Last week we spoke to Founder of Mendeley and InnoPitch judge, Jan Reichelt to talk about what he thinks are the best features of the Innopitch and what he will be looking for when the finalists arrive in Brussels for the Unconvention on 1st July. Here is what he said.
Benefits for Startups and Memorable Moments from InnoPitch 2014
The Unconvention is all about bringing startup ecosystems together for lively discussion on relevant topics and the InnoPitch is no different. Jan commented that the best thing about the Innopitch for startups is gaining “exposure to a like-minded and highly motivated group of people in a high-profile setting”. Not only will the finalists be pitching in front of three industry leaders, they will also be surrounded by policy makers, experts who can share their ideas, experiences and advice with our InnoPitchers. Jan recalled that this was also his most fond memory of the previous edition of the InnoPitch: “How much I felt that the attending companies and teams benefited from participating and interacting with the speakers and mentors, and how much we could share our experience and knowledge”. Clearly then, this is an excellent opportunity for the 12 finalists to make a name for themselves in Brussels and the European startup ecosystem.
Tips for the Finals
Knowing what the judges are looking for is all important if you are going to be European Young Innovator of the Year 2015. Jan has a clear idea of the type of pitch he is looking for in July: “When pitching, you should focus on “telling a story” instead of interpreting “pitching” as a technical term. People will remember you if they remember your story. Don’t try to act or play something – be yourself and be authentic, but also practice your story so that you can tell it clearly”. But it is also important to be relaxed in your story-telling and recognise that this is a competition which can help you and your idea to grow and develop. He continued, “be excited about the opportunity by understanding that InnoPitch is a learning experience – this will help take some of the pressure away”.
The Founder and CEO of Mendeley and EYIF are looking forward to this year’s edition of the InnoPitch and meeting the 12 finalists who will make their way to Brussels in less than one month. Judges are now making their way through applications so that the 12 finalists can be announced this coming Monday. We can’t wait to meet you in person and start the process of growing your idea, in keeping with our theme for the 3 days of Unconvention — growth hacking and scaling up.