What I Learnt from a Startup Competition

Sara’s CEE Women Startup Competition Experience

Sara collected some memories about the first startup competition she participated in. The program was called CEE Women Startup Competition and took place in March 2013, just before our Kickstarter campaign. Pikkpack was one among the 12 selected projects that had a chance to present themselves in front of a wider audience.

Let’s challenge myself!

“The main reason I decided to enroll the competition was to challenge myself and to get to know more about how people perceive my product. CEE Women Startup Competition was also a good opportunity to gain insights on how others did this whole startup thing. It was a bonus that I had a chance to meet a strong female community of like-minded peers. The typical fields were fashion, food and health, topics that perhaps girls dig more…

Handy exercises to learn more about my product

Brainstorming about our products

We took part of a 7 day long program full of different training, group exercises and a demo day in the end when we had to pitch our product in front of a huge audience and investors. The most useful exercise for me was the one when we were asked to round up keywords that we thought were connected to our product and brand. We wrote down the keywords to a paper and then exchanged the papers between each other. Everyone had to pitch somebody else’s product using some keywords from the paper she got. It was interesting to see Pikkpack from somebody else’s view point, which words were left out from the pitch and which ones were used in what order to describe my product.

A quick user test with Reni

A competition like this is a very good opportunity to meet other people and get to know their opinion about your product. You can run user tests easily which is one of the most important things while developing a brand.

The main thing that I realized thanks to the competition that the basic features of my product are crucial. Since then I manage to stay much more focused on Pikkpack’s most important qualities and on my goals in general. I use the keyword method many times on several fields.

Keep it simple!

My knees were shaking…

It’s kind of difficult to speak in front of a big audience… what helped me got over my fear was practice. Don’t think you can improvise, you need to write your script, memorize it and practice it til you know all by heart. Again, it’s important to know some keywords related to your product and you can build up your story from these words. In my case, a strong shot before the pitch also helped a great deal ☺

I’m coming from a design school /MOME/ where I was used to an audience familiar with industry jargon and standards but this time I had to talk about my ideas and design in a completely different way. I had to learn how to introduce Pikkpack and speak about the concept to people who were absolutely “outsiders”. I had to learn how to describe my product in a way everybody could understand. Just imagine you are speaking to a 5-year-old child. ☺

Now I’m much more confident in front of people and this is just getting better. I think it’s important to take every opportunity when you can speak in fron of an audience. Practicing live is the only way to battle stage fright.

The winner was: Teddy the Guardian

The winner project was “Teddy the Guardian”. It’s a health tracking plush bear that can measure kids’ wellness stats and send them to parents’ mobile devices via Bluetooth.

I spent this week with many talented people that i’m still really thankful for.

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