Posts Tagged: Accelerators

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I started this week still slightly hungover from our housewarming on Friday - great start!

It didn’t get much better from there. I fell into the startup trap of strategising and predicting what customers want without talking to a single one. The result? I went a little crazy. Thankfully the cure was simple. I just listed 50 potential customers and got out of the building!

Pitching tips

High point this week was receiving pitching tips from Bill Liao, Co-founder Xing. We pitched over Skype, which meant we were greeted with a 3x3 meter projection of Bill’s head and shoulders - pretty intimidating! Some great advice though. The most important being:

"Don’t start your pitch with a boring word." - Bill Liao

This includes: ‘we, us, I and your company name!’. He advises people to structure their pitch as follows: 1) Crisis - what’s the problem 2) Struggle - explain how you got to the solution whilst convincing your audience you understand their pain and are credible 3) Resolution - how are you going to fix it? Pretty simple stuff. Good luck nailing it, I’m on version 20+!

Around Berlin

If Banksy was born in Berlin instead of Bristol, he’d have ended up an accountant. No one would have noticed him. There’s so much graffiti here that there aren’t any clean canvasses left!

Quotes and what the author was getting at

"No one wants to buy reality"- when you’re pitching to investors you must sell the dream/vision.

"Build a business with substance" - don’t be a flash in the pan startup and instead build something sustainable and of value. 

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The second week of Startupbootcamp Berlin has been a whirlwind of flutter and activity. Here’s how it looked from the eyes of Danielle Reid, Co-Founder / VD of Capsule.fm.

Pitch practicing under the beautiful architecture at Webworker in Berlin where the Startupbootcamp teams work.

Having our photo be featured on EyeEm’s Blog! We’re so excited to be included in a community of talented photographers.

We had surprising and welcome VIP guests at Startupbootcamp Berlin headquarters.

Hard work requires energy and audio.

Got to meet the talents from EyeEm at their ultra cool Mitte office and take part in a focus group.

Had exciting leads in offices near Alexanderplatz where we started to see the lights!

Made great friends with the rest of the teams here at Startupbootcamp. Kit and Phillip from Liquid State showing true team spirit.

Found new ways to be inspired at the office on a Saturday: 2 minutes in the sunshine with good audio.

Networking and learning at the great Geek Girl Meetup at Betahaus.

 

Took advantage of the very inspiring (and delicious) event by AirBnB "The Local List" where we got to try all of the best stuff in Berlin for free!

Source: foundinginberlin
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I’ve always been a huge fan of the Buffer guys, Leo and Joel, and the way they blog about their experiences while building their great product. I especially like Joel’s thoughts on travelling with your startup, which is the reason I shamelessly use his title for getting out my own opinion on this topic.

We just moved the bigger part of Weavly (the founders team) from Vienna to Berlin for joining the current round of Startupbootcamp. And although it’s the first time we as a startup changed our location, it’s not the first time I personally moved for the sake of the project.

The first time happened a little less than a year ago when I made the jump from Linz, the town I grew up and studied in, to Vienna. Weavly was just a little more than an idea at that time, at least compared to our current state, but I had the strong feeling that connecting myself to an active startup scene was the thing to do for making the project grow. And I was right.

I first got my mind blown by the startup show & tell, a monthly event for early stage startups initiated by Christopher Clay (founder of soup.io andsoup.me), taking place at the famous Viennese hackerspace “metalab”. Experiencing the open and direct way people with different backgrounds but common goals talked about their projects, shared their lessons learned and gave valuable inputs to each other was simply amazing.

I got myself a desk at the co-working space Sektor5, birthplace of an already uncountable number of startups, and had a great time seeing the other teams in action and learning form their inputs. And enjoying the people of StartEurope making Vienna a big spot on the European startup map by organizing the pioneers festival was nothing than a remarkable experience.

Moving from Linz to Vienna basically got me into contact with an incredibly amount of great people, brought me more relevant insights than my last three years at university and allowed me to be part of a community I’m really proud of. And this is exactly the reason why I’m already thrilled what the next months of living in Berlin will get us, me and Weavly. If just half of the hype surrounding Berlin is true then there are some awesome weeks ahead.

Source: luk.sh
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Launching a startup is a lot like falling in love. You meet this mysterious girl, she looks at you with her dark, deep, eyes, and suddenly, not only you’ve forgotten how to breath, but your top priority in life has become knowing everything about there’s to know about her, and spend every waking moment making her smile.

But beginning a relationship with your dream-startup isn’t easy. Sometimes, she comes with problems, like evil-exes or wrong assumptions regarding the value proposition. And very often these problems become only apparent when somebody else points them to you.

Today, Geosophic had the honour of being invited to iQU’s Headquarters, courtesy of THE game-fu master, Reinout te Brake.

We waltzed in, by the hand of our gorgeous geosocial gaming platform, admired their marvellous villa, sat with their team, and then…

Well, this clip from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World perfectly depicts what transpired there:



So yeah, our vision and value proposition received a quite sound beating by them. They knew which difficult questions to ask and where to hit. By the time we left, several of our bones were (figuratively speaking) broken. Our minds hurt like hell, and well, let’s say that our morale wasn’t precisely skyrocketing.

So then, why do I have this smile on my face?

First of all, they took us seriously enough not to pull any punches. When the leading company in game intelligence allows you to seat for a few minutes with their rockstars, and they tell you what doesn’t work in your proposal, you should listen carefully, gather all their input and then ask them for an autograph.

So that takes me to the second reason. The good thing about having your bones broken is that you get to know where the pain is. Maybe you don’t know how to fix it yet, but rest assuredly, you get a very precise idea of what to fix to get a bullet-proof proposal.

Third and last, it reminds you of your priorities in life. And if you’re really in love with your girl, or your vision, chances are, that you’ll just stand up again, and ask for another round.

Pablo Valcárcel
CEO @ Geosophic