As we wrote before, Romanian mobile startup Appscend was the only CEE startup at Techcrunch’s Mobile World Congress Meetup and they were pitching last week to a group of investors. Marketing and Communication Manager for Appscend, Alexandra Dumitru, shared with us her pitching story and gave some tips for those that will soon be facing similar experience!
So, we wanted to know what went through hear head during the pitch and she was very clear:
The pitch. The pitch. The pitch.
She stated that the event in itself was very well organized – the team at Barcelona.io did a great job: clear instructions, pre-pitching training, prompt at answering our questions and doubts. However, she adds that the pressure was high. Over 100 companies applied for TechCrunch Mobile Meet-up. 16 were selected and had to go through a speed dating process with investors from Spain and the region. The 16 teams had exactly 3 minutes to magic their way into the hearts of the investors. Appscend was one of the final 7 companies selected for the final pitching show – 2 minutes for each business to quickly present their service and business opportunities.
The experience on the whole was extremely electric – 400 people in the audience: venture funds, entrepreneurs and media, as well as a jury of 8 VCs on stage. Our goal was to have Appscend as well as Eastern European entrepreneurship community well represented and I believe we have succeeded in achieving it. To that, we add valuable business and media contacts that will surely prove fruitful in the future.
Alexandra is satisfied with her pitch, but also points out that summarizing in two minutes the characteristics of the technical B2B platform is not easy: 3 slides, eyes on the crowd, speaking loud and hoping to finish the sentence before the two minutes notice. Appscend delivered that and the questions after the pitch proved that the team made their business and interests well understood.
For those that will have the similar experience, Alexandra would recommend extensive practice before the actual pitch. This means writing down the main discussion points the entrepreneur wants to present, working on a perfect English pronunciation – if the entrepreneur is not a native English speaker – and having clean and well-structured slides to support their discourse.
Another key element – have a clear purpose for the pitch – what do you expect to happen afterwards and how can the audience active on this insight? Moreover, do not lose your grip and focus. While pitching, improvisation is your leading benefit. Of course, there are also the traditional elements of attention grabbing and humorous techniques; but I would resort to such elements when the pitcher has more experience in dealing with a tough audience and difficult one-on-one questions.
Appscend’s trip to Barcelona was extremely successful and lucrative. Team’s main interest with StartUp Barca pitching competition and TechCrunch Mobile Meet-up was to interact and know key decision makers, understanding of the mobile ecosystem, as well as strategic partners and advisers that could fuel Appscend’s business development.
What is Appscend?
Appscend is a performance oriented mobile application platform that solves one of the greatest challenges faced by companies embracing mobility these days – maximizing their return on investment as well as keeping pace with a fast growing and dynamic market. The team behind it claims that they found the solution to this challenge by tackling two fundamental flaws that govern the mobile ecosystem today: tool vendor fragmentation and slow turnaround process. Alexandra states:
We strongly believe mobile computing should be an entirely based cloud experience starting with the development and following out throughout the entire lifecycle of the app. Based on this belief, we built Appscend, a platform that reunites 6 key mobile technologies into one, ensuring apps built with Appscend have an unfair advantage over the others.
Appscend was launched in mid 2011 and became profitable in the first 6 months. 2012 brought a 200% turnover increase. Currently over 3000 companies have used this technology and over 300 apps have been published in App Stores and controlled environments reaching more than 1 million users worldwide.