The Venture – Are You Making A Social Impact Enough?
Estonian startups had the chance to compete for $1 million in investment in the Chivas Regal competition, The Venture! The winner will advance to the accelerator week with other startups chosen from across the world.
On the 4th of December, 5 teams from Estonia competed to get to the Venture accelerator week. They were presenting their ideas in a 3 minute pitch followed by Q&A from the judges.
Opening words by Chris Holtby.
Chris said, this event combined his three favourite things: smart people, social enterprise and whisky. He also suggested, Estonia would need tax breaks on social enterprise.
Dotforge Accelerator by Colin Tan.
Dotforge is accelerating really early stage social impact startups with tech entrepreneurship skills. They are doing it with the help of Cabinet Office, Key Fund and RSA in the UK.
Their program is divided into three parts: Product (pivot, lean, metrics, launch), Growth (sales, marketing, body language, telemarketing, growth hacking) and Finance (PR, pitching). They also make an investment of £20,000.
Key takeaway from Colin’s speech was: “If you’re not embarrassed about your first product, you’ve launched too late.” Therefore, Launch ASAP, don’t think too much!
A success story from Click and Grow by Mattias Lepp.
Mattias Lepp was telling a story, how their simple product might be changing the world. They thought it is a nice-to-have, not a must have thing. But it turns out, plants need less water and produce 600% more vitamins when grown there. Perhaps this really can change the world.
Tebo – learning platform that gets students and teachers excited. They were asked: What is the key benefit of this product? How do they really get the content? What MVP did they test? Are people willing to pay for it?
Helpific – helping people withdisabilities find personal assistance. They were asked: What do people need help with? Who uses them? How many users do they have? How many will leave once they start charging money?
Upmade – upcycling design method for mass production. They were asked: How can they ensure they are ethical? How does up-cycling work? How does Upmade work?
Sentab – multi-platform social network for older people. They were asked: What are their biggest challenges? Is it sustainable enough? Have they segmented their target group? Will they keep on going through 3rd parties?
Final decision by judges.
Judges thought most of those startups were not making a social impact big enough. And were too focused on earning money. But all in all, Sentab, was chosen to go to the Venture accelerator week and fight for $1 million in equity free investment.