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It has been an exciting night yesterday, for the seven finalists of the third edition of Haarlem Valley’s Present Your Startup. The startups entered the stage in an almost fully packed Lichtfabriek in Haarlem with close to 300 attendants. The finalists each received three minutes to pitch their business to an audience full of potential investors. The event was also live streamed, and watched remotely by another 500 persons. Serious business for the candidates!
Cheaper than a night in the Casino
“Come on guys, invest!” yelled an energetic Jort Kelder, presenter of the night, to the audience. Investors could directly invest in the startup they believe in, by some simple clicks on the Present Your Startup website. The startups pitched how much funding they needed, and what they are planning to do with it. They also decided the minimum amount investors could put in. Some startups accepted investments starting from the relatively small amount of €1000. “Cheaper than a night in the Casino!” said Kelder.
The products of the presenting startups varied from organic and eco-friendly chocolate to Swipeguide’s solution for incomprehensible user manuals, and an intermediary between unknown artists and art buyers. Noteworthy was the idealistic character of much of the startups. Waterly uses a part of their revenue to provide water systems to developing countries, NIGW focuses on care for elderly people, and Restoranto as well as NoFoodWasted combat food waste.
More than a pitch
After each pitch, there was a question round in which an expert panel of fund managers could ask critical questions. Potential investors and everyone else in the audience also had the opportunity to ask anything they wanted to know. The presenters had to answer questions such as: “How is your startup going to become a big international player? What makes your idea different from your competitors?” The startups had to stay firm, clear and relaxed, as this moment could be the start of a new milestone for them.
NoFinalWasted for NoFoodWasted
With five out of seven votes, Swipeguide was the absolute favourite of the expert panel. The other two votes went to NoFoodWasted. The presenter of Restoranto received praise for his enthusiasm and the positive energy that he exhibited on the stage. However, the expert panel did not decide the outcome, that was up to the audience and the jury. August de Vocht, CEO of NoFoodWasted wasted not a second of his pitch, and as a result he emerged as the final winner.
Interested in one of the startups? You can still invest after signing up on: http://podium.presentyourstartup.nl/
Header photo by Present Your Startup, from: https://twitter.com/haarlemvalley
Picture in article by Laura Vrijsen