ABC’s Demo Day shows how we can all live smarter and healthier
Year 2016 has only begun and the final event of ABC Accelerator’s new program already promised that it’s going to be an extremely exciting one for entrepreneurs. Demo Day, the act of Smart Living & Health program, took place on 21st of January in the heart of BTC City. Ten startups from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Austria and Hungary were ready to impress the crowd present and secure its seed capital. Despite the coldness of winter outside, Siti Teater’s premises were hot like never before.
The chosen startups have polished, tested, optimized and upgraded their ideas in the past three months. Their goal was clear: to simplify and enhance the lives of people in their chosen market and consequently grab the attention of all together 130 international and local investors, who came to see them live on the Demo Day – both virtually and in person. They came all the way from USA, Japan, India, Great Britain, Germany, France, Canada, Russia and many other countries and showed how much interest there is for projects developing in Slovenia. Some of them followed ABC’s startups during the program, some of them saw them for the first time, but all of them had high expectations. How could they not, after the success of ABC’s first program and all the work ABC’s team had done since. It was perfectly clear they see Slovenia and its region as a nest for business ideas of the future.
The event started with a motivational, yet funny video which showed the course of the program and the relentless work of ABC’s startups. Dejan Roljič, the founding father and global director of ABC accelerator and Urška Jež, Co-founder and director of ABC Ljubljana, then presented the future plans of the accelerator and boy they are big. ABC plans to expand to Munich and Bangalore, and to provide access to Silicon Valley.
Before startups began with their pitches it was time for a word from Oliver Rothschild. He is a British entrepreneur, investor and consultant. The complete list of companies he helped or collaborated with is quite long. He shared some very helpful tips with the startups and the audience, his most memorable being that you should always pitch your product to your grandmother first:
»If your grandma can’t understand your point reshape your pitch. There should be no techno words and it should take only a minute for your audience to get what you are talking about.«
It was time to hear the perfectly polished pitches of startups that went through ABC’s Smart Living & Health program. The people present listened closely to business models and solutions of Sportly, Dentem, Homey, Money Rebel, NervTEH, Vismedic, Mogy, Pointme, Kripto and AppRay. In a confident and passionate way each startup clearly presented how their product can have immediate impact and help to improve people’s lives from day one. There isn’t a lover of innovations and advance that could stay indifferent after it was all said and done.
To top it all up, Jeff Burton, one of the co-founders of 5-billion worth Electronic Arts company, came on stage and gave a speech after the pitches were done. One of the most successful and pervasive businessmen and investors on the globe said, that this particular Demo Day was the best one he has seen in years. He was very impressed with the content and would definitely like to see some of the startups in Silicon Valley, where he could help them get bigger investments. He noted that he is very pleased to see such advancement in startup scene in Slovenia.
Still, Demo Day was not over and it was time to present the awards for the best mentor, best lecturer and best partner. After the success of the first program the word of ABC spread and competition in all the categories has grown stronger. In the end it was Aljoša Domijan, owner at Aguatera d.o.o who was chosen as the best mentor, Piotr Bucki, CMO at X Ventures who was chosen as the best lecturer and Lidl Slovenija took home the award for the best partner.
A short speech concluded the official part of the program, yet it was obvious that networking has just begun. Startup teams were soon fully occupied with curious investors and it was clear that ABC’s team very successfully organized another Demo Day. It was an event that marked Slovenia’s surge on the list of innovative and entrepreneurial countries. Or as Patrick Mullane, executive director HBX, Harvard Business School said:
“If you have blindfolded me and put me into a room I would never guess that I am in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It all felt very much like Silicone Valley, California and that is very exciting!”