Here are some qualities that are found in green and scientific start-ups:
Scientific start-ups take more time to form properly
Companies using green technologies have a longer formation cycle in comparison with IT companies, which need less than a year to start functioning. Experts admit – to convert a scientific company into a profitable enterprise, four to seven years are necessary.
«We have talented young scientists who are incredibly active, think in a long-term perspective and search for word-class cooperation partners. At the same time their global thinking helps create technologies and products that can help resolve local problems. Right now there are multiple ideas of Riga Technical University that are being realized, including the development of bio-degradable organic polymer materials,» – explains RTU Innovations and Technologies Centre manager Laila Elina.
Plan for not just profits, but also environmental care and public benefits
During the initial stages of development, it is important to come up with a plan to convert an idea into a potentially profitable product and acquire proof of the plan’s sustainability. Because the goal of green innovations is to use natural resources more effectively, any successful green project should follow three main criteria: gain economic benefits and profit, increase general public welfare and help solve environmental problems.
It is too often that technologies seem innovative at the beginning, but developers of the idea lack the understanding of their own business model, value of the product offered to clients, positive difference in comparison with products provided by competitors, admits Imprimatur Capital Fund Management partner Toby Moore.
Investors are mostly specialized funds
Investors that work with emerging scientific companies, including companies working in the green sector, need to have a good grasp of the industry and repayment periods, explains Chairperson of Latvian Start-up Association Yekaterina Zaitseva.
Funding should be sought for abroad or in structure funds
There is currently very little ‘smart money’ in Latvia. This is why, when creating a green company, businessmen should look for investments abroad. It is far from simple, especially at the first stages of the company’s development.
Development of green innovations in Baltic States has been greatly promoted by Norwegian Financial Mechanism, which supports green business ideas and emerging environmental protection technologies and assists with inter-governmental cooperation.
«The fact that there are green companies here proves that their managers can properly manage funding in spite of the poor investment situation in Latvia,» – admits Zaitseva. She adds that it is possible to look for investments in EU programmes like Horizon 2020.
To promote the development of green innovations in Latvia and talk about stories of success in Baltic States, the Baltic green innovations forum 2016 will be organized in Riga on 15 June.