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Slush TOP4!

20 November 2014
Slush is one of Europes biggest startup events and Slush’s pitching competition is one of the focal points of the event. This time over 1400 startups participated, out of which 100 startups were selected for the competition. RePack was one of those selected.

First round. 3 minutes. No slides. Audience of 100 persons and 4 judges. All men.

Basically you must convince the judges that you have discovered a problem worth solving, your team is the one who can do it and back it this up with numbers. You should paint a picture of a great opportunity, show them a plan and convince the judges you can execute it too. All this should be presented with authority and confidence. You should be relaxed, engaging and being funny doesn’t do any harm. In three minutes. Easy.

In those three minutes your startup is down to its bare bones, simplified to the extreme.

My pitch didn’t go too well. I wasn’t too happy about it so I didn’t stay behind to see the competition.

An hour later I get a phone call from a prospective client. We had agreed to meet up at Slush. He finishes the call by saying “Oh, byt the way, congratulations for going through in the competition”. YES!

Second round. Wednesday, 19 November.

Rules: 5 minutes with slides. Audience of 1000 and 4 judges. All men.

Now competition is much tougher. There are companies with millions in turnover and growing fast.

On the backstage we are put makeup “for the cameras" on and I see other pitchers talking to themselves and walking around nervously. I soon join them.

Biggest crowd I’ve ever been speaking infont of. I drop my cardboard box to the floor, give it a kick and start.

Five minutes goes by in a flash and I really enjoy it! . Q&A whizzes by and I’m done. Off to the backstage, relieved and happy knowing I could not have done any better.

This time I stay back and listen to other pitches and they’re really good. I’m thinking we have no chance with this kind of competition but I keep on getting messages on my phone telling me to prepare for the final as our pitch had been the best so far etc. Then the results... I hear RePack mentioned as one of the two going into the final...

Final Four. Last act on main stage.

5 minutes with slides. Audience of thousands.

500 000 ? prize money. Thousands of people in the audience. 4 judges. All men. Final act. Yes, I was nervous.

Okay, so we didn’t win it.

When the winner was announced you'd think you'd feel disappointed not being the name on the cheque but I honestly didn’t! To be in top four in a competition like this gave us so much exposure, experience and excitement that it’s already materialising into exciting new opportunities.

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