Innovative Ventures appointed by Minister of Education & Science Tuymabayev to the International  Science & Commercialization Board (ISCB);  deliver VC, transparency & international corporate governance in the management of a $75MM investment program to renew the science sector in Kazakhstan under the Technology Commercialization Project (TCP), financed with $62MM from the Government of Kazakhstan and a $13MM loan from the World Bank.

Kazakhstan like many other countries, lacks VC funds and a venture industry to advance innovation from R&D to 1st prototype to commercialization, early growth & expansion; without early stage investors, promising technology remains in the laboratory since Kazakhstani wealth will only finance SMEs with revenues, customers and business models.

The brief given to us by Minister Tuymabayev was to fix this market failure, to make technology customer ready––for sale––thereby making innovations and their SMEs investor ready.

Innovative Ventures’ actions & deliverables as a member of the ISCB included:

  1. Established Board, led policies/procedures & corporate governance for operation, code of conduct/ethics, division of Board responsibilities, terms/conditions for investment, sectors & size ($600k-$1.5MM) to finance technology dev thru commercialization
  2. Designed and executed the grant scheme to finance all costs from R&D thru commercialization & launch, as the substitute for lack of equity capital (VC) in Kazakhstan. Diagrams below present the market gap/failures and explanations for TCP design/implementation.
  3. Go here to view Infographic, project details, demand for $, teams, gender, etc.
  4. Launched tenders to source project investments. Evaluated:
    • 326 tech proposals in 1st tender-2011. Selected-committed $10.5MM to 10 projects in nanotech, ICT, oil/gas, renewables, medicine-pharma, agtech & materials
    • 231 tech proposals in the 2nd tender-2012. Selected-committed $12MM to 11 projects in agtech, ICT, medtech/biotech, nanotech, electronics, oil/gas & materials
    • 200 tech proposals in 3rd tender-2013. Selected-committed $10.5MM to 12 projects in agriculture, life sciences, medtech, energy, materials & ICT
  1. Amounts of investment per project $600,000-$1.5 million (USD), tranche over three (3) years
  2. Uses of capital included creation of proof-of-concept & bench models, customer discovery, product/market fit, build 1st prototype, establish production & mfging facilities, purchase capital equipment, initiate mfging, sales & marketing––Capex budgets for some projects >$1 million. Our capital was a substitute for equity, due to lack of VC investors/funds in Kazakhstan.
  3. Developed the local Kazakhstani team to:
    • Lead portfolio mgt with capital released in tranches to investees’ achievement of technical/product development & commercialization KPIs
    • Personally managed 18 of 33 investees & supervised the five (5) person local Kazak investment team to develop their VC & portfolio mgt expertise
    • Trained, coached & mentored team in deal management, technical development, biz dev, commercialization, incubation, personal selling & corporate partnering
    • Create tech commercialization office (TCO). Defined KPIs and all tasks of tech transfer-budget $2.4 MM, team of three int’l experts + five Kazaks
  1. Linked Kazakhstani start-ups, early stage SMEs, scientists & developers to international start-ups hubs in USA/Europe, participate in start-up events
  2. Sustainability Achieved: Innovative Ventures is most proud that team we mentored/groomed transacted 33 additional investments & now manages a new investment program of $100MM, an increase from $75MM.  Many technologies funded targeted import substitution, to build new supply chain SMEs in Kazakhstan.  Perhaps some Baltic SMEs are likewise pursuing innovation for import substitution too, to build more vibrant & deep supply chains in the region––an expertise of Innovative Ventures useful in this project.
  3. List of Transactions:

“Consider Innovative Ventures as your investment advisor and partner in planning and executing international private equity schemes. We can help you avoid the learning curve costs that skilled investors inadvertently incur when executing new investment programs.”