Why we replaced demo day!

Why we replaced demo day!

09-Jun-2017 by Steven Tong

Plenty has been said about the pros and cons of Demo Days. When accelerators were first started, Demo Day was and still is meant to be an event to celebrate the end of the gruelling 3 months the startups had gone through and showcase themselves to a hall full of investors. It was pretty fun and interesting due to the novelty factor. With the proliferation of accelerators around the world, Demo Day start becoming run of the mill. Seasoned investors all know what to expect and frankly, the Demo Day experience is getting a bit stale.


Having done 2 Demo Days in Singapore, what’s our experience like?

Our Demo Days were held in the iconic Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay. Our average crowd was around 600 attendees. More than 2/3 of the attendees were from the Financial Industry, which were our actual target audience. Not too bad actually!

However, there were some issues as well. Increasingly investors and the media are not as keen to attend Demo Days. While our crowd is great and we are one of the largest demo days in Asia, we constantly remember the quality over quantity. A Demo day is essentially redundant unless we host potential investors, clients and partners that are actually going to move forward with the relationship should they find something of interest.

What is our focus?

When we were conceptualising what to do for Demo Day this year, we decided to focus on what exactly we want to achieve out of it. Also, how will Demo Day help our startups? Unlike other accelerators, our Demo Day is not meant to connect investors to startups. We want Demo Day to help our startups reach out to the Financial industry that we are serving. The primary goal is to help with the business development efforts of our portfolio companies. While we have accomplished this with the past 2 Demo Days, our 2017 cohort is a lot more geographically dispersed. They are interested in North Asian markets that are at least 4 hours flight away from Singapore. Of which, a Demo Day in Singapore is not going to help much.

Startupbootcamp Fintech Singapore broke new grounds by being the first Startupbootcamp program that expanded outside of Europe. Continuing with the same explorer mentality, we decided we will organise a DEMO TOUR this time round. Kicking off the tour will be a much smaller scale Singapore Demo Day at our home base, Lattice 80. About 250 guests from the Singapore Financial Industry will be invited. A smaller setting will provide more opportunities for networking and meaningful conversations to happen.

We will then be bringing our startups on tour to Chengdu, Hong Kong and Tokyo! To the best of our knowledge, we are the only accelerator in Asia that do this, as most accelerators stay in their home base for Demo Day. By going on tour, we provide our portfolio with more opportunities to engage the Financial Institutions and investors in these key cities and build relationships that in future could help them launch in these locations.

Don’t Forget the Investors!

Does this mean we are neglecting investors in Singapore? Of course not! We will be organising an Investor’s Sneak Peek meant for bona fide investors only. This is a by invitation only event with plenty of time for investors to do due diligence, help the startups improve their business model and an opportunity to know each other better.

Where are we stopping?

Our Demo tour will target key areas where our startups would have the best market fit in terms of partnerships and scaleability.

  • 3rd & 4th July – Investor sneak peek with VC’s and angels.
  • 5th July: Singapore – In partnership with LATTICE80, pitching and focused networking with investors and financial institutions from the local FinTech ecosystem.
  • 7th July: Chengdu – In partnership with Chengdu Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone and Thinkzone at Startupbootcamp China’s Headquarters in Thinkzone Park.
  • 10th July: Hong Kong – Pitching and focused networking with investors and financial institutions from the Hong Kong FinTech ecosystem, supported by Cyberport, InvestHK and NexChange
  • 14th July: Tokyo – In partnership with Finolab. Pitching and focused networking with investors and financial institutions from the Japanese FinTech ecosystem. Additionally, NTTData will support a showcase event.

Due to the scale of our events and our aim to achieve more catered audiences to our startups, we recommend applying below ASAP. We wish we would present our startups to everyone, but unfortunately, in the value of time and money, we can’t.

Take the time to view the details of our startups presenting and the details of our stops here and apply for a ticket to join us.

Look forward to hosting you on our demo tour of Asia!

Steven Tong is the Managing Director of Startupbootcamp Asia, with more than 10 years of experience in startups and investment portfolio space.