“I discarded all my hypotheses on market entry strategies and formed new ones”.
“WinterIsland”workshop: the view of the participants of the Export track
Anastasia Maslova, Unicraft Development Manager: - We participated in the Export Track and focused onseveral tasks:
1. To collect as much information and analytics as possible on the markets.
2. To choose the most promising course.
3. To work through our strategy.
4. To find partners.
I can say that we surely reached our goals.However, this would not have happened without the infrastructure created by the organizers, the specified format of work, invited speakers and participants, and absolutely amazing content. I am delighted! Thanks to organizers!

Victor Zubik, CEO of INVEND:
- Nice and useful experience, good speaker from Green Ocean. Got the clue to current questions related to the agreements with Germany that we are working on now. Found a partner during the event. It was interesting to get feedback on the marketing strategy when entering the Estonian market.
Valentin Dombrovsky, Travelabs:
- Special thanks to ZamirShukhov and the GVA team for the invitation to participate in the Export track at the Winter Island. It was interesting to talk with startups and foreign colleagues who work in the export support market as well. I hope this will help us to build a partner network that covers the globe and offers maximum opportunities to everyone who is fired up with the idea of “bringing ideas to the global market”. I would very much like to see as many events like this as possible that help startups learn and get to know each other. That is how a real working ecosystem is formed.

Sergey Gribanov, CEO of INSIGHT Electronics:
- The coach explained which criteria to use when choosing a partner. The correct choice of partners determines the cost and success of entering the market. I was also able to work through the value proposition and put it into words.
Dmitry Sinichkin, Head of IT Department at ProtocolOne:
- I learned systematic thinking in the process of drawing up a plan for entering the international market. I learned to think through the steps that I never thought about before. After a productive conversation with an expert, I could rethink the project overall. Therefore, I made changes to the development plan and the release roadmap, which helped to specify the plan for launching the project on the international market. I gotacquainted with potential expansion markets and experts on these markets. It was very interesting and helpful.

Konstantin Vyalykh, Development Director of Tsifralab:
- Thanks to Winter Island, I discarded my hypotheses on market entry strategies and formed new ones. Suggestions: take the time to get to know the participants and do more of these formats.
Alexander Batalov, CEO of Flant:
- I am pleased that I have been to the “Island”. During these days, my understanding of the state’s view on export companies has become much better. I understood for myself how export can look like in the eyes of the state, and I like it. The main thing is the synch of the Federal Tax Service and the structures that control foreign economic activity with what was declared on the “Island”.

What could be improved in terms of content:

1. If we talk about a vibrant technology business: the main interface for working with the state is, oddly enough, not NTI, not RVC, not ASI, but the Federal Tax Service and banks. Andunfortunately, there are very few representatives of these structures on the “Island”, although they should be the first.
Financial literacy and business rules, available benefits from the state for IT companies - very few people know about this, and this is very important for small companies that cannot keep 500 consultants in their staff and are forced to collect all the information bit by bit on the Internet. Small companies learn it hard way at the cost of their own experience and mistakes, for which you have to pay dearly. Therefore, master classes on finance and the nuances of currency control are necessary! It is actually quite difficult to enter money (precisely to get in) into Russia.
Again, the requirements and legislation are changing very dynamically, accountants and lawyers do not always have time to keep up to it, and so more popularization is important. Especially in terms of how to open a company abroadin a right way, in order to properly work out issues with CFC and foreign bank accounts. We need to add focus to thisexplicitly. Invite banks, companies such as “Kontur”, “Elba” and other organizations that work with small businesses: they are interested in bringing this information to market participants, and this is a mutual interest! Any export starts anyway from the Russian Federation and you need to understand how to work in the approved mannerand not to fall under fines and violations.

2. An excellent idea with a digital footprint, but it is much more important to collect such a footprint not only based on the results of master classes and lectures, but also based on events in the real world of business. Roughly speaking, if there was some kind of service in which it would be possible to upload thoughts and feedback on events in real life, even if it would be processed only automatically and then analyzed, highlighting the most frequent problems- is already a great help!
3. The “Island” is great, but as Bill Kenney said, look for the place where your fish lives. I can say about IT structure: there are many specialized conferences at which live IT companies from Russia present themselves;there are many developers and engineers who work in the field;and there are always HR departments of all large banks and corporations. But there are no representatives of the state. Therefore, the community has a very poor idea of what the state has to offer, what kind of support can be expected from the state (and this is not about money at all): there is PR, personnel, and the opportunity to convey interactive feedback not in the format “email us, you will receive the answer within 30 days).
The most precious thing now is time, so do not expect the business to come into your community by itself, but integrate into existing ones.
On the “Island” I learned about the activities of Andrei Komissarov, spoke with colleagues who are making the University platform 20.35. Very understandable and interesting. Let them come to the IT community and talk about their achievements: these are also specialized conferences (Oleg Bunin’s conferences: Highload and RIT, DevOops and others), write articles on Habr, develop YouTube. You have a lot of technological experience that can and should be shared.
By goals:
1. I wanted tomeet with the representatives of the state who are engaged in the technological development of the country. To understand whom they are, what and how they think.
2. We are exporting. It was interesting to know someone else’s experience and the tools available.

Mikhail Savin, Director of P2P Technologies
- This is not the first “Island” for me. I knew what to expect, so I just worked and tried to use every opportunity. The organization was good. The speakers are generally quite strong and competent. There was a bit of a shortage of industrial experts.
I had an interest in SkyDesk, since I participated in their selection a year ago. The goal was to learn more about the requirements, and to get recommendations. I have achieved the goal. At the same time, I realized that we need an adviser - product managerwith work experience with global chipmakers’. I also found such a person. Moreover, I found a few more companies that are interested in technologies / products that we are developing. Our next step is to formulate a strategy for negotiations with Decawave and the negotiations themselves. Based on the results, we will plan our following strategy. If the result of the negotiations shows that the time has come to create a food company, we will look for an angel investor with good experience in our hands.

Dmitry Istomin, CEO of Examus:
- Our goal was to understand which of the foreign markets it makes sense for us to enter now. It was valuable to communicate with experts from different countriesduring the “Winter Island”. You could literally instantly test some hypotheses, get feedback on the product from the local experts right there: how it might be in demand in their country, what risks are associated with it, etc. With the help of the information received at the master classes, we really chose the direction we are now going to go. The countries of Southeast Asia, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines - in the first place.
Therefore, we consider the event very well organized and positive. It was very nice to be included in the list of 15 startups that were given the opportunity to pitch on the RVC forum. Unfortunately, of course, we did not win, but we have the whole world before us.
ArtemMaslov, owner and CEO of Unicraft:
- Participation in the Export Track allowed us to formulate an export strategy and find partners. At the “Winter Island” we identified the Indian market as the most promising, analyzed Indian experts, and it turned out that one of them is also interested in our products.

Pavel Stepanov, Commercial director of Geoscan Group of Companies:
- First of all, thank you for the invitation and for the opportunity to participate in the event. Our goal was to work through the idea of opening our representative office abroad. Our colleagues there would be able to travel quickly throughMalaysian region to carry out projects. We pumped up our competence and skills in this area, we heard many useful things from the speakers, in particular, in China, we started cooperation in Shenzhen, where our peopleare stationed;and we plan to involve them in controlling the supplies that are already being carried out.
Secondly, of course, there is a very large synergy from the participants, from their experience combined withthereal export experience.
Thirdly, we met a lot of our close acquaintances, friends, partners and even competitors, and there was a great opportunity to work together on the same platform, discuss many issues, so my impressions are only positive.
Many thanks to ZamirShukhov for organizing and holding the event. I thinkeverythingwastopnotch.
Maria Korsunskaya, CEO of StartMe:
- Startups were immersed in the specifics of large market sectors throughout the whole time of the Island. I worked in the sector of China, Korea, India, Malaysia and other countries. To collect this information on your own, you need to go around the top accelerators of these countries or go through a series of internships (while working at Food Union, before entering the Chinese market, we collected all the market data for 3.5 months and spent a lot of time on business trips).
I also liked the active “pumping” of presentation skills, and most importantly, building partnerships and connections. These days will be as productive as active the founder of the startup is. Someone get to pilot in India immediately on the 2nd day of the Island, someone came out with 30 business cards of foreign partners and agreements on a market test, for someone, 2-3 new contacts became an “accelerator”.
All startups were actively preparing presentations for the export strategy. It was quite a well-known practice for a number of founders: they already know how to adapt key questions about a project to a different format (client, value proposition, business model, sales channels, finance, legal aspects of the transaction). For most projects, it was an extremely effective experience to collect and focus all the developments about the project in a concise presentation and convey the key ideas, check them with representatives of foreign accelerators and get the feedback and potential contacts.
It was an invaluable experience, where in 5 days startups learned about market trends and received an overview of technological solutions in their sectors (Healthnet, Marinet, Safenet, etc.). They also collected alternatives to export strategies directly with representatives of each market, exchanged experiences with startups that have already gone this way.
Armen Grigoryan, founder of BMF Cloud:
- I participated as a coach at the Export Track of the “Winter Island” in Sochi and helped startups to formalize their export strategies. First of all, thanks to ZamirShukhov and the entire GVA team for the organization and the opportunity to see what’s new in the world of innovations!
It was very interesting, although, unfortunately, I didn’t have time to see other startups except for our direction (America) and the finalists of the competition, since the number of participants was very large.
The most interesting thing is that the level of innovation is not inferior to the world, especially if the basis is the fundamental sciences. Russia’s potential is very high, which, of course, means only one thing: strong fundamental science is the basis for innovation. And in the 21st century it is not necessary to compete with Asia in production, when high-tech startups and products can be created and integrated into the world economy. Anyway, electronics, medicine and educational startups were presentedat a very high global level!