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How to encourage startup participation at a tech event
by Startacus Admin
You should involve startups in your technology event.
We assure you, it will be well worth it.
The value of having startups actively participating in a technology event is the same value that corporations and multinationals experience when bringing them into their working environment:
Startups deliver energy, vitality, entrepreneurial spirit, forward-thinking ethos, and confidence void of pride. Within a sector which is as reliant on such progressiveness as technology, the importance of these characteristic does not need elaboration.
We have always been of the opinion that there is something fundamentally cool about entrepreneurship, startups, and all of the cultural elements which develop around them- evidently we are not the only ones who think so.
In a recent survey to find the ‘hippest’ places in the UK to live (incidentally Finnieston Glasgow was number 1) The Times included ‘the number of startups per head of population’ as one of its variables… Apparently startups exude an aura of coolness everywhere they go.
Whist it is true, we have come across some manifestly un-cool startups in our time… the majority fall on the upper end of the spectrum.
So quite obviously, encouraging startup participation has the potential to deliver enormous benefits to your event overall- now you need to decide how you will do this.
You have a number of options, each with its own merits.
Media and press opportunities
Startup specific key notes, speakers, and exhibits
Significant investor presence and connection facilitation
Startup focussed networking and social events
Any combination of these elements has the potential to bring about the spirit and atmosphere you are looking to foster within your technology event. But perhaps the most sure-fire, engaging, and indeed exciting way is with a full-on tech startup pitch battle.
The Startacus team recently hosted one such battle at Belfast’s rapidly growing Digital DNA event, where incredibly innovative and vibrant tech startups from right across the UK and Ireland, battled it out in front of industry leading judges, investors, and an audience to win a package of prizes worth £50K. Check out the video of the pitch battle below.
Startup Pitch Event Startacus
Why a Pitch Battle?
On a very basic level, nothing will draw attention to your event from the tech and startup scenes like a pitch battle.
These communities are notorious for their ability to disseminate information to each other at a fantastic rate, which in turn highlights your event to a broad spectrum of potential attendees working within the technology scene- not just the startups themselves.
The ‘calls for applications’ give you something to ‘shout about’ in the run-up to the event- a reason to contact relevant persons and organisations to encourage applicants and highlight the benefits of getting involved.
What’s more, the level of competitiveness and ambition within the startup ecosystem, compels startups to narrate their own journey through the entire process on social media, adding an extra layer of digital coverage, and further cementing your event’s place within the minds of potential attendees.
Events which feature a strong startup element can be a magnet for sponsorship. As we mentioned above, corporates are well-aware of the benefits which come from ‘bedding in’ with startups and the places, and events they frequent. So, including a unique and inspiring pitch event in your technology event can be a draw for investment, whilst being relatively inexpensive to implement.
Such a startup pitch battle can create an additional focal point within your event, adding an atmosphere of drama and encouraging large amounts of live coverage and commentary on social media, as well as more traditional press coverage.
But perhaps greatest amongst the benefits of running a startup pitch battle at your technology event, is the opportunity to increase legacy in the years that follow- once a solid foundation has been built within the first year, a plan of expansion can be implemented which can see the battle grow in stature and significance, delivering ever-greater returns as it does so.
Check out the video of our most recent pitch battle below. If you are interested in Startacus hosting a pitch battle at your event, or to discuss other ways that we can work for you email [email protected] & [email protected].
Mi-IDEA Manchester Networking Event
27th Sep 2016
The teams from CISCO and Manchester Science Partnerships have teamed up to create Mi-IDEA, a post-accelerator designed to foster and nurture digital innovation in the North West of England.