To reduce the overwhelming financing obstacles for early-stage Kazakh enterprises, infoDev’s Access to Markets and Finance team is developing its “Private Sector Investment for Innovation in Kazakhstan” project, which aims to catalyze the development of local angel investor networks.
The project seeks to spur knowledge transfer and networking between policymakers, private sector investors, innovative startups, and technology parks and incubators in Kazakhstan through the creation of a regional Community of Practice (CoP).
In its discovery phase , the project has already resonated with diverse communities in the regional investment ecosystem. Two round-table discussions drew over 75 high-level stakeholders in March 2012, and were well covered by the local press (articles in Russian).
In May 2012, Kazakhstan's National Agency for Technology Development and infoDev also brought together noted investors and experts at the 5th Astana Economic Forum, Innovation Congress to discuss seed stage technology financing. Topics ranged from angel network and investing experience in Turkey, Jordan, China, Scottland, Germany and Europe to co-investment funds, deal management platforms and government policies.
Vice-Minister of Industry and New Technologies, Kanysh Tuleushin, chaired the two panels along with the innovation project competition and investor matchmaking event. Mr. Tuleushin and infoDev's Oltac Unsal deemed the financing stream at the 7th Innovation Congress a resounding success as the vice minister talked to the national press: "We must achieve practical financing of seed stage technology innovation and there have been many great ideas today. I am proud to see that Kazakhstan produces deal flow and now it is time to bring these early ideas and projects into fruitation by encouraging private sector finance, especially angel investors, by creative government policies."