This is the second blog post from the series “Finalists Feedback”. After two days of intense pitching and feedback from 70+ mentors, the selected startups now take their time to give Startupbootcamp Amsterdam feedback and lessons learned during the event.
The first blog post you can read here.
Read more about all the Startupbootcamp Amsterdam selected teams here.
Irina Marks: Co-Founder Fuel
The Startupbootcamp Final Selection Days were a huge eye opener for us. It were 2 hectic, inspiring and confrontational days that have already proven to be useful. It is easy to stay in your own little bubble when working on a new business. However, you really need the outsider viewpoint, the reality check that helps you focus on what is and isn’t important.
We definitely learned about the importance of a great pitch, that there is not one right answer and that it can be difficult to maintain your own sense of direction when everyone has a different opinion. We also learned that it is a lot of fun to talk about our new business ideas with a group of smart people that are willing to share their knowledge and experience with us.
We are very much looking forward to turning our idea into a great product and a healthy company with the help and mentorship of the global Startupbootcamp network.
Paul Hayes: Co-founder 7 Write
The Startupbootcamp was an amazing experience for team 7write.
For starters, it was an adventure to leave Canberra, Australia with 35 degrees heat & blue skies one day…
Then the next day it’s snowing, everyone’s riding tall bicycles and there’s an exotic smell to the air, like the smell of pastries & coffee mixed with car pollution. We’ve never felt so alive!
The selection days were intense, we walked in to the office on day 1 and even from the very first mentor session we were amazed at the quality of advice. We’ve been focused on a single business model for a long time and we left the 2 days with at least 5 business models we had never even thought of. It will be interesting to work towards clarifying our focus by using lean startup methodologies between now and demo day.
Our pitch improved dramatically over the 2 days. We learnt that pitches that are too granular lose their impact, keep the pitch high level and let the details come out in the questions.
The other amazing part of the experience was getting to know the other teams. We spent Thursday afternoon through to late evening with team Kinems and we had such an amazing time exchanging ideas and learning about cultural differences. We’ve received assistance in multiple forms from team Fuel, team Presentain and team Swogo.
I want to say thank you on behalf of the 7write team. The entire Startupbootcamp Amsterdam team and the mentors made us feel incredibly welcome.
Hanneke Stegweg: CEO iLost
To make it to the final selection round of Startupbootcamp was an achievement in itself. We had to compete with 500 teams from all over the world and after multiple selection rounds only the top 16 were invited to Amsterdam. During the two final selection days “Startupbootcamp” could as well be named “Pitchbootcamp”.
Everyone has experienced the inconvenience of losing your keys, camera or phone, so mentors could easily relate to the problem iLost solves: To bring back lost property to the owner.
However, simply providing a good solution to a well-known problem is not enough to get you a ticket to Startupbootcamp.
The different expertise of the mentors resulted in questions and comments on each and every aspect of our business. During each of the 20 pitching rounds we had valuable discussions on our services, legal aspects, financials, the organisation and the international roll out. And where would you find over 70 highly experienced and inspiring people willing to take a serious look at your business?! We found the critical comments of mentors as valuable as the positive feedback. It made us even more eager to be the best and beat the rest!
48 hours later we must have been exhausted, but our energy boost completely took over. With serious leads, investor proposals and a long list of valuable advices we feel that iLost already accelarated in these 2 days.
Can you imagine the acceleration during the program of 3 months!