An Amazing Startupbootcamp E- & Mcommerce Demo Day

An Amazing Startupbootcamp E- & Mcommerce Demo Day

30-Jan-2015 by Anna-MariaChatzidaki

Last Friday, the 10 startups of the Startupbootcamp E- & Mcommerce Class of ’14 stood in front of more than 400 investors, partners and mentors to pitch their companies and share their vision. For most of these startups, Demo Day is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This is why, for the past 90 days they have been fully committed to build their team, product, and business to be 120% ready for this day.

It’s been 3 intense, inspiring and amazing months; product demos and product releases, workshops, mentor sessions, pitch practice, sneak previews, pivots and fundraising were all part of the ride. But it was all worth it; our 10 startups have achieved important milestones that will help them bring their business forward.

On Demo Day, the teams presented the hard work of 3 months in a 7-minute pitch. Typically, no team received a cheque on Demo Day, but the startups went away with an average of 17 investor leads per team, which they can follow up with now. Up until Demo Day, our 10 startups have raised 3.4 million euros. In the coming phase, they are looking for another 25.5 million to keep on growing their business.

This was the 5th class accelerated by Startupbootcamp Amsterdam ever since we launched in 2010. We see Demo Day as a celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation, which is why the keynote speakers of this year’s event were two visionary entrepreneurs who shared their stories on stage: John MacFarlane, CEO and founder of Sonos, and Cees Links, pioneer of WiFi and CEO and founder of GreenPeak.

John MacFarlane managed to bring his company from a startup into a business with over one billion dollars in estimated sales for 2014. With such a remarkable achievement, he surely had a few valuable insights to share with the startups and the audience. For instance, the importance of focusing on the core value of what you are doing, asking for help and securing the alignment between you, your employees and your investors.

Next to him, Cees Links, the most influential unknown Dutch person according to Elsevier, looked back at the time when WiFi was invented: “Everybody was saying that it is not possible, that it was too difficult and unreliable”. “There were thousands of reasons why it wasn’t going to work; and then, of course, it becomes a challenge to make it work.” He then advised the startups to “just go for it”, as everything will fall into place if they have persistence.

We were honored that Neelie Kroes, the “Special Envoy” for startups in The Netherlands, was also present on Demo Day. As Special Envoy, Neelie Kroes is also leading Startup Delta, an initiative that aims to make The Netherlands “the place to be” for European startups. During an interview on stage, she said, “Let me know what can be improved for startups in the Netherlands, because this is what I would like to commit myself to.”

Living up to this commitment, she- together with John MacFarlane- had a short roundtable discussion with our 10 startups during the event break.

Last Friday was indeed what we expected: a day to celebrate innovation and entrepreneurship. And just as the co-founder of Startupbootcamp Global, Patrick de Zeeuw, said, “We are at the very beginning of an entrepreneurial revolution.”