Dear Sirs / Madams,
In the last couple of days, various untruths and speculations regarding the quality and sustainability of the projects selected by the Investment Approval Committee (CAI), in the framework of the public call “Startup 3”, implemented by the Fund for Innovations and Technology Development, have been raised.
Accordingly, we are addressing the public, to clarify the selection of projects and our role in the whole process of evaluating the projects and making final recommendations for the investment decisions projects through CAI members voting process.
The members of the committee and I, as president of CAI, joined the process because we believe in the potential and innovation of Macedonian companies. With our professional experience and international expertise, above all, we want to help advance innovative projects in the country, in a transparent and equitable manner. The Investment Approval Committee members have extensive international experience in conducting such assessments for the likes of numerous government agencies, Multilateral Development Banks, The European Commission and well known private sector start-up accelerators in other countries. They adhere to the highest set of standards when conducting these assessments, both internationally and in Macedonia.
As it is already known to the public, none of the FITD employees participates in the selection process of the companies that will receive funding, except during the administrative check (which is limited to whether the documentation is completely submitted).
All registered companies go through a pre-selection process conducted by 3 domestic experts. Each company that has over 51 points, goes to the final selection and the final selection is made by the Investment Approval Committee.
When making the final decision, we evaluate the projects according to the following criteria:
All registered companies go through a pre-selection process conducted by 3 domestic experts. Each company that has over 51 points, goes to the final selection and the final selection is made by the Investment Approval Committee. When making the final decision, we evaluate the projects according to the following criteria:
– Degree of innovation (25 points);
– Project quality (25 points);
– Capacity of the project team (15 points);
– Market potential (25 points) and
– Impact (10 points).
The entire decision-making process is completed independently by each Investment Committee member, without any external input or pressures. Each of the five members of the CAI individually evaluates each project, after which the grades are collected and the average number of points is calculated. Finally in formal, minuted investment meetings, the Investment Approval Committee discuss those projects that have the greatest business potential with reference to the objectives of the call as set out in the Rulebook to that Call in each case.
In certain situations, we organize pitching for the applicants, to get better acquainted with the objectives that the applicant wants to realize through his or her project.
This year, we received a really large number of quality projects, but due to the limited total budget and the fact that this is a competitive process, we were not able to approve funding for all projects.
We always encourage applicants to improve their ideas and apply again and in that regard, we send our comments to all rejected applicants.
We regret that the work of the Fund for Innovations and Technology Development is being questioned due to the collection of political points, but we will continue to invest our knowledge and time in great ideas and innovations because we believe that North Macedonia has a really great startup potential.
For all questions related to the evaluation process and supported projects, we are available to answer questions from the media and the general public.
Committee members: Marvin Liao (president), Vibhu Sharma, Noel Gregor Paterson-Jones, Asher Siddiqui and Gunther Fellinger.