Pitching rests heavily on being able to control your nerves and recently I had the opportunity to test just how far my pitching skills have advanced since Slush, this time sharpening my teeth at Wolves Summit in Poland. But who was my competition in the hard-fought final and just what can you learn from these 6 great pitches?
Wolves Summit is a huge startup event for investors, entrepreneurs and media. In fact it’s the biggest cross-national networking in Central and Eastern Europe. So it makes it extremely fertile ground for reaching a new audience with a well-crafted pitch performance.
Developing a great pitch is vitally important for any fast-growing startup. As my colleague Peter Seenan writes in an article for Nordic accelerator Startup Sauna, “it doesn’t matter whether it’s 10 seconds or 3 minutes you have, the same principles apply: captivate your audience and keep it simple.”
Great startup pitches
Just nine startups made it to the final of the April 2016 edition of Wolves Summit from 300 pre-qualified startups who tried and here I spotlight 6 of the very best pitches. Useful material if you’re preparing for your moment in the spotlight or wondering how to put together your pitch deck.
Pitch coach and judge Piotr Bucki told me he was mighty impressed by the finalists, which – alongside the startups I feature below – included two Polish medical startups, NanoSanguis and Nanothea:
“For me as a communication specialist and educator this was a refreshing competition. Finally we saw startups that knew how to deliver the message with cognitive ease instead of cognitive overload.”
Pitching is like sport
One of the big things about startup life is getting up on stage in front of lots of people and often. For me pitching is a lot like sport and because of that I love it. You have to put in a big-game performance under the harsh lights and the nerves are just par for the course. In these 6 performances the pitchers keep their nerves at bay admirably.
One thing to watch out for is the unknown and by that I mean you should be prepared for the questions the judges and audience ask (people usually ask how we’re different from Google Analytics. You’ll be judged on how well you respond and if you cock up during your answers then there’s the chance people forget about your pitch altogether. In fact, you’ll see that the finalists in this competition had to pitch for 3 minutes and answer questions for 4 minutes, so a big part of the pitch is handling tough questions.
Some great startups and pitches here – see how they got on.
The 6 best startup pitches
Twisto is a provider of instant virtual credit card for mobile purchases. Twisto aggregates the sum of customers’ monthly e-commerce shopping into a single invoice.
The Invoice Exchange enables companies to earn money by selling their outstanding B2B invoices.
SwipeStox is a social trading community that allows you to generate extra income from trading, even if you are not a professional trader.
Skeleton Technologies is Europe’s leading manufacturer of ultracapacitors and has achieved global breakthroughs in product performance through the use of patented graphene-based materials.
NUVIZ builds head-up displays for all kinds of motorcycles. It was founded by motorcycle and powersport enthusiasts who wanted to make the sport safer and at the same time more exhilarating.
Deekit is an online whiteboard for teams to draw, write, edit and collaborate in real time. The company was formed by a group of former Skype engineers and managers who got tired of old methods in product development.
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