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Startup Advice with Oleksandr Kiktenko

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

How did Covid crisis impact European startup ecosystem, and what can startups do to overcome this challenging environment? The Startup Club sits down with Oleksandr Kiktenko, Investment Expert at the European Innovation Council and Mentor at FasterCapital, to learn more.

The Startup Club: Could you introduce yourself, tell us about your background and what you do now?

Oleksandr Kiktenko: I am an Investment and project finance specialist with over 25 years of experience providing throughout and skillful support of investment projects realization in Ukraine, EU and non-EU countries. Today I am working as an investment expert of European Innovation Council making investment projects evaluation in the EIC Accelerator HORIZON 2020 program. My experience in this field - 4 years, and every month I make evaluation of 10 - 17 investment projects.

The Startup Club: According to your experience, what are the main changes in the startup ecosystem that took place in 2020?

Oleksandr Kiktenko: Despite the crisis, the startup ecosystem evolved in 2020 in a major way. First of all, the startup up projects became more realistic. Secondly, and importantly, many innovations shifted to crucial questions in global ecology to receive green solutions for Industry 4.0 implementation.

The Startup Club: How should startups prepare for 2021 to survive and succeed?

Oleksandr Kiktenko: To survive and succeed in 2021 the startups should be precisely structurized and planned. The startups have to clearly present their excellence, impact and implementation with detailed description of market strategies and success criteria. The clear P&L and revenue calculation results should be presented. The startup project risks should be analyzed and risk mitigation measures have to be presented.

The Startup Club: When pitching to investors, what is key for startups to include in their presentation? 

Oleksandr Kiktenko: The reality of the project realization is a key for startups to include in their presentation. The investors look precisely at each startup investment project, which can generate revenue. It is the most important question! Also it is critical to the investors an experience of the startup project team and it's abilities to provide the project realization.

The Startup Club: What is your word of advice for startups that pitch at our events? 

Oleksandr Kiktenko: My advice for startups that pitch at Startup Club events - to prepare the presentations of their projects precisely, because it is a first step to take part in the interview with possible investors and one of the important ways to attract investors.

To follow Oleksandr's advice, learn more about The Startup Club upcoming events here.

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