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Tag: Pitch Days

Insights, Super Connect Impact

Insights: What to avoid when launching your app by Hollabox

Hollabox recently pitched in the Super Connect Pitch Day in Bournemouth and London who we previously super connected with StartUp Britain (an Empact Ventures client) who published the following piece (15/09/2017) here

The lean start-up methodology is to develop quickly, iterate quicker, and learn at the speed of light. It’s very rare to get things right first time, which is why you need to be quick to change and learn – most importantly don’t make the same mistakes. Some startups don’t have the luxury of continuous development, because of depletion of runway, and so never crack it and fail. So here’s some of my advice, from Hollabox’s developments to make sure you get some key things right first time for your app.

Make the value immediately accessible

We were guilty of making the first version of our product land on a profile page for the user. The thinking was that it immediately personalised the experience. However we soon learnt the hard way, and that is with apps, you have around 10 seconds to convince someone your app is worth keeping. How do you do that? Show them the value immediately. Ideally the value will of been effectively communicated in the marketing, but those who followed through to download need to see and feel the value for themselves. Whatever the value in your service, make it super easy to understand the quickest thing the user accesses.

Don’t assume you’ve got a good Product – Market fit

When in startup mode, it can be easy to become obsessed that what you’re doing is right. I mean, you’ve made all the plans, gone over it all in your head and it sounds exactly like something the world needs? This is a common mistake that, particularly for introverts, is hard to overcome. This is because it involves stepping out of your own mindspace and communicating with others. Of course, when we create, we’re innovating and that has to come from one person or persons, but don’t just assume you’ve cracked it.

Even experts in their field will seek validation for theories or work they put forward, and at the earliest of stages, you’re thinking shouldn’t be any different. What you risk is spending time and effort bringing a product to the market that you find out no one really needs, despite all the evidence you’ve done internally pointing to the contrary. Be prepared to work with your market along your development journey and listen to them to find the solution that they want, not what you think they want. This will increase the likelihood of your final product being relevant and sticky and so able to achieve growth.

Make sharing really easy.

The key to most apps’ success is how quickly you can make it go viral. Now there’s no secret formula for this, and if I’d cracked it, I’d be selling it for billions, not blogging about it. There are some simple things you can do however to aid that process and get a strong viral coefficient. It starts with making any sharing functionality you have very easy to access and accessible when the user would want to share it.

Leveraging any users network is powerful, so integrating with a user’s network on Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp for example are great tools and if placed appropriately will be used. What you’re looking to achieve is hammering home the value of your proposition, for the user to go… wow! I need to show someone this.

It’s at that exact point, your integrations or sharing mechanisms need to be there to help the user quickly and easily share that value. This is the creme de la crem of marketing for your start-up because it’s recommendations from trusted sources. You’ve not sold anything and your value is doing the talking. Get this right and you’re laughing.

Be aware of the unforeseen

So wrapping up this blog is a point that does a circle back to my opening comments. Building lean and validating as you go is key because I can’t stress it enough… there WILL be problems and new pieces of feedback that you wouldn’t of even thought of.

Keeping a lean mentality and process will help you deal with the unexpected, so you’re efficiently positioned to react appropriately.  This is the most proactive you can be in this situation and in all honesty, I wish my team and I had this mentality when we started. But that’s the power of hindsight and fortunately it’s not too late for us, so it’s exactly how we’ve been working for the past year.

Adam Beveridge is the Co-Founder of Hollabox. He is BA (hons) Business & Enterprise Graduate from Bournemouth University. and a passionate tech and media lover. You can find him either in the office, a restaurant or the cinema!

Hollabox is supported by Virgin StartUp and is part of the Empact Growth Studio which supports it with its development, growth and sustainability. Find out more here

Press Releases

Press Release: Super Connect initiative launched to enable high growth startups to access larger organisations and funders

A new national initiative today launches in the UK delivered by tech super connectors Empact Ventures and Hays UK&I, the leading recruitment experts that aims to support high growth potential tech startups and scale-ups to access decision-makers at larger organisations.

The initiative sponsored by Mazars, Agile Automations, Gridizen, and Linkilaw also aims to help them to access a blended set of funding providers from angels investors to venture capitalists, grant providers and loan funds to support their long-term sustainability.

It is made of a series of events taking place in 5 UK cities and towns including Bournemouth, Bristol, London, Cambridge and Leeds in 2018 / 2019 with other cities likely to be added beyond July 2019. Each location will benefit from the Super Connect events including a 1-day training lab (Venture Labs) to prepare startups to pitch to decision-makers and pitching events (Pitch Days) to pitch and get into early discussions with decision makers in corporates, SMEs and funding providers.

Tech startups and scale-ups are welcome from data science (including AI, Machine Learning, Analytics), Internet of Things, Cyber Security, BlockChain, FinTech, MedTech, AR / VR and enterprise applications.

At all events the Empact Ventures team collects the specific needs, challenges and interests of the decision-makers before globally scouting and inviting the best emerging tech startups and scale-ups to pitch at the events that match these requirements. They facilitate the match-making process by giving every attending a ‘Super Connect Sheet’ to help them identify the right people they should talk on the day before making introductions in-person at the events, and email introductions after them.

Empact Ventures and Hays have already held three successful pilot Venture Labs and Pitch Days in Bournemouth and London over the past 6 months which created many outcomes for those involved. These included pilots and trials of startups’ tech in SMEs, joint ventures between two startups in the events industry, new partnerships established between two SMEs in the FinTech space, investment by angel investors into some of the startups, new contracts being secured and many more outcomes currently in advanced discussions.

There are also a number of partners supporting Super Connect across the UK including: Seedrs, Syndicate Room, AWS Activate, The Venus Awards, Solid State Group, Breakthrough Associates, BizBritain, Zealous Digital, StartupU, eOffice, GEN UK, Human, I-COM Global, Dorst LEP, BOMO Festival, Leeds Digital Festival, Weissman and more.

One of the tech startups that has participated in the past few Super Connect Pitch Days is the AI-powered RetailTech startup Shoppar who is putting customer data into physical retail stores across the UK to help them better understand their shoppers. It is currently working with clients including Sky and Hugo Boss. The technology uses computer vision and WI-FI analytics to understand various data points and help to deliver usable metrics to improve campaign delivery and convert sales opportunities.

Peter Ward its Co-Founder and CEO added that the pilot Super Connect Pitch Days had “a range of impressive startups, support business specialists and investors in attendance, creating a well-rounded event that made very good use of a day out the office.”

Its organiser Kosta Mavroulakis, the Founder and CEO of Empact Ventures is an experienced startup facilitator who has previously helped to lead StartUp Britain as its former Campaign Manager and mentors many tech startups.

He believes that “while tech startups and scale-ups have access to an abundance of investment opportunities in the UK, they still face the challenge of sourcing and securing new business development opportunities which also true for larger organisations. In both cases it can often be down to not knowing the right people and where to find them, though more importantly if they have a need to collaborate right now. Empact Ventures and Hays UK & I are both super connectors of technology and people respectively who are committed to supporting the growth of small to large organisations, and it is for this reason why we jointly created Super Connect”.

James Milligan, Director at Hays Digital Technology and IT, who has worked closely with Empact Ventures to co-design the initiative points out that Hays is committed to helping the UK tech ecosystem to address the challenge associated with accessing rock star talent as highlighted in the recent Tech Nations report.

“We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Empact on the new Super Connect series and are confident that this initiative will encourage professionals with a passion for technology, to better engage, connect and collaborate with others within the industry. Our Digital Technology business across the UK is now engaging more with smaller tech companies than it ever has before. Providing quality insight and advice to organisations of all sizes on skills, recruitment trends and workforce planning within the technology industry is a priority for us and our research and reports, like the Hays UK Salary and Recruiting Trends 2019 Guide aid in supporting our expertise. We are also looking forward to future Tech Pitch Days as these offer a unique opportunity to engage with the next generation of technology companies. Additionally we hope to strengthen relationships with our current clients by introducing them to relevant start-up organisations at these brilliant events.”

Lara Brennan, Senior Manager at Mazars added that “it is an absolute pleasure to sponsor the initiative and have the opportunity to talk to start-ups and scale-ups about their accounting and tax challenges. It is always great to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs and discuss their business plans and innovations”

Martin Keelagher, CEO of Agile Automations who was a sponsor and also pitched as a scale-up added that as “Agile Automations embarks on its national sponsorship of Empact Ventures scale up and investment roadshow, we look forward to forming new partnerships and building long-standing relationships, from a diverse and varied amount of sectors”.

Moving forward the national startup initiative will take :

  • 14th November 2018 – London – Super Connect Pitch Day
  • 23rd January 2019 – Cambridge – Super Connect Pitch Day
  • 5th March 2019 – Bristol – Venture Lab
  • 30th April 2019 – Leeds – Venture Lab
  • 2nd May 2019 – Leeds – Super Connect Pitch Day
  • 5th July 2019 – Bristol – Super Connect Pitch Day

If you are a tech startup, scale-up, corporate, SMEs or funding provider who would like to get involved in Super Connect and its events, please visit www.superconnectseries.com

Notes to the Editor

To download a PDF of this press release click here

Press Enquiries

For all press-related enquiries, please contact Empact Ventures Ltd, CEO Kosta Mavroulakis (kosta@empact-ventures.com , 07731 768769)

About Empact Ventures

Empact Ventures are global super connectors who deliver unique startup initiatives, scout for world class innovation and support the growth of startups to scale-ups

  • Delivering Startup Initiatives to engage and super connect startupr, scale-ups, SMEs, corporates, OGOs and funding providers
  • Tech Scouting for major brands, SMEs and NGOs seeking to address their challenges through collaborative partnerships with the best global tech startups and scale-ups
  • Super Connectors for Startups and Scale-ups to secure the best partners, exposure, traction, funding and clients by opening doors to the right people, opportunities and resources

For more information visit www.empact.ventures

About Hays plc

Hays plc (the “Group”) is a leading global professional recruiting group and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 30 June 2018 the Group employed 10,978 staff operating from 257 offices in 33 markets across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2018:

– the Group reported net fees of £1.072 billion and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £243.4 million;

– the Group placed around 77,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 244,000 people into temporary assignments;

– 19% of Group net fees were generated in Australia & New Zealand, 26% in Germany, 24% in United Kingdom & Ireland and 31% in Rest of World (RoW);

– the temporary placement business represented 58% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 42% of net fees;

– Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA

For more information visit https://www.hays.co.uk