As a reader of startupolic.com, you probably know that I’m a big fan of the pay it forward culture. Or said differently, give before you get.
Last year, I did a first experiment by giving 30min to any founder (no selection here) who wanted to pitch me her project, or simply ask me some questions about starting up, about lean startup or about how to build a (digital) product. I’ve simply tried it for fun. And it was! It went beyond my expectations, as I was fully booked, even had to add extra slots. There was a lot of interesting discussions, with people who were just starting up. Or who were considering the startup way after having built state-of-the art technology during their PhD. The title (“pitch me if you can!”) is quite pompous and bit provocative, I know… I was simply expecting some discussions in form of Q&A, but I was impressed by a fellow entrepreneur who prepared herself (yes, a female tech startup founder – it’s rare in Switzerland but it exists) and who came to me for a rehearsal of a pitch she had to do at a conference. And who told me that she’ll register again for my next session, as “I’ve brought her ton of value” (she said, not me). Hope you’re still reading startupolic ;-)! What she got, in a few words: real feedback without putting gloves!
Sometimes it can be hurting to hear that. But I think it’s ways better than all these bullshit words (aka “great pitch”, “awesome”, “amazing”) you hear at most of your pitches… from people who will never follow up nor investing real money (I’m not telling you I can invest money, sorry!). The truth is that an investor will almost never tell you “NO”. He’ll keep a call option open (here’s what it mean from a startup investor: he keeps the opportunity to review your case again and potentially invest). Telling you its inner thinking will make you remove him from your list of potential investors to contact. If you prove the investor wrong (you have proved the business model with paying customers for instance, or proved you can scale), he’ll be happy to hear you again…
I’d like to renew the experiment before Christmas and that’s why I’ll make me available for the second edition of the startupolic office hours.
If you want to:
- pitch me (anything) and get my feedback (however: I’m not an investor, so don’t expect me to write a check);
- how to define your MVP (Minimum Viable Product);
- how to build your prototype;
- to talk about growth hacking, digital marketing;
- to learn how to bootstrap your startup in Switzerland;
- discuss business development, marketing and sales;
- discuss the innovation landscape and startup scene in Switzerland (and abroad)
- or just want to meet for a coffee…
You can meet me at EPFL Innovation Park on:
- Friday 25th of November, between 13:00 and 14:30: BOOK ME!
- Friday 16th of December, between 13:00 and 14:30: BOOK ME!
And if you’d like me to organize an office hours in Zürich or in Biel/Bienne, let me know!