Sometime ago, me and a friend of mine were joking that once I get pitched in an airplane, it would mean that ArcticStartup is actually famous. Well, I got pitched on an airplane whilst on my way to the Dublin Web Summit. Too bad that the guy had no idea what ArcticStartup was, but it still counts, right?
The whole situation showed how the startup community is evolving in the region. When Paulius Paskevicius, COO of Stylegrid, took a seat next to me, the first thing he asked was: “Are you going to the Web Summit?”.
Startup pitching events have become sort-of a cliche, they are all alike and there really needs to be an improvement to the whole process. Investors want to get a better understanding if the startup would be a good fit for them, the audience is interested to know if people are actually going to use it and the founders want to get quality feedback from the audience, the judges (if any) and investors.
This seems like a very straightforward problem and for the most part it is solved by de facto. However as we have seen with Catchbox, small additions to events can make them a lot more exciting.
So when we heard about the Estonian based Funderbeam, it caught our eye. Their current plan is to provide an app for pitch-feedback that collects votes & ratings from the audience, generates leader boards and statistics. However they plan to do a lot more with it.
Mark the 22nd and 23rd of August off your calendar, because you should head up to Oulu for their Midnight Pitch Fest, a two day event where they plan to bring together the entrepreneurship scene in Northern Finland, and be an excuse for people in the region to check out whats happening in Oulu's high tech cluster.
Midnight Pitch is shooting for 1000+ attendees, and the tickets are priced to move. Student tickets start at €10, startup tickets run at €40, and regular visitors pay €80. They also offer a €200 VIP ticket, which gives you access to the VIP area and its refreshments, as well as access to the speakers.
Startups are invited to apply to pitch to the list of investors. They have 80 slots available, with 14 VC and private equity firms in attendance and who knows how many angels.
I've been writing for ArcticStartup for some time now, and I've seen some startups play the media game better than others. In a way to mutually help each other get better content on the web, here are some tips on how to pitch to ArcticStartup and other media. Most of this is common sense stuff, but by laying it out all out there might help avoid some rookie mistakes.
While we've got some practical tips below, what really helps get best coverage of your startup is building relationships with writers. Some of the best ways to do so involves sending smaller updates by email or Skype, and engaging the writers over twitter or through comments in their articles. This was really emphasized by Jyri Engeström in a past article on ArcticStartup when he launched Ditto doing the PR himself.
Guilty as charged. We sometimes need a helping hand from a copy editor here and there, because we are not native English speakers, but want to write in English just because its the global lingua franca. Now there's Wordy, a Danish startup, to help out. We saw Wordy already present in Copenhagen back in June at the ArcticEvening event we held there. Back then they were still in closed beta and only now have opened up.
Here's a presentation (video below; start at 00:23:20) from Wordy, when they were at LeWeb last week.