During the first day of Websummit in Dublin, Ireland, I got a chance to observe hundreds of startups which all gathered in the exhibition hall to attract potential investors, business partners, clients or of all of that at the same time. While it feels inspiring for a budding entrepreneur to wander around the stands and listen to some great ideas, there are a few things that I didn’t expect some companies would do. So if I wanted to exhibit a startup at any event, I would avoid doing the following:
Provide a vague description of what you do
Some startup specialists say that if you can’t explain what your business does in one sentence, then you might be in trouble. In this case, your company might be perceived as complex and spook listeners. While you would expect it to be a common sense, it seemed not a common policy among attendees. If you are exhibiting your startup while there are thousands of other startups to look at, make sure it is clear what your idea is. If you can’t explain it, do you think passer-bys will be able to do so?
Chris Sacca in one of his talks suggested that if want keep your idea description clear, pretend as if you post about it on Twitter. So make it less than 140 symbols.
Have no demo to show
David Tisch, an angel investor via BoxGroup, said that if you don’t have a demo to show, you could have as well stay at home. If you have nothing to show – that means you have no website, no brochures, and no videos that tell me what you do or about to do – then you face an uphill battle. Especially when there are companies in booths nearby that have all of these attributes in place.
Don’t have a unique selling point
Since companies are usually assigned to a particular sector they belong to (say, FinTech companies would be in the Finance section), it could be the case your company would be placed next to your current or prospective competitor. That is ok if this happens, at least you have some latest insights of the market on your hands now. But that is not ok if you can’t answer how you are different than established players are. That just makes me think that you are not well-prepared for the event and I want to see the next startup already.
Although I’m an aspiring entrepreneur in the process of bootstrapping my own companies, still for me as an attendee these things were the first that caught my eye.
The floor is yours…
What were your experiences at the startup gatherings? What would you recommend avoiding or doing to impress visitors with your startup? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.