FI Moscow: In the Words of Richard Branson

March 18, 2013, 19:00 master class

“During the course of my conversation with Branson he said the following: your basic goal until you turn 28 is to find someone older to help you, and when you turn 35, to find someone you’d in turn like to help,” said Ivan Kochetov, the CEO of PromiseUp and one of the local mentors at the Founder Insitute, speaking at the first FI info-session. “Here, in Moscow accelerator, you will find many in the first category as well as many in the second.”

On the evening of March 18th around a hundred people came to the Digital October center, having made up their minds to be the first to hear more about the opening of the Founder Institute in Moscow.

As Peter Tatischev, one of the directors of the Moscow branch of a startup accelerator, explained,

«FI is more than the Startup Hour and it isn’t quite a business incubator.”

These evening classes are for those who are looking to push out on their own while in the beginning fitting their new endeavors around their day job. Projects accepted for the program are covered over 15 weekly educational sessions with Russian and foreign mentors, several of whom will travel to Moscow just for the occasion.

Following the introduction, guests experienced the Startup Pitch Bootcamp , a workshop during which Moscow FI mentors Alexey Chernyak and Ivan Kochetov used the examples of Groupon Russia and PromiseUp to explain how pitching helps build a company. Attendees were able to present their own ideas and project before the auditorium.

“I recommend making a detailed, three minute pitch as soon as possible, only not at events, but for your own team: your designers, PR department, copyrighters, etc,” said Ivan Kochetov.

“Believe me, if your company simply shows up at events that will be enough to be noticed by potential investors.”

“However, investors are interested in results: I’m sure you agree that if you say that in the first two weeks your project brought in $100,000, you won’t need to go any further. But what if you present your project and nobody pays attention to you? It’s worth stopping to ask yourself why that happens.”

In conclusion, Ivan noted that it helps him to not worry before presentations and passed the microphone to Alexey Chernyak, current CEO and founder of Uchinovoe, a specialist in elevator-pitches.

“I’ve already build several successful projects, but by the same token I’ve ruined my fair share. Based on that experience I completely agree that your pitch is first of all for your team and customers,” shared Alexey. “Now I’ll show you how much depends on the few words people hear from you in the first couple seconds.”

“The first pitch of Darberry/Groupon Russia was ‘1000 clients every month.’ Every word was probably worth a million”.

“Had anyone changed even one of them, we would immediately have seen a corresponding drop in effectiveness. We went through several options before settling on that one, but our first employees were taught to use those exact words,” recalled Chernyak.

But is it possible to foretell which phrase will be the most effective? As it turns out, yes. Alexey advises perusing Yandex.Direct and Google AdWords statistics.

After the experts spoke anyone could come on stage and receive feedback on their ideas and projects. Manual text reduction service Bukvosochetaniye, “The GPS of Knowledge” Skillery and the collection of anonymous opinions and thoughts TitTat were discussed at the Startup Pitch Bootcamp, along with BilliBox, technology presented by Dimitri Popov, a FI Moscow mentor.

photo gallery

all photos of event


119072, Moscow, Bersenevskaya Naberezhnaya, 6, str.3

+7 (495) 003–16–16
+7 (985) 766–19–25