The eight finalists of Technoport 2016's Pitch Competition were announced after three hours of productive pitching. Those going forward to pitch on stage at Technoport 2016 for an opportunity to win NOK 250,000 are:
Norway - A silencing microphone muting the human voice, enabling confidential telephone conversations in public places (watch)
Norway - FlowMotion Technologies develops FlowStick, a motorized GoPro stabilizer which eliminates shaking and vibrations one hundred percent (watch)
Norway - A computer brain which makes sure that what smart scientists have discovered can be used by everyone (watch)
Graphiq-design on Demand (watch)
Denmark - Hospital infections kill thousands every year. SaniNudge's intelligent hand sanitizer will change this (watch)
Norway - An app using image analysis for detection of jaundice (watch)
Norway - Poor network coverage is a challenge for search and rescue operations. We have developed a product that can search for phones in areas with no coverage and work to utilize drones in search and rescue operations (watch)
Denmark - Online B2B marketplace for fresh fruit & veg, where retailers can buy directly from farmers, skipping the middlemen and chemical processing (watch)
The pitch competition started this morning with training for both investors and start-ups companies. While the 30 angel investors were listening to the investment criteria and strategies from the speakers Jennifer Vessels, Thomas Berglund, Rune Sævik and Tommy Dahlen, the 29 companies behind the wall were learning how to pitch the right way, get a matching investor and, of course, how to be one of the eight finalists in with a chance of winning NOK 250.000.
"The startups should create immediate interest in the company. Also they are expected to explain from an expert point of view to an angel investor their main idea and when they get their money back. But they also have to ask: 'What can you do for me?'" said Tor Bækkelund.
Sean Percival, a partner of 500 start-ups and an investor in 120+ start-ups, claimed that 10 minutes are more than enough to get a right investor and explain your business idea:
"The ability to raise your business is higher now than ever before: we have Facebook, Twitter, and so on."
His tips for startups were: "always be succinct, before the pitch try to pitch 100 times, articulate right your traction, and hook the audience in the first 10 seconds. Sell the momentum, urgency; avoid forecasts, and focus on revenues."
To illustrate his ideas, Sean and some startups did a role-play during which Percival acted as an angel investor and the companies tried to "sell the momentum."
Hans Olav Torsen, Partner ProVenture, investor commented: "All the cases I have heard today are very interesting and special. I would prefer the pitching time around 15 minutes in order to provide a proper feedback to the startups. I have participated in many conferences in many countries such as Sweden, Finland, etc, but I can feel the energy of this conference in this room. I like it. I think it is an excellent setup that Technoport have done. The scales of the ideas are so different: from a small business idea that is locally focused, to big business ideas that can develop worldwide. I am going to invest in some of the ideas that have been presented during the Technoport conference."
Sean Percival added: "It is a great idea and good practice for Norwegian startups and investors, especially in the times of the oil crisis when Norwegians are forced to innovate and develop further as Swedish people do. Norwegians have great ideas, but they lack a sense of urgency. They need to innovate and setup businesses today. People in the US say: 'I will do it in 2 weeks,' while Norwegians are slower and lack confidence."
"On the stage you should use a maximum of 2 minutes and, of course, you should hook the audience in the first 10 seconds. If a startup in Norway is not afraid to fail, it will do it much better and launch the business quicker. Technoport is a great place to find an investor in Norway and be less dependent on the state's 'soft funding' that makes a business think too slowly about launching."
Christine from Blue Eye Robotics enjoyed the experience:
"Technoport has a very unusual concept to pitch when you need to jump from investor to investor every 10 minutes. It is a little bit scary to present in front of unknown people, but we get good response from the investors who help us further. Trondheim is a great place to start up a business, and Technoport is a great place for network-building. Success depends on networks."
Follow the progress of the 8 finalists on our Live Stream from 10am on 2 March.