Impressive Turn Out
On Monday November 19th we hosted our third Open Pitch Day for the 2013 applications. We had 15 startups from Bulgaria, Australia, Russia, India, Ireland, Turkey, UK, Colombia and The Netherlands pitching live or via Skype sessions to our mentors Patrick De Zeeuw, Marcus Breekweg, Sebastian Kuntz, Erik Geelhuijzen, Jonathan Marks and Marc Wesselink. Each team could pitch their company in 4 minutes, followed by feedback from the mentors and Q&A.
Open Pitch Days are an ideal opportunity for the teams to test out their presentation skills and also get valuable feedback from high calibre professionals who have a wide range of practical expertise.
Extracts from the conversations taking place in Amsterdam could be followed on Twitter under the hashtag #SBCOpenPitchDay and on the Startupbootcamp Amsterdam Facebook page. Both pitching teams and mentors were eager to share experiences and practical tips.
Valuable lessons learned!
According to Startupbootcamp CEO Patrick de Zeeuw, the strength of the founding team is vital. “Many startups end up changing their scope. In fact, pivoting early in the program is normal – it’s part of customer discovery. So a strong team is more fundamental at this stage. As Erik Geelhuijzen pointed out, “Startups should always search for a team with complementary skillsets. Two captains will sink the plan”.
Other important aspects discussed were traction and validation; knowing what potential users and companies want is the key: “What have you learned so far from the target market and what makes you unique in their eyes?”
The startups had an opportunity to ask questions. They explained why they needed an acceleration program and what they expected from the mentors.
Kimola: “It is hard to make ourselves known. We believe that being part of the Startupbootcamp Amsterdam will open many doors which are otherwise shut. The fact that we get selected would add a lot of credibility.”
Patrick de Zeeuw: “Startups find it difficult to define and explain the problem. It easy to talk around a few slides. But its much harder to build a convincing story”
iLost: “I have plenty of ideas. I can imagine that mentorship would help bring focus.”
Patrick de Zeeuw: “Startups should not even think of making 5 year plans. It doesn’t work for governments. It doesn’t work for startups either. Focus on the next six months!
Reperion: “We’ve looke around, but Startupbootcamp offers the best fit to what we need. The ecosystem, good traction and great companies that are genuinely interested in us.”
Patrick de Zeeuw: “We don’t incubate. We accelerate. So you achieve in three months what might take a year or longer. The world class mentors are our “secret sauce”.
FaceEnergy: “Our Biggest challenge is developing the prototype and to understand if our hunches and are going in the right direction”.
Minute Race pitching live[/caption]
Links2start: “It’s a huge world out there. And we have limited time. So we need to get connected to the right people and the right level”
Marc Wesselink: “Begin your pitch with a personal story of the problem your company solves. Audiences relate much faster to it.”
The Top Hat: “We need business advice. We can see that Startupbootcamp takes first class ideas and boosts them all over Europe!”
Patrick de Zeeuw: “For startups, passionate, knowledgeable sales people are often the most difficult to find. That’s why in this phase, I advise the CEOs to do the sales themselves. You need to get out of the building and meet the people who will finance your company – the customers.”
1SDK: “We have very clear ambitions. The first step is applying to Startupbootcamp!”
Is your team ready to accelerate? Or know a tech team that may not yet know about acceleration? Check out the deal and the details and use our online application form today for the 2013 Startupbootcamp Amsterdam program!