In recent years Demo Days around the world have played an important role for startups seeking investment. At Start-Up Chile this event happens twice a year at the conclusion of each generation of entrepreneurs. A select few startups have the opportunity to present a 3 minute pitch to other founders, a network of top-tier investors, corporates, and government. The startups were judged by a panel of three industry professionals from venture capital firms Mountain Nazca, Endurance and global software giant Microsoft.
For entrepreneurs, I imagine it is a nerve-wracking experience to communicate your idea concisely, confidently and perhaps in english which may be their second or in some cases third language. For the Start-Up Chile team, the lead up was calm as they took a seasoned approach to an event that many staff members have orchestrated over again. They welcomed familiar industry faces and alumni from previous generations.
The room filled and Director of Acceleration and Start-Up Experience Patricia Hansen began to invite each start-up to the stage to present their enterprise. Businesses ranged from healthcare, logistics, courier services, e-commerce, website generation, workplace safety, crime prevention and education. Each entrepreneur dove in by expressing their personal story. Most had experienced the problem first-hand and it sparked the entrepreneurial grit needed to grow a business from the ground up.
As a judge, I expect they are looking for a startups feasibility, viability and desirability within a given market. They are also looking for the classic entrepreneurial DNA possessed by successful entrepreneurs. Those who are inherently resourceful and adaptable to demanding conditions. In addition to personal characteristics, experience in sales, reputable advisory boards, and traction proved important factors in choosing a winner for Demo Day.
In third place was Jettasoft (Brazil), a software designed to optimise cargo space. Founder Diego Rorig and his partner Reinaldo Martins de Padua are reducing costs and saving money by making cargo loading more efficient and ensuring you don’t transport air for free. In second place was Maker.do (Chile) founded by brother Pablo and Vicente Alvarez, a website generator for entrepreneurs to create platforms without the hassle of coding. The generator allows you to create platforms for ticketing, crowdfunding, two sided marketplaces among others.
The winner was PageLoad (Australia), a unique proxy host which sits between your server and your users and optimises assets to speed up delivery and save bandwidth. Taking less than 5 minutes to install, the service assists ecommerce websites to load at least 30% faster resulting in an increase in sales conversions.
The entire event was streamed live on social media and can be viewed here. As attendees became active on twitter #DemoDay became a trending topic. The event concluded with words of appreciation to sponsors, Transbank, Verramonte and Microsoft along with the judges.