The HighTechXL Impact Summit Recap: Inside the Startup Event.

During the HighTech XL Impact Summit, 25 companies from over 70 startups were selected to work with the most influential Dutch industry leaders. This September the lucky winners will show off their projects and have a chance to get the golden ticket — the partnership opportunity.

We’ll share our personal experience about the conference and the results our GiniMachine startup gained.

About GiniMachine

Launched in December 2016, GiniMachine is a fast growing fintech startup that helps lenders worldwide fight bad loans with AI. The system combines client’s data insights with machine learning techniques and builds highly-accurate predictive models.

On the market the software is presented a little more than 5 months, but already has several clients and dozens of pilot project requests.

Impact Summit was the first Major League event for GiniMachine.

What is the HighTechXL Impact Summit?

The HighTechXL Impact Summit is a technology conference that connects startups with industry experts and investors in three tracks: HighTech, MedTech, and FinTech.

A three-day event (July, the 9th — 12th) took place in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The conference was organized by the HighTechXL (the most famous influencer of Dutch startup accelerators) and Get in The Ring teams in collaboration with the top Dutch companies: ABN AMRO, Philips, ASML, NTS Group and EY.

Philips sponsored the startups that produce or plan to produce hardware solutions or apps in the field of medicine. EY, NTS Group and ASML sponsored the HighTech track. GiniMachine belonged to the Fintech-track, sponsored by the ABN AMRO Bank. So, our ultimate goal was to win the partnership opportunity with them by all means.

Before the event, HighTechXL screened more than 5.000 applications, selected 75 startups from 23 countries and invited them to pitch in front of investors. In the end, only 25 companies were chosen for the next step: the launchpad and accelerator programs.

GiniMachine Arrangement Step

A month before the event, our team got an email invite from the HighTechXL to try our startup in a challenge: to build the bank of the future.

The Impact Summit was aimed to help the most eager startups win a potential partnership with the sponsoring market leaders. Those, who caught the sponsors’ eye could successfully pass the selection stage. Only in this case the exclusive invitation to the summit was given personally by the organizers. Buying a ticket wasn’t an option.

We filled in the application form on the HighTechXL website (you could apply for the selection step yourself, without the invite) and kept our fingers crossed. In a few weeks we received an invitation and started the conference preparations: a 1 minute-long pitch and a slide as supporting material. You can also bring the product demo or prototype to showcase the features and user’s experience. No selection, participation or entrance fees. You pay only for the fly tickets and accommodation.

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Impact Summit Day 1–3

The Preparatory Day. While all the participants were getting acquainted with each other, the organizers did their best to help the startups level up the pitches for the upcoming battles. It’s not exaggerated, but the organizers did a great job. Each startup got enough attention. Everybody had a chance to demonstrate the pitch, receive a valuable feedback, train with stage coaches, get used to the stage and efficiently prepare their performance. The Preparatory Day was closed with a wonderful BBQ party near the lake, right at the HighTech campus territory.

Day 1–2 had an extremely busy schedule. The startups were invited for a one-minute pitch, which was a real challenge itself. During a 10-hour program no one had a minute to take a breath. Everybody presented their startup ideas, concepts and further growth plans struggling to impress the expert team. 100+ experts helped the selected teams determine what kind of collaboration would be relevant to drive a business during the program.

When the pitches were done, the participants took part in a number of business discussions with the corporate experts, HighTechXL mentors and partners. The experts analyzed the business opportunities and gave some hard-hitting advice. It was a big rush but a very helpful one, as the mentors were represented by the professionals from various spheres. There were PR, HR and risk managers, IT and marketing specialists. They gave a valuable feedback and estimated each startup performance with a special device. It helped define the relevance of a certain startup idea to a certain market.

Besides, within the second day program, an entertaining challenge called Get in the Ring took place. This is a global contest that stages a boxing-style format.

Four startups with totally different business ideas were selected to participate in a pitch battle. Their business solutions varied from AI document flow management to smart water and electricity counters. They pitched their ideas, progress, technologies, plans and team members. The competition was very tense and impressive. The winning position was taken by the Estonian developer of smart counters.

Day 3

The final day was scheduled in the same way: one-minute pitches and round-table sessions with the keynote speakers’ presentations. The keynote speakers are famous entrepreneurs, who graduated the HighTechXL accelerator program and succeeded in their business. They shared personal experience and professional achievements about the collaboration with top industry players.

The Results

The Impact Summit punchline came with the announcement of the winners and selected startups for Launchpad and Accelerator programs. GiniMachine appeared between the ten fintech teams, offered a pilot project for ABN AMRO bank in September. This grants an opportunity of a future fruitful partnership with the largest and world famous Dutch bank.

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Besides GiniMachine, ABN AMRO also selected the startups with the following ideas: blockchain, AI for the document processing, payment security and data aggregation.

Takeaway Points:

Impact Summit rocked. Three days full of buzz, speeches, smart people, networking, inspiring ideas and big opportunities. You dive into this atmosphere, gain MUCH experience, get tons of feedback from successful entrepreneurs and meet your competitors. In the end, if your idea looks promising, your speech and presentation is convincing and YOU truly believe in the project, than the golden ticket is yours.