How do we invest in innovations?

Who we are

Marcin Bielówka
Marcin Bielówka

Manages the fund and fosters the relationships with partners - companies, government agencies and scientific institutions. He supervises the formation of companies and does everything necessary to make the word turn into action.

Marcin Bielówka:

Our fund has been created to implement the BRIdge Alfa program coordinated by the NCBiR (National Centre for Research and Development) as a joint venture of the Krakowski Park Technologiczny (Krakow Technology Park) and a group of venture capital funds and private investors – SATUS Venture. The key INNOventure staff successfully completed dozens of investments, including co-creating and managing the KPT Seed Fund – one of the most acclaimed funds supporting innovative start-up companies in Poland. INNOAGH Krakow Center for Innovative Technologies was also involved in building a solid foundation of INNOventure.
We aim to build the value of companies based on the results of R&D projects. We act as a first-contact investor helping innovative founders develop their companies and commercialize projects. Upon completion of that mission, we sell our shares to trade buyers or financial investors in a way that is optimal for the further development of the enterprise.

Why us?

Marcin Molo
Marcin Molo

Is responsible for creating and developing the investment portfolio. He oversees the investment process, creates and negotiates (hard) the structure of capital transactions, takes care of the project development process, and subsequent development of companies.

Marcin Molo:

We have a solid foundation in the investment ecosystem and from the very beginning our goal is to support scientists and inventors. Cooperation with this group determines our structure, operations and communication.
The investment know-how of our team has been created with the participation of top-class experts experienced in development of R&D projects and commercialization of technology, so that science and business would combine in our activities harmoniously. We always see the importance of inventions for society, but we believe that their real usability is verified by the demand for products and services based on them. We operate as a fund and we care about return on investment for our investors and founders. We are involved in the process of building the company’s value throughout its duration – our role is not limited to supervising the founder.

Leszek Skowron

Supports the development of projects from the moment they come to INNOventure. He asks a lot of in-depth questions, helps to build a business model, supports the creation and implementation of the action plan.

Leszek Skowron:

Our success is proved by the successes of companies from our portfolio. We therefore do our best to support the founders in the implementation of ambitious plans. We believe in the concept of smart money – which means that capital is not the only resource we provide to the company.
We also try to supplement financial resources with the competences and business contacts of our team and partners, the potential of our cooperation networks, and often operational support in the implementation of the R & D project and the commercialization of its results. Importantly, at every stage of project selection, investment process and after investment, we maintain the highest standards for securing the confidentiality of information provided by the founders.

How we invest

Krzysztof Homziuk

Manages business projects - makes sure that the plans are realistic, and then they effectively change into real activities and lead to achieving goals.

Krzysztof Homziuk:

In INNOventure Investment Policy you can find the ground rules of the investment process in our fund. As for the parameters of the capital entry itself:

  • our total financial contribution usually does not exceed PLN 1 million – only in particularly justified cases we have the possibility to increase this amount, but due to our risk management policy we do this in truly exceptional situations;
  • we take a minority stake in the company – we believe that the founder should have control over the company implementing his idea;
  • we do not believe in paper valuations of companies and we do not base the share distribution on it – we let the market determine the value of our company. As the company closes the subsequent stages of development and increases its value, we make subsequent issues of shares or stocks for the funders, so that the value of their package reflects their actual contribution to the value of the enterprise;
  • we do not rule out the possibility of co-investments- we think it is better to have a smaller piece of a far larger cake, and co-investment not only reduces the risk at the initial stages of project development, but also expands the network of contacts and the number of professionals involved in project development; we have extensive experience in building investor syndicates – in projects requiring more capital, we also effectively identify opportunities to support our companies using public funds;
  • our investment time horizon is from 3 to 7 years – although if we get an offer to sell our shares or stocks earlier and we find that it is beneficial for the fund and for the company, we will probably consider it;
  • we have no restrictions as to the way we exit the investment – depending on the circumstances, we can sell our shares or stocks to the founder or the management team of the company, to other financial or trade investors, or exit through the initial public offering.

 

In what kinds of projects do we invest?

  • Competent managing team – projects reach us at the initial stage of development, so we really invest in people behind the project. For us the most important factors are: commitment, individual predispositions, competences and team achievements. However, we do not demand that the team be able to do everything – we are willing to help build an all-round team. We also emphasize that involvement in a business project with INNOventure does not necessarily mean the end of your scientific career.
  • Realistic business model – we know many founders who create fantastic products… that nobody has ever bought. Therefore, we pay attention to the level of the founder’s concentration on the concept of generating revenues and building the value of the company. The more clear and logical is the vision of market activities (preparatory and implementation), the easier it is to convince us that it can succeed.
  • Product and market – of course we know that even a competent team with a good business model will not be able to sell a weak and unfinished product. However, we only mention the product in the last place to emphasize that an interesting technical solution also does not guarantee business success. We are interested in projects in which we see a competitive advantage of a lasting nature (supported by entry barriers for other competitors). As for the market, we consider not only its size and trends, but also whether the founder actually knows the market.

 

Proposal

The founder fills out the application form on our website or sends materials by e-mail. We assess the idea.

Preincubation

During the presentation, the originator convinces us to his project. The cooperation process begins, including a number of technical, legal and business analyses. The project is constantly improved until it satisfies both sides. The investment terms are determined

Testing

The company is established. The project is financed by us, which allows it to develop, perform tests and prepare for implementation.

Implementation

The project becomes reality.

Verification

The business model assumptions are in essence hypotheses that should be verified empirically. In the process of careful market experiments and numerous corrections, we build a business model that works effectively in a repeatable and predictable manner.

Scaling up

Having prepared the viable business model at the verification stage, we begin the process of rapidly increasing the scale of operations.

Submit your project

In what do we invest?

Aldona Chwalik Raczyńska
Aldona Chwalik-Raczyńska

Supports the INNOventure team and founders at every stage of the operation. She is responsible for all formal aspects related to running a business.

Aldona Chwalik-Raczyńska:

We run an open call for proposals, founders can submit their projects to us on a continuous basis. We are looking for projects at the early stages of development, but it is easier to interest us in a venture with a slightly higher investment readiness than just the idea itself. We appreciate if the founder already has a prototype of the solution, but it does not mean that we disqualify projects that are still in the conceptual phase. We are particularly interested in projects in the field of biotechnology, medicine, the Internet of Things, intelligent networks and geoinformation technologies – in those fields we have particularly many opportunities to support the projects, including non-financial support, due to the composition of the Krakow Technology Park business ecosystem.