Last night, 7 startup teams pitched StartupYard in front of an audience of about 70 visitors at Node5.
An Intro From Cedric Maloux
The event kicked off with an introduction from Managing Director Cedric Maloux, who told entrepreneurs in the audience: “If you have an amazing idea for a startup… kill it!”
He went on to say that only great ideas which refuse to die and never go away, are the ones entrepreneurs should choose to work on. If you can’t find a reason why your startup idea won’t work, and neither can your friends or anyone else you consult, then it might be something that will succeed.
Cedric introduced the StartupYard program, and talked about our application process, which we share with a syndicate of 5 accelerators in CeedTech.
FireSide Chat with TeskaLabs
He discussed the differences between the two programs, and urged B2B businesses to base their technical operations in Prague, but considering also doing business, particularly sales, in London. He pointed to the openness in the UK business landscape to startups, and the speed of dealmaking in the city, where, he said, you can do in a week what would take a month in Prague.
At the same time, Teska noted that the StartupYard program was the perfect preparation for TeskaLabs’ move to London, and that his team would not have been prepared for the harsher TechStars environment without having attended StartupYard first.
He described TechStars as a higher pressure, “sink or swim” environment. Whereas at StartupYard, our team is here to make sure startups are making good choices, and have all the information and guidance they need, TechStars leaves teams to fail or succeed on their own- only keeping them aware of their progress.
At the same time, TechStars has a more intensive mentoring period, involving up to 7 or 8 meetings a day with mentors, nearly twice what Startups experience in Prague.
He also described the feeling of “mentor whiplash,” that his team has experienced since leaving StartupYard. Mentor whiplash, he said, is the feeling of being advised to do completely contradictory things by equally smart and persuasive mentors. “When a mentor states their opinion, it’s as a fact,” he said, “it can be very difficult to deal with all of these conflicting ‘facts.'”
7 startup teams pitched us last night, and we were impressed with all of them. With little prior experience, and not much time to prepare, all 7 entrepreneurs who pitch to us impressed us with their poise, and their enthusiasm.
So, without much hesitation, we agreed to accept all of the teams from the event into StartupYard Fastlane. They will proceed past the first few rounds of evaluation, and will have a chance to present their startups to our full selection committee, a mix of StartupYard stakeholders and advisors.
Here is a collection of photos from the pitching portion of the event:
StartupYard will host FastLane events in 6 more cities: Budapest, Sofia, Pristina, Bucharest, Warsaw, and Krakow. If you’d like to pitch us in one of those cities, sign up using the form below, and we look forward to meeting you!