A startup competition is a great way for founders to get their company in front of Angel investors, Venture Capitalists (VCs), High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs). Here at The Entrepreneurs Collective we host regular competitions for our startups, normally at Homegrown private members club in London, but we have also hosted competitions in Cape Town, South Africa and New York. in the United States of America. For those that cant make it to the live locations we also live stream our competitions online and the recordings are available on our Youtube Channel 2 weeks later.
Our startup competitions follow a similar format to most pitch events. We pick 6 of our best startups who are all looking for funding, normally between £50,000 and £1Million and invite them present their proposal to 3 judges/potential investors. The judges are normally matched to the start-ups pitching, they might have experience working or investing in the same sector before or have a keen interest in the kind of technology being pitched. Some examples of previous judges have been former The Apprentice advisor to Sr Alan Sugar Kayar Raghavan , Former CFO of Amazon and Deliveroo Phil Green and Ocado CFO Vineta Baja .
The competition format is normally a 5 min presentation from the start-up in which they will present ianywhere between 8 and 12 slides. If they show less than 8 and you might not get all the details across but if they show more than 12 there mighty not be enough time to give each slide proper attention, or they run the risk of presenting so much information so fast that no one can remember any of it!
After the pitch there is the opportunity for the judges to ask questions, normally only one or two each, but this is their opportunity to check for weaknesses and get a deeper understanding of the startup. This can be an intimidating time but is an important part of the competition. Founders that can hold their own against the judges questions earn their respect much more than those who are only able to present well. Once the judges are satisfied we open the questions to the audience, both in real life and online. This is a good opportunity for the investors in the audience to have their say. We have even had a VC watching online ask Param Kanabar of NOQ “Can I get a meeting with you?”
If you would like to enter our startup competition why not book a call with one of our community managers today to tell us more about your company. We are always keen to talk to founders with exciting new ideas. Alternatively if you are in an investor who would like to find out more about our community please book a call with one of our investor relationship managers.
One final important note to remember is that is a really important when pitching to our audience to be SEIS/EIS assured. These government programs make your startup much more appealing to our audience of investors because of the tax advantages they offer. In fact in the past SFC Capital have offered £150,000 in prize money to our startup competition winner as long as they were SEIS Assured.
Alternatively if you are not ready to compete in our startup competition yet but would simply like to attend one of our events and find out more of our community you can book a ticket via our eventbrite page here. Even if you are not pitching in the competition you can learn a lot from observing other startups, meet some great founders and start to build your network of investors for the future.