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Startup events: what to do when you have ambitions but no startup idea

Each startup first and foremost is an idea. Not necessarily a unique one, but that doesn't mean it can't work and you can’t realize your business ambitions. If your product is high-quality developed, user-friendly and has a mindful interface — you are almost a winner! Almost...

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    Young startupper might face such challenges like: where to get money for project realization and how to choose contractors? Investors can help with the money issue. The way you will present your idea to them will define how successful your startup will be in the future. Or will your startup even exist. 

    Investors would be interested in the idea, but quality development and great UI/UX design can convince them to put their money in your product. Software development for startups is a job for experienced and skilled fellas like Purrweb team 😉

    To present your idea in the best way you should choose an MVP (or minimum viable product) approach. This is the first version of the product showing users the main functionality of the app. Like if Uber was just a service to connect driver and client (btw, in the very beginning it was)

    In our article we wanna tell you about startup events as one of methods to attract people to your project. At a startup event you can present your product to investors, find out more about other startups, gain knowledge from more experienced guys or share your expertise. Your background and goals determine what you will get from a startup event.

    These events usually involve entrepreneurs, guys who are already developing something, marketers, managers … And the coolest thing — business angels and venture capitalists. These guys can sponsor your project in the early stages if they think your idea is worth it.

    startup events — investors can give me money

    Let’s take a closer look at why business events are good and what young entrepreneurs can do there:

    Meet new people

    Startup events help build useful connections. Investors, business partners, and just those who can help with advice. Having earned a reputation in the eyes of some people, the whole community will treat you like a professional. These events will give you the opportunity to meet people with common interests and to see competitors.

    Be trendy

    Industry events keep you updated on what’s new and exciting in your industry. You will have the opportunity to learn about these trends as soon as they appear. As an entrepreneur, you want your company to stay relevant. You need to offer users something new or improve an existing solution, and such events will help you stay in trend.

    Learn the rules of the game

    By attending events, you can learn about industry best practices and regulations. This will help you avoid costly mistakes in the future. Talk to as many people as possible. Get out of your comfort zone and hang out with people who may seem ‘bigger’ than you. Ultimately, the goal is to make good connections.

    Attract investors

    The best way to get the investor’s attention is to talk to them directly. Face-to-face conversations build trust and help you establish long-term relationships. Investors will not want to invest a lot of money in a product that the creator does not believe in. They need to trust you. Investors frequently attend the events as this is also a great chance to meet new players and businesses in the industry.

    Win the hearts of first users

    startup events — how to win the heart of the user?

    One of the biggest hurdles for startups is when the product is ready, but it is not promoted in any way, and the brand is not recognized. At this stage, many may give up. Marketing campaigns may not work if you don’t put in the effort to tell and show the world what you can do. By attending such networking events, you get the opportunity to meet your potential customers, talk to them directly, and evaluate how your product or service can improve their lives. You also have the opportunity to present your idea to a large number of people and see how they react to it.

    Hire contractors

    Business events are a great opportunity to tell about your project and find yourself a team for its implementation. This way, you get to know your potential contractors better in a less formal setting. It’s much easier and more efficient than leaving a basic first message on Facebook.

    Make a profit

    Business events are a great experience anyway. You will receive new information and become familiar with the world of startups and startuppers. No matter what industry you are in, you will learn how to find a business angel for a startup by attending a tech or business conference. If you don’t even have an idea for your future product, you will still get a lot of inspiration from people who have already started their journey.

    Where to pitch your startup?

    1) Conferences and forums

    Telling about your project to a large audience and live is the best way to make a name for yourself. You can participate both in your own country and in the international arena. At such events, as a rule, there is a competition for startups. If your presentation of the project becomes the best, then it can receive funding from an investor. Even if you don’t win, events like these are a cool way to meet new people and potential partners, or get to know the leaders of your industry.

    startup events is the places where you can pitch your startup

    2) Online platforms

    COVID-19 still affects our lives and makes it impossible to attend some events with a large number of participants. But you can talk about your startup without leaving your home. You need a cool presentation and confidence in what you are doing. Online events have their advantages: at home you may not worry that you have to perform in front of a large number of people. You don’t even need to go anywhere!

    The pandemic has shifted the focus of investors’ attention. Obviouslyhttps://gbievents.com/blog/6-big-startup-winners-during-covid-19-outbreak, it has become more profitable to invest in projects that are more relevant for this difficult time. For example, applications for online consultation with a doctor, video conferencing, or streaming services.

    3) Crowdfunding platform

    In addition to start-up events, there are crowdfunding platforms where you can post your projects, and other people will sponsor them. Anyone interested in your idea can transfer funds for its implementation. For example, Kickstarter. It is an international platform based in the USA. For participation, the fund will take from you 5% of the collected funds.

    Idea pitch: key points

    Look for investors

    Who can invest in your project?

    You can become your own investor and take money from your savings. Or take a loan. But there are obvious risks — if you fail, you can lose all your money. For a newbie in the startup world, this is a bad idea.

    Also, you can ask friends or family for money. But not all of us had a wealthy aunt in Australia who left an inheritance, and few people are willing to cooperate with their relatives. Therefore, you need to think about how to find a business angel for a startup. For startuppers who have ambitions to create their own product, these people can help with that. As a rule, angels are wealthy people who support young startups in exchange to make profit from the implementation of their idea.

    Do market research and plan

    Before developing an MVP, you need to understand who your potential customers will be and how you will address their problem. To do this, you need to study your niche and audience. You could, for example, make a focus group, reach out to your target audience and ask questions. For example, you have real estate rental offers. To compose portraits of your target audience, you need to find out what types of real estate people are interested in: apartments or country houses, what is in demand in the region you need and what kind of income people have. This will help you convince investors that your idea solves a real problem and there is a market for it.

    In fact, investors invest money not in detailed business plans, but in people and their ideas. And also in numbers and metrics. For them, the important things are how big the market is, the dynamics of user’s growth and revenue. Tell them about your plans, for example, what else are you going to add to your product after the release and how you will promote it.

    Don’t forget to take a look at the competitors too! For example, look at what platform they have placed their product on, why web or why mobile, which things seem cool to use, and which ones are inconvenient.

    Don’t ignore UI/UX design

    Cool UI design really attracts users, but an equally cool UX will help you make them permanent. Do not overload your product with complex animations, the main thing is to make it convenient to use. If the product has real value, it will have users, which means that people will invest in such a product. Thoughtful business logic and attractive visual design increase the chances of your product finding its audience.

    Do the UI/UX research to create an intuitive app that users will appreciate. If we also take a real estate application as an example, you need to provide people with as much data about each other as possible, and add accurate filters for a more custom search.

    Ok, let’s check the startup events!

    We have presented you with a list of events that will take place in 2021. By visiting them, you can learn from the experience of the best business startups and startuppers.

    • Web Summit

    startup events — web summit

    • Startup Grind Europe

    The conference is in the heart of the best business startups — Silicon Valley. Where else to look for mentors and coaches? You can also join the event online, along with 15,000 other people from all over the world. Among the speakers are guys involved in the creation of Slack, WhatsApp and Google.

    • Slush

    An event that promises to be ‘physical and safe’ and is intended for 8000 people. This event started with a meeting of 300 people, their goal was to help the new generation of entrepreneurs create the best startup companies. They have an online community that you can join now. The conference exists in more than 40 cities around the world.

    • Bits & Pretzels

    Europe’s lead festival for apps. At the event, you can join the startup exhibition and tell people about your project. By the way, it takes place at the same time as the Munich Oktoberfest. It’s easy to make a name for yourself at the festival — speak in front of hundreds of investors or promote your company by collaborating with the event.

    • B2B Rocks

    One of the main events in the SaaS and B2B startup environment. This event focuses on providing helpful advice in the form of short presentations from popular founders and industry leaders. Since this is one of the largest technical conferences in Europe, it is also an ideal opportunity to expand your network.

    • GrowthHackers 

    The Growth Hackers community hosts one of the largest tech conferences in San Francisco that focused on innovative marketing strategies. The event is a must-have for founders of tech startups who want to connect with like-minded people and explore important new directions in their industry.

    • SaaS North

    SaaS North is recognized as one of the best 2021 entrepreneurship conferences in Canada. The event aims to help fast-growing startups scale their businesses as much as possible by learning from industry experts and gaining hands-on experience in a variety of workshops.

    • TechCrunch Disrupt

    startup events — tech crunch disrupt

    During this online event, you will take part in interactive sessions with leading investors and experts in a variety of fields, from fundraising to growth and recruiting. Attending this conference means getting inspired by leading founders and investors who share their success stories. The TechCrunch Disrupt conference was featured on the Silicon Valley TV series.

    • Starting Up

    A series of startup events held every month to discuss key opportunities, challenges and solutions for anyone looking to create the best startup companies in 2021. Events cover the entire process, from idea generation to market research to start your business.

    • Wonder Women Tech

    Startup conferences, like many other things, want to fit the current agenda! So this rather young conference was created by women who change the world. The event brings together professionals from the fields of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. Wonder Women is a meeting of professionals who can help you not only find funding for your startup but also help you grow as an individual and an entrepreneur.

    Which startups receive funding at the events?

    • Dropbox

    Who didn’t know about file hosting service Dropbox? It is recognized as one of the most valuable startups in the US and one of the best investments. Dropbox was officially launched as a startup at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2008.

    • Yammer

    The startup raised $142 million before being bought by Microsoft for $ 1.2 billion in 2012https://vator.tv/news/2012-06-25-its-confirmed-microsoft-bought-yammer-for-12b. The Yammer platform was originally designed as an internal communication system. Yammer now brings together leaders, communicators, and employees to build communities, share knowledge, and engage with teams.

    • Lalibela Global-Networks

    Digital software for hospitals in Ethiopia. Optimization of processes will help make health care accessible to more people. For the African continent, this is a significant step in the health sector, where hundreds of thousands of dollarshttps://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/web-summit-announces-lalibela-global-networks-as-pitch-winner-301186364.html were spent on supplying paper for hospitals.

    This isn’t the first time a medical startup has won funding for a startup event. Nutrix, a Swiss needle-free device for diabetics, won the 2019 Web Summit. And the Polish glucose monitoring startup GlucoActive was the winner at Collision from Home in June.

    • Canix

    startup events — canix

    Enterprise resource planning platform to reduce the time it takes cannabis growers to enter data. Can be integrated with common software. The founders say their platform can help manufacturers increase margins by lowering labor costs.

    Some advices

    Startup events and meetings bring together various experts and entrepreneurs, all of them have their own work experience, knowledge and skills. It is worth attending such events both for those who only dream of entrepreneurship and for those who have already singe wings on their first projects. Startup events are about inspiration, connections, mentorship advice and opportunities, so keep the following things in mind when attending:

    • Make new acquaintances. As much as possible. Many things in the world can be solved by connections now, some people can introduce you to others, or even to great development agencies.
    • Be calm and confident. People come to such events to get something good, so be yourself when meeting new people. This will help you build more sincere relationships and attract more people.
    • Be honest. Tell about your project as it is. This will help you establish an honest business relationship. Acquire new clients, mentors, business partners or potential investors by attending business events.
    • Discuss pains. Everyone has different projects and ideas, but the problems are similar. For example, how to entrust your idea to contractors or how to promote an app after release. People will understand you, and you will have a trustworthy relationship. This way, it will be clear that everyone is actually ‘sitting in the same boat’.
    • Show your value. Give other people something that makes them want to stay in touch with you. Startup events are, first of all, an exchange of experience. When you get something good, try to give something in return. The balance of goodness in the world, you know.
    • Stay in touch. It is the foundation for strong networks and relationships. Therefore, communicate with new contacts after the event, for example, by exchanging contacts in Telegram.

    So what?

    Let’s pin it. It is impossible to come up with something unique now. In fact, everything that could be implemented has already been implemented. Therefore, you need to take your best shot not in the idea of the product and fantasies about how much profit it will bring to you even before the release (admit it, everyone did that 😉)

    Follow these steps:

    • come up with not just an idea, but a solution to existing problem
    • do market research and check competitors
    • find out what mistakes other entrepreneurs made before you and learn about their experience (for example, at a startup event)
    • release MVP, get users’ feedback and improve the product

    Conclusion

    First — don’t underestimate the power of startup events!

    You can argue for a long time about whether you need to go to startup events, listen to other success and failure stories, or you need to start acting and learn from your own mistakes. We think that strength is in balance.

    Second — don’t underestimate the power of MVP!

    Let’s imagine two cases:

    • You come to investors and start telling them about idea you have, how cool it will be, target audience and possible profit. Well, if you have the gift of persuasion, it might work and investors will invest in your project. But if you don’t?
    • You come to investors not with an idea in which they need to invest their millions, but with a product that shows who needs it and why, and even has the first regular paying users.

    The second sounds more compelling 😉 That’s why at Purrweb we follow the MVP approach to develop the best startups business. In this way, you can validate the idea and test the market. The main thing is not to stop, because MVP development is a process of constant improvement.

    Have you already got an idea to get in the game? Drop us a line to get a quote!

    With 250 startups under our belt, we’re happy to share the takeaways. Get our MVP launch checklist in your email.

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