Investment Mentors Training

The training course is developed by the experts of the Bringing Together project team  as one of the project results.

Training contents (description):

The training course will provide understanding of such issues as international project initiation and management, acceleration of investment and innovation projects and building project teams.

Special attention will be paid to preparation of business plans to get investments and access to acceleration programs, as well as assessment of the investment value of projects and ideas.

Also, modern digital services will be considered as tools to support the development of investment activities.

The training course offers examples of successful projects of Russian and Finnish companies in the neighboring regions.

The training participants can also get information on existing instruments of public support of investment activities in Russia and Finland.  

Target groups:

The training course is intended for company executives, project managers, business consultants and start-ups interested in development of their knowledge and skills in investment and innovation activities, as well as in cross-border and international cooperation, in order to consider investment issues from different angles and find new opportunities for professional self-realisation.

Training targets:

To gain competencies and new ideas of how:

  • to organise, support and accelerate the development of Russian-Finnish business projects;
  • to apply key business planning and investment mentoring tools;
  • to use modern digital tools for organization and promotion of ideas and projects; 
  • to manage the development of teams of innovative startups;
  • to use Bringing Together platform services.

Used terms

Investment project is a potentially profitable project that is built on the basis of a business plan and requires investments.

A venture (innovative) project is a high-risk investment project to create a new product or service.

Investment mentor is an expert providing regular organizational and consulting support to a project for attracting investments and timely and successful solution of the tasks set by the project initiators.

Accelerator is an organizational structure or program providing expert and resource support for innovative projects for their successful growth.

Acceleration program includes a number of training, acceleration and other activities that provide acceleration (organization of partners, experts, investors), aimed at accelerated development of teams and projects to the level set by the program.   

The training course consists of 18 sessions (topics) which include video lectures, educational presentations, references and recommended resources for self study. The course also offers interviews with representatives of Russian and Finnish companies describing their experience of entering the neighboring country market and doing business in Russia and Finland.

To make the training more effective each session is followed by a test. The test is passed if at least 60% of the answers is correct. Two attempts are given to pass the test on each topic. If a good result is not achieved in two attempts, you should take all the tests again. Those participants who have successfully completed the training can receive a certificate in the Management and Acceleration of Investment Projects in the Border Regions of Russia and Finland.

If you have any technical difficulties during the registration or lack of access to the Training course, please do not hesitate to contact the Platform Administrator by e-mail: nadinkonstantin@gmail.com

Course program

The lecture provides an overview of bilateral economic relations and the prospects for their development based on data compiled and analyzed by experts from the Russian Trade Mission in Finland.

Topics of the lecture:

  • Status quo of trade and economic relations
  • Framework and development potential for non-resource non-energy exports 
  • New growth points in bilateral cooperation
  • Strategic action program

Investment activity and its components. St. Petersburg’s investment potential. Main provisions of the Strategy for the Socioeconomic Development of St. Petersburg through 2035. System of state agencies regulating investment activity in St. Petersburg. Federal and regional (St. Petersburg) legal acts governing investment activity. Government support measures provided by the Government of St. Petersburg in the implementation of investment projects. Overview of the largest investment projects implemented in St. Petersburg in 2019–2020.

The objective of the lecture is to provide insight into the theoretical and regulatory framework for investment activities in Russia and St. Petersburg, government support measures for the implementation of investment projects. 

Finland has consistently ranked ahead of their larger neighbors in investments per capita in startup and growth companies. The aim of the following lecture is to give a general understanding of the funding sources available for startup and growth companies in Finland and introduce in more details main participants both on the public as well as private funding market. Finally the lecture presents the main business sectors the investments have been allocated in past years.

Factors to successfully enter international market and the role played by business support tools. Review of support agencies and tools available at both sides of the border. Business Finland: support tools offered at different stages of business development. Standard cases of using support tools. Additional options of getting financial and non-financial support. Conclusions and recommendations.

Training Module Objective: provide information and practical advice on the use of grants, subsidies and other tools to support international expansion of small and medium businesses.

To turn ideas into successful products, a supportive environment must be created. Innovations are new processes, technologies and products, successful cases, market and government conditions. The lecture will focus on what innovations are, how to classify them and what conditions must be created for the implementation of innovative solutions. 
First-hand information about industry insights, successful practices and efficient support measures for innovative companies and projects given by a specialist who provides the city with structural assistance in creating an operating innovation infrastructure.

Structure of the presentation:

  • What innovations are
  • Types and classes of innovations
  • Types and classes of innovative companies
  • Innovative product stages
  • St. Petersburg’s place on the innovation map of the Russian Federation
  • Infrastructure to support innovation in St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region
  • Measures to support innovations 
  • Regulatory framework
  • Ecosystem approach to the development and implementation of innovative projects
  • The Technopark as a key tool for supporting innovative entrepreneurship
  • Technopark structure 
  • Cases of support for innovative projects

Corporate cultures. Substance and types of corporate cultures. Types of investors. Venture investments. Direct investments. Direct investor – Buffett criteria. Venture investor – 10х. 

The purpose of the lecture is to provide insight into the contrasts between different types of corporate cultures in terms of the investment process, types of investors and investments.

The concept of national culture. Cultural layers. Features of national values by G. Hofstede. Characteristics of the values of different cultures. Characteristics of the Finnish and Russian cultures. Cross-cultural management. Multicultural team. Russian mass media about the Finns and Finland. Finnish mass media about the Russians and Russia. Finnish business culture. Russian business culture. Important nuances of managing cross-cultural teams.

The lecture offers theoretical insight into the cultural studies and peculiarities of the Russian and Finnish mentalities in order to guide the audience in terms of applying their existing knowledge in negotiating with potential partners and in the course of their ongoing activities.

Investment mentoring. Mentoring effects. Who can become a mentor? Mentor competencies. Special type of relationship. Mentee, founders. When is mentoring needed? Harmony of interests of the mentee. Key objectives of a mentor. “Bozo.” Other benefits. Methods of mentoring. Classic funding cycle. Mentoring plan. Sessions: diagnostic, weekly, expert, informal, final. The main mistakes of mentoring. Mentoring results. Pivot. Payment for the mentor’s services.

The purpose of the lecture is to provide insight into the set of theoretical aspects of the phenomenon of “mentoring.” Additionally, during the lecture, participants will receive practical recommendations on building relationships with a mentor – including those based on real cases.

You will gain an essential understanding of how to handle customer development; use design thinking tools to create solutions and products sought out by customers; learn the equation for value proposition; become aware of standard mistakes committed in many descriptions of product and solutions. With this knowledge you will make less slips at your startup launch or at the beginning of your product manager track.

Lecture Topics:

  • Wrong identification of customer needs as a key cause of startup failures;
  • Design thinking as a tool to develop and implement marketable products;
  • Customer development: key tools and technologies to create products and to increase their value for customers;
  • HADI Cycle to test hypothesis;
  • Tools and methods to develop creative ideas for new products;
  • Value proposition and product market fit as a key to startup success.

You will get an essential understanding of how to create your business model, work with metrics and improve unit economic; be able to choose between bootstrapping and attracting investments; learn about important things investors look for in a project; receive the structure for your investor presentation and have advice on how to network and search for target investors. This will reduce your errors in attraction of funds and will improve your startup unit economics and business model. 

Lecture Topics:

  • Goal setting
  • Unit Economics
  • AARRR funnel and key metrics
  • Main approaches to business process modeling
  • Sources of funding. Advantages and disadvantages of bootstrapping 
  • Preparing for a pitch session with investors. Networking as a success factor 
  • Important things investors look for in a project. 6 Т Stanford Model

Team and teamwork definitions. Main factors for efficient teamwork; team members rights and responsibilities. Signs of teamlike and unteamlike behavior. Teamwork benefits and shortcomings. Teambuilding: conditions required to set up a successful team. Team leader’s role. Distribution of team roles. Important aspects of team operations.

The lecture provides general theoretical knowledge of how to set up a team able of achieving specific goals (project implementation).

You will gain essential knowledge of project management and of project manager role; understand the importance of working with stakeholders and getting their approval of project priorities; learn about project lifecycle and critical path; identify project fields to be managed and avoid common pitfalls of project management; get introduced to other approaches worth studying and be directed to sources of additional information.

Lecture Topics:

  • Project management: application scope and key advantages
  • Project vs. process management. What is the difference?  
  • Project triangle: how to select project’s main focus and to identify project’s priorities? 
  • Working with project’s stakeholders
  • Role of project’s manager 
  • Project lifecycle 
  • Common pitfalls in project management and how to avoid them 
  • Overview of main project management approaches and standards

Business plans are needed more and more and not only for yourself but also for other stakeholders. Above all it helps you to run your business. It is a road map for your operative working.

In this training session we will give you a systematic and goal-oriented way to draw up your own business plan including some concrete tools and templates

This lecture explains how accelerators operate and zooms in on corporate accelerators as the most common in Russia. The presentation elaborates on objectives pursued by startups and corporations, outlines the corporate acceleration process and gives guidance on where to search for relevant Russian accelerators to participate in or to partner with.

In this lecture, Enrique Montaño, Chief Operations Officer at Nordic Startup School, will go over acceleration programs, how to choose the right one for startups, how to navigate them and what happens after it. 

Being part of a startup, especially for first time founders,is a hard endeavor, in which founders go blind and face many unknown variables. Lack of time and prioritization build up into a problematic mixture that if not supported and guided properly can mean that the startup will be dead in the water in no time. Incubators and accelerators provide clarity and support in the early startup phases, increasing fundability and progress of the companies.

Learn what are the best tips, do's and don'ts of the acceleration progress, so Enrique might help you choose wisely in the future.

Checklist of readiness to international promotion. Importance of mission, value and vision. Storytelling, visual style and presentation skills. Networking as the best marketing investment. Recommendations on how to outsource marketing and sales. Specifics of Finnish business culture and promotion. Successful marketing strategies at the initial stage of internationalization. 

Training Module Objective: to provide practical advice to small and medium companies on international promotion of their products and services

Assessment of Project’s investment appeal through its value. Goals of value analysis. Value analysis institutions. Outcomes of investment assessment. Ways to interpret investment project value. Theoretical foundation of cash flow modelling. Meaning of the discount rate. Theory behind NPV calculation. Risks considered by investors. Additional indicators to assess investment project efficiency.

The lecture is designed to give the audience an insight into the comprehensive process of how potential investors review the investment project value. The lecture focuses on practical application of theoretical tools. The lecture content is selected to enable the audience to correctly pitch their projects to the investment community. A number of theoretical concepts are reviewed and supported with practical examples to better retain the knowledge. The lecture is intended to a wide audience and not solely to persons with the economic background.

You will get acquainted with the main sections of the Common digitalized investment database, which is part of the CBC Digital Platform of Russian-Finnish Cross-Border Cooperation. The database reflects economic indicators describing the investment potential of the involved areas, local constraints and demands, information on Finnish and Russian business and investment support and acceleration national and regional schemes and instruments.

Speakers (experts):

Ruslan Musin, Founder of the Verspeak online simultaneous interpretation service
Mikhail Shmelev, Founder and Director of AR-Go lab OY
Jorma Paturi, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Meka Pro OY
Alexander Khromov, CEO of MBSPC Cytomed, Chairman of the Shareholder Committee at Cytomed OY

Substance of the interview:

The interview explores 4 successful cases of the entry of Russian business into the Finnish market and Finnish business into the Russian market.

The speakers will cover:

  • how they started their businesses;
  • why they decided to venture beyond the borders of their own country;
  • what kind of support is available to businesses in Russia and Finland;
  • what distinctive features of local legislation, business customs and mentality they faced;
  • how to register a business, open a bank account, build an industrial complex.

The interview is aimed at advancing the audience’s grasp of the differences between the business environments in Russia and Finland, as well as the opportunities and risks associated with entering the neighboring country’s market.

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