The aim of this article is to identify the most relevant problems of financial support for innovative start-ups formation in Russia and to develop proposals to address this challenges. The authors analyze both typical for innovative business issues and specific difficulties caused by the current economic situation and conclude that the most important short-term problems of small business are tied to its financing: a discrete funding and lack of resources. In addition, development of innovative start-ups is also influenced in a long run by the institutional environment problems, including lack of strong links between science and business. The authors propose to use the mechanism of innovation vouchers as a mechanism capable of solving the most important problems of small business innovation taking into account Federal budget cuts. Authors formulate possible criteria and requirements for participants of voucher mechanism, and also consider the possible positive effects of its implementation.
Keywords: grants, venture capital investments, valley of death, innovation voucher, startup, innovation, financing.