From the Best to the Best: The Ultimate Startup Guide
“If you want to go faster, go alone. If you want to go further, go together.” (Said someone on the Internet.)
At Hello Tomorrow, we believe in the power of community, and so do last year’s startups finalists Sunogel, Sterblue, Off Grid Box, and Elektrofi! They took the time to share some wisdom gathered from their own 2017 Global Summit experience.
We’re happy to present you with the ultimate startup guide on how to stand out at the Global Summit. It’s filled to the brim with tips and tricks from our previous finalists and insider knowledge so that you can shine bright like a diamond (see what we did there?) at the 2019 Summit.
Tip 1: Invest in the Investor Day
For this day full of one-to-one meetings, we reached out to the best Deeptech startups and investors. The investors’ expertise is unparalleled in the field, their advice is gold, and they might be able to take you to the next level in your business development.
As a startup in Deeptech, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience, so you better be prepared!
Rehearse your pitch, polish your prototypes, and come with a clear objective in mind. Is it advice or a special kind of funding you’re looking for? Knowing what you want is the best way to make the most out of the time you’ll have with the investors.
As OffGridbox says,
“Make your story personal and inspirational, but don’t lose sight of the financials!”
Tip 2: It’s time for the Show(case)
Trust us on this. The best showcases are the ones that interact with attendees. Don’t wait for people to walk up to you, instead grab their attention with an intriguing catch-line and explain your project in a very concise and easy-to-understand manner. The level of knowledge of attendees varies wildly depending on the topic, so it’s important that you’re able to explain what you do very simply.
If your interlocutor wants to go more in-depth, they’ll ask you!
Be memorable. This is tricky and it ultimately comes down to your company culture and your personality. Go ahead and wear t-shirts emblazoned with your startup logo, give away stickers or do something that reflects who you are as a company. Photographers and journalists will also come by, this is your chance to grab the spotlight.
Tip 3: Take the stage by storm
Maybe you’re one of our 80 finalists. Congratulations! The competition was even harder this year and we’re stoked to have you pitch in front of 400 people on the Challenge Stage.
Read on as we share the tricks to do a great pitch. As always, you need to pay attention to both the content and the style of your pitch. It’s a tough balancing act, yet it can be really rewarding.
Elektrofi learned it the hard way.
“We kept it too high level and did not dig deep enough into the technology, which is actually really awesome. The challenge is balancing the technological description with the communication with the “lay” audience. We(…) should just have dug a bit deeper, as the most important audience will be the judges, who are all experts.”
During your pitch, contextualise your project, highlight the problem you’re addressing and, then, focus on the technology.
Now that you got the content part down, let’s focus on the style. You only need one piece of advice really. Go ahead, Sunogel.
You may have heard the same advice many times, but if you really want to do well during the pitch, there is only one thing you should do: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
Time your pitch, have your team or your mentor ask you difficult questions, and prepare your answers to them. Don’t hesitate to try stating your points backwards to make sure you know the flow of your pitch!
And the magical trick? Rehearse in front of people that don’t know the first thing about the science but might be able to give you feedback on how you move on stage; if you’re fidgeting, if you’re mincing words, etc.
If they don’t quite get what you’re saying technically, they’ll focus more on your body language, which plays a great role in how confident you’ll appear.
Tip 4: Don’t forget to breathe
We’re a big HT family. There is a reason why we’re keeping Summit numbers around 3,500 attendees. We want you to meet the right people, not just a lot of people. We want to make sure that every person there is passionate about Deeptech, sciences and technology.
Sterblue exactly pinpointed the right spirit.
This moment can be stressful due to the stakes for your project, but try to enjoy it as much as you can; as if it was a game! People in front of you are, of course, demanding but they are also full of kindness!