This is the last blog post from the series “Finalists Feedback”. In this post, Kinems and TeachnGo give their feedback to Startupbootcamp Amsterdam and the mentors at the Final Selection Days.
Read more about all the Startupbootcamp Amsterdam selected teams here.
Symeon Retalis: Co-founder Kinems
We are very excited that our startup company, the Kinems Learning Games, had been chosen as one of the few teams, out of over 500 companies, to enter into the Startupbootcamp accelerator program. Kinems business idea proved to be appealing to the mentors and the Startupbootcamp partners. It offers a solution to the realistic problematic situation of special education – a niche market – which adds significant social value for children with learning disabilities, parents and special educators.
Both the experiences and the outcomes had been amazing. We had to do speedy and continuous pitching 20 times in two days to over 70 mentors (serial entrepreneurs, investors, specialists in innovative technologies, and corporate managers) who had unique experience in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship. Although these mentors were judges of our business idea, they had been willing to give advice and helpful tips on issues that had been of our concern.
Thus, not only did we have to present our idea (the why, what and how) but also to participate to a Q&A session that was very helpful since we could also pose questions to the mentors for advice on how to evolve our business plan.
Kinems is now a partner of Startupbootcamp, the leading European startup accelerator. This is the beginning of a great and challenging journey. With our new partner and the aid of well-chosen mentors, during the next three months, Kinems team will work hard to expand its market acceptance and prove that it offers a viable innovative service & product for children with learning disabilities who can now Play.Learn.Improve.
Haris Petrasitis – Co-founder TeachnGo
It was only a couple of months ago when we pitched for the first time during the Open Pitch Days for Startupbootcamp Amsterdam, and it was nerve racking. I still remember us rushing to learn the final details of our pitch, set up a laptop in a quiet place, check the microphone and lighting, lock the doors so no one would interrupt, take deep breaths to release the tension…
Less than 2 months later we were in Amsterdam, getting ready to do the same thing 20 times in 2 days, in front of 70 different mentors. From that very first pitch we got useful feedback which we used to improve our next pitch. During the 2 selection days we did the same. From table to table we would make small improvements to our pitch based on the previous mentors’ feedback, and we did this nearly 20 times in 2 days. By the end of day 2 we had a tonne of feedback and a much better pitch.
The feedback was so intensive and challenging that it even made us understand that we had to change our product name, and this is something that no startup likes doing. We entered Startupbootcamp as EasySchool, and came out as TeachnGo.
For a startup like ours, it could take over a year to get in contact with and get feedback from over 70 different mentors. Startups don’t have that kind of time on their hands. Startupbootcamp gave us the chance to do this in only 2 days, and this is a truly priceless experience.
And as a final piece of advice: Be open minded to mentors feedback, be ready to make changes and be decisive, there is not time for delays.