Here, we were with our 3D prototype over our shoulder and roll-up, networking with numerous stakeholders and exchanging a lot of business cards in particular.
Winner of both the HealthTech category and OVERALL winner of the Venture Cup Challenge 2017, the start-up company OSAA Innovation was rewarded a dream trip to the world’s tech mecca, San Francisco. Read the second article of their daily highlights and what the team got out of their participation in the program SCALEit which bridges Denmark and Silicon Valley.
Read the first part of their adventure by accessing this link.
Day 2; Monday, February 20: Picture perfect pitch
It’s Monday morning, and Groundhog Day. Do not assume that we actually got more sleep than the day before, but here we go. We are excited, so we are out of bed in seconds.
Yes, weather is as gray, wet and Danish as the day before. We had a few comments from the hosts stating that “since October, the weather is quite surprising. We have not experienced it like this before.”
From 08:30 to 10:30 o’clock, startups must again present their business idea. This time in front of two experienced advisors from Silicon Valley, namely Jon Baer from consultancy Threshold Ventures and Michelle Messina from Explora International LLC. The schedule looked something like this:
A company pitches in 5 minutes. Then receive 10 minutes of professional feedback. A new company pitches. Repeat.
From 11:00 to 12:00, Sebastian Penn from the Growth Fund was telling us about the possibilities of getting capital from VF Venture who is investing in Danish companies with a positive track record, but also in young, innovative startups with development potential to become global successes.
VF Venture typically invest between 5-25 million US dollars in industries with a special focus on IT, clean tech, industrial technology and medical technology, like us.
The “Pitch Doctor” whips again
At 13.00, “Pitch Doctor” Bill Joos was back. And he swings the whip again at the participants. “Now, it’s time to improve your pitch based on the input from yesterday’s lession,” he said. Each company must now demonstrate that they really had their antennas turned on the day before. The level was not super flashy but all presentations had improved since yesterday. All startups got appreciative words, however Bill Joos still felt that there was room for improvement. He asked all of us to think of this as a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’.
“Who knows when you will bump into the right investor or partner, and at that moment magic might happen and if your presentation is so ingenious and picture perfect, they would want to meet you again”.
From 15:30 to 16:30 o’clock Henrik Jeberg from Hampleton Partners shared his many good advices related to M&A, which is an abbreviation of the English term “mergers & acquisitions”.
Then from 16:00 to 19:00, participants had optional networking opportunities in the famous Fox Theater in Redwood City, a 20-minutes drive from the Innovation Center Denmark. It was a unique chance to meet like-minded startups from the Bay Area.
Day 3 & 4; Tuesday 21 + Wednesday, February 22: Startup Grind Global Conference
The program Tuesday and Wednesday was packed with the Startup Grind Global Conference. It is a massive global startup event where entrepreneurs, investors, known presenters and generally curious people from around the world gather in Redwood City, the centre of Silicon Valley, to meet and interact over two full-days.
The conference inspires, educates and connects entrepreneurs with each other, but also serves as stage for rock star-founders such as Jan Koum, founder of mobile app Whatsapp, Nate Blecharczyk, initiator of home sharing site Airbnb and Mike Krieger, the creator behind Instagram, to deliver inspiring presentations.
Startup Grind has grown and is now available in more than 98 countries and 200 cities in the world, including Copenhagen under the name Startup Grind Copenhagen. The first Danish event with the first was at Northcap in 2013. The Danish entrepreneurial enthusiasts Sebastian Schwemer and Michael Reibel-Boesen are behind the Danish initiative.
The Startup Grind is a well-organized event with a program so packed and confusing that you become breathless just by looking at it.
We, from OSAA Innovation, enjoyed these two days of inspiration alongside with the other Danish participants in SCALEit. The primary reason is that the Startup Grind is a well-organized event with a program so packed and confusing that you become breathless just by looking at it.
The uniqueness of the event consists of the whole district of Redwood City buzzing with such a crazy bold energy that everybody allow themselves to be carried away with excitement.
You need to keep up with the American’s irrepressible optimism and entrepreneurial spirit, where everything is possible as long as
1: you think of your idea thoroughly,
2: you work hard enough for it to be successful.
Standing out pays off
Now that we had been trained by Bill Joos on how to pitch our business in the US, shouldn’t we try to present it in front of a relevant audience? Yes, we should!
Startup Grind has in addition to Fox Theater, which is used for running presentations, a conference room and two huge tents. A tiny spot and a table of 2 m2 is given to startups for the sum of 2,000 dollars (15.000 DKK). There were nearly 100 startups present.
We were not allowed in the small tent, so instead we went back to the main tent where all guests were being registered.
We nicely asked the doormen if we could put up a roll-up stand and promote a good cause: mobilize patients who get IV treatment.
Luck was on our side this day!
We were with our 3D prototype over our shoulder and our roll-up, networking with numerous stakeholders and exchanging a lot of business cards in particular. Cool experience!