now in the majority of start-ups in the field of robotics.No country in the world there is a distinct need for robots, especially in the consumer segment.Therefore, teams such projects account for just one catch consumers and show the wonders of ingenuity in the search for sales channels.

2) projects on the basis of serious (read: expensive) research.

Very often, the project is based on the theoretical possibility of development or in the laboratory sample that is not easy to replicate in the industrial version.Such studies can last for years without visible results, which seriously undermines the faith as the founders and investors.There

study «Bridging the Clean Energy Valleys of Death», according to which there are also two kinds of "valleys": the valley of the valley and the commercialization of technology development technology.

Reasons technological valley of death is usually very high costs of research to test the primary hypothesis of the project: laboratory research and the creation of the first samples, the development of a test of the industrial design, testing, licensing, etc.

Business valley of death occurs when at least large resources are needed in the promotion of a product, organizing deliveries, sales and marketing of already established technologies.

However, both of these successfully overcome the valley is not a draft.Here are some tips that can help you mitigate this the hard way:

1) Have a personal "safety cushion»

From being the founder, on how he personally need money now depends very much.So try even before starting to save a certain amount, which will allow you to hold out at least a few months, is not particularly chic, but not in misery.

2) leave to the self

«Valley of death" can always be provided in advance.Therefore, if you see that the money will soon run out of the project, profits in the near term is not expected, and the next is too early to raise investment, then to think in advance about where to get money to support the core team.And hold on to any gains or until the investment.

3) Grants and competitions

really serious project for the prize money is not raised, but to reach for a while, until you can fix things for them is quite possible.It is the same with small grants.Just remember that the larger the amount, the longer you will receive it.

4) Barter

Much in this world you can get free, if you have something to offer in return.Think you can be useful to others and encourage them.This helps save precious resources and survive hard times.As one of the variants of barter, try to connect through the portals of the "Innovation Space" or "Zvorykinsky project" with other teams of innovation projects.They may well be the resources that you need, and you can have something that might be interesting to them.

5) "Three F»

This is another common startup concept, which stands for «friends, family and fools».So if you run out of money, you try to ask the representatives of one of the three groups.Only then still try to return.

6) Incubation Program

In Russia, a number of programs to support budding entrepreneurs, both innovative and no.They can significantly reduce project costs such as overheads: office furniture, stationery, and also help to accelerate funding.Not to mention the fact that some do allocate funds.

7) Save

Trite as the world, but it is also difficult.The worst thing you can do - is to start spending money on advertising and expensive consultants in the hope that they will create a miracle.Miracles do not happen, and startups in a difficult situation better than to think for themselves.

8) Strategic partnerships

your development even in the rough may be of interest to any large organization.But not for the customer and for a partner who can extract additional benefits by integrating it into your business.Think maybe there is someone who is not your direct competitor, but at the same time working with your prospective clients.

9) Credit.

itself, under the "business" you will not give anyone money, especially at a negative cash flow.So maybe you will have to risk the existing "personal assets" to ensure that the project is not closed on the most interesting place.Just calculate everything properly, not to be left without an apartment at the moment of triumph.

10) crowdfunding

If investors do not give you money without good reason, here it is the ordinary people can be more generous if they like your idea.Crowdfunding is now growing rapidly and will soon no longer be something exotic at least among active Internet users.And there is this trend gradually gets up to ordinary people.

11) largest customers

One really big client can save the whole situation, even if the technology is not yet finalized.Think may already be in the form that it is, you will be able to sell it to someone?After the integration of big business very often anyway involves processing and dopilivanie product under the personal needs of the client.So maybe it's time to do it already?