INTEMA organized the entire process, from startup scouting in universities to investment attraction scoring and pitch readiness for its clients. It took 3 months to sift through hundreds of aspiring teams with deep technical backgrounds and handpick the TOP 10.
Details of the case
One of the US-Chinese venture funds ordered scouting services from the INTEMA team to find, select, score, and prepare 10 aspiring Eastern European teams to pitch. This fund intended to invest in early-stage startups, particularly student-founded ones from Eastern Europe with a strong technical background. It was looking for cutting-edge deep tech, blockchain, logistics, AI, med tech, and Web 3.0 technologies that could be in demand in China and the United States. The tickets varied from $500 000 to $3 000 000.
The client announced strict criteria for selected startups.
● Each team should have at least one winner of the ICPC International Collegiate Programming Contest and similar major competitions.
● Focus on DeepTech is essential. Startup core technologies should refer to the spheres of machine learning, blockchain, computer vision, medtech, etc.
● Their product must be at the MVP-stage or will be ready in less than 3 months, and possess a clear and strong commercial value proposition.
● The startup is to have defensible IP, a working prototype that can be tested by experts.
● Company or individual entrepreneurs need to prepare to be registered as a legal entity.
● Every team must consist of at least 2 members, one of whom has a strong technical background and one speaks English.
What did our team do?
To scout 10 early-stage companies matching the client’s focus INTEMA worked in several directions. Our company leveraged its connections with top-tier universities. We organized intro calls with university representatives out of the wish list and held a series of entrepreneurship workshops in higher education institutions.
We also built a strong media strategy based on the Ideal Startup Profile and launched an advertising campaign on social media to attract the attention of targeted categories. Moreover, INTEMA’s scouts visited technology conferences to personally become acquainted with startups and tell them about the benefits of cooperation with the Chinese-American foundation. We also enhanced our networking activities in the startup communities.
Thus, the INTEMA team built a funnel with over 700 startups.
Later, our experts pre-screened a few hundred startups out of the list of the applicants to select the TOP 40 for further examination. Our experts looked for teams experienced in creating DeepTech solutions with a strong engineering background. 20 of them were quality diagnosed from different sides from technological, business strategies to product, marketing and team competences. Our experts conducted comprehensive analysis, using a multiparameter unique scoring system.
● They determined the solution’s architecture, efficiency of the development process, rate of change and backlog management efficiency, scalability of the technology and its applicability in other countries.
● An expert from the investment department evaluated market potential, the competitive landscape, trends and prospects, as well as investment appeal.
● Product strategy (customer segments, value propositions, etc.), marketing, sales and financial metrics are regarded separately.
As a result, startup teams received an individual examination and diagnostics report compilation based upon the INTEMA diagnostics.
After an evaluation, the top 20 startups were ready to pitch to the client. INTEMA organized a pitching workshop. Then each team had individual training sessions. Following careful selection and preparation with experts, the top 20 startups took part in a pitch session for the client to identify the top 10 startups for further investment evaluation.
● 700+ total inbound amount
● 150 companies screened
● 85 interview made
● 20 deep diagnosed teams
● TOP 10 startups approved by client