Swiss scientist and entrepreneur gives a lecture for UNN students
On March 29, Ivan Orlov, a successful Swiss businessman, gave a seminar "From science to business: my experience of creating and managing a start-up in Switzerland" as part of the "Innovative entrepreneurship" program. The seminar was attended by UNN students, postgraduates and staff members. Ivan Orlov graduated from a school in Nizhny Novgorod and studied at the postgraduate school of the Higher Polytechnic Federal School of Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. At present, Ivan is CEO and founder of Scientific Visual company. Scientific Visual is a textbook example of a "university startup": a scientific idea born in a Swiss university has turned into a successful commercial project. At the launch stage, the company raised $ 2.5 million of research grants and private investments. Ivan Orlov has been managing the company for 6 years and is on the committee for the development of standards for industrial sapphire in Switzerland and in China.
Mr. Orlov told the participants about his studies at the Swiss university and about the work he had to do to start his company. At the beginning, he had to give particular attention to finding a niche market and to forming a team at the early stages of the project development, later, the focus was on competent recruitment. Based on his personal experience, he explained how to find an investor and how to better present information about the project. He also revealed some secrets of "bargaining" with potential investors. Ivan stressed that a startup company is created with the aim to subsequently sell it, and the task of those who create the startup is to increase its value. On the example of his own company, he explained about financial indicators characterizing a project and how one can influence them.
The seminar was organized by Yulia Plekhova, head of department for international affairs and youth innovation at the Center for Innovative Development of Medical Instrument Engineering. Yulia Plekhova, who is also the Innovative Entrepreneurship Program curator, notes: "The most important thing in this meeting is that it encourages action and shows that business ideas from the academic environment can be implemented in practice. Some of our students have already responded to Ivan’s offer of an internship at his company." During the meeting that was held in a dialogue format, many questions were asked about the forms of support for technological entrepreneurship in Europe and their accessibility for project teams from Russian universities. The guest made some important comments concerning the projects presented by the Innovative Entrepreneurship Program participants in their three-minute presentations and gave them a valuable advice to look for international partners using the Enterprise Innovation Network.