StartupPoint.ru: The Use of Online Social Networks for Startup Development
Information technology (IT) startups are a lucrative area of investment that in recent years has attracted millions of dollars and doubled in size.2 IT startup venture shave sufficiently low starting costs, however, nascent entrepreneurs often lack capital for further growth. Various regional, government, and bank initiatives provide support for selective projects but high selectivity of these organizations pushes entrepreneurs to search for support elsewhere, for example, in numerous online portals that aim to bring together startups and venture capital. The web portal StartupPoint.ru is “the first and the largest community in RuNet for professional venture capital investments” that was launched in 2008. It brings together startup developers and investors and provides the projects with the opportunity “to be seen.” At the time of the study, in February of 2014, the portal featured about 4206 startup entrepreneurs and about 3843 startup projects. Investors registered with Startup Point represent about 58 investments funds, three private funds and seven strategic partners. The portal not only helps the investors to find “deserving” startups.