You can always tell when it’s Hipsters, Hackers & Hustlers Speed Pitching night at Campus London. There’s a beautiful tension in the air, a sense of expectancy, the low murmur of founders, developers, entrepreneurs, marketers, sales guys and PR peeps discussing the latest trends and swapping business cards, shaking hands on future coffees, deals and who knows what else besides; but most of all, it’s always a packed house!
400 startup-crazy, business-savvy loony tunes signed up to attend Tuesday night’s session, and it sure felt like it! What I love is the blend of old-timers, those who know and love the format, see the logic, and make their livings out of what unfolds on the night, and newcomers, a little nervous maybe, eyeing up the water pistols suspiciously and p-p-p practising those pitches!
As always we had plenty to get through, starting with, well, us!….
HHH is growing, and growing fast. We’re up to 20,000 members, we’re launching an incubator…in the Carribean! We’re taking you ski-ing, we’re organising a p*ss up in a brewery, the London Fields Brewery to be precise, for TECHtoberfest, an evening of teutonic celebration and startup networking with bells (or should that be Lederhosen) on, and…we want YOU to help us achieve all this!
As well as running our flagship events Speed Pitching and Got a Problem, Get a Solution, we need volunteers and professionals to help us with any number of things, from writers and editors, to event co-ordinators, to sales people, so if you think you can help us with anything…anything at all! Just drop us a line, or come and grab me at the next event. I’ll always make time for a chat.
As ever, we simply wouldn’t be able to run these events if it wasn’t for our wonderful sponsors, and we’re lucky to have a stable of top startup talent supporting us.
WeWork we’re out in force last night. If you haven’t heard of WeWork, where have you been? Not in Israel, the U.S., Amsterdam or London, I guess because these guys have curated and created some of the best co-working spaces for startups in all of these places, and they want you to be part of their community! Everybody who takes office space at WeWork is thought of as part of the team, it’s a proper collective, and you can feed off the energy & attend tonnes of free events designed to give you a head start; it’s the perfect place to network and learn from your fellow start-ups. So good in fact, we’re moving there ourselves ; – )
SnapZap is another sponsor with a big future; similar to Meerkat or Periscope it allows you to tweet video clips in real time and it’s a big hit with HHH’ers at our events. And big thanks also go to Waterfront Solicitors, Event Ninja, Glisser, Viber, And Moo. Phew, what a list!
Now just before I tell you about some of the pitches that made me sit up and take notice last night, and there were plenty of those, believe me, so many in fact I don’t have space to list them all here, so you must come and see our events LIVE or subscribe to our YouTube channel where you can re-visit all of them in glorious technicolour video thanks our storming streaming video guy Radu….(pause for breath!) the keynote speech:
Ever wondered what its’s like to build a $4.5 billion dollar company? Me too.
Nishul Saperia gave a fascinating talk last night about the time he spent at Markit, who profoundly disrupted the credit derivatives industry back in 2003, growing from nothing, to a multi-billion dollar, market leading company working with all of the world’s top investment banks with more than 3,600 employees, in a little over 10 years.
Nishul was one of Markit’s first employees and got to experience first hand the vision, belief and work ethic of founder Lance Uggla. It was, he says, an unforgettable, life changing experience that taught him everything he would ever need to know about the passion and dedication it takes to run a successful start-up. From working until 2am fixing feeds to some of the world’s biggest banks, to conference calls with 65 companies on the line all demanding complex solutions at the same time, to the moments of doubt that that the entire team experienced, it was a roller coaster ride.
Nishul told us how he will always treasure the experience and gave us some valuable insight into every aspect of growing a business. Empathise with your customers, don’t just rationalise; make sure you believe in the people around you as much as you believe in yourself; when the doubts come, embrace them!
One particularly rough day, when the Markit management team called JP Morgan for the umpteenth time to pitch for their business, the Head of Trading came on the line and told Nishul and Lance to F*** the F*** off!! Fast forward 4 years, and that very same guy was a member of Markit’s board. Keep believing folks, and never give up!
With that in mind, here are the best (in my humble opinion) of the night’s pitches, as recalled by our intrepid blogger Edmund…look out for your details below, and if you don’t see them, drop us a line! We’ll see if you can help you get your name out there in front of the people who need to see it.
The top ten pitches
1. Nishul – Hipster; BeachFix – so we kicked off with Nishul’s new business proposition! Beach Fix helps you research and find the perfect beach. After all what’s worse than finding your dream holiday ruined when you get pebble instead of sand, surfer’s paradise instead of quiet cove, or freezing waves when you wanted bathtub temperatures? Nishul is looking for a product person, CTO, marketer, but welcomes approaches from anyone…as long as they promise to be “kick-ass” at what they do!
2. Ekaterina – Hustler; Europe Online – become fluent in any language in less than 3 months! Choose a language and start date and begin with a free trial. 1-1 tutoring, homework, video, and progress reports are all included and when the module is complete, you won’t believe the progress you’ve made, says Ekaterina. Can you help Europe Online grow? If you think you can drop Ekaterina a line!
3. Dave – Hipster; Cheese Posties – say what!! It’s a toasted cheese sandwich that arrives in the post?? As featured in The Guardian this week the founders ran a Kickstarter campaign to raise £2,000 and have almost doubled that figure already. All the ingredients for a variety of yummy toasties coming through your letterbox every week, all you have to do is spread the sauce and toast the bread. The team are looking for a front end developer, so get on board Devs!
4. Karina – Hustler; Pic – do the same grades at different schools represent the same achievement? Karina has launched Pic to provide much needed innovative thinking in the student recruitment market, putting performance in context and helping firms hire the right people. If Karina’s vision excites you and you have technical expertise or can help a business grow, you know what to do; contact her!
5. John – Hustler; Fintech Factory – if you have a Fintech start-up but you’re struggling to find funding then Fintech Factory can help. From the idea stage to building an MVP The FF team can provide mentoring and consultancy, and when it’s time to find funding they can put you in front of the best in the business. Check them out and if you want to chat further talk to John
6. Luka – Hacker; Liberty Technologies – the shortest pitch ever, but when you’re a hacker everybody wants to talk to you and not the other way round, right? Luka’s site Nice Idea unites individuals and organisations who love high technology and helps them develop their skill sets with a range of projects. Plus, the site has a really great video of a drone quad-copter, so take a look, join the club and get involved!
7. Juliana; Hipster; Tobi – a GPS tracker for pets so your favourite pooch will never go missing again. Follow your pet in real time, and set up a digital fence around your property so you know when your pet has strayed a little too far from home. Works with any smartphone, looks neat and it’s easy to use. What’s not to like?
8. Hugh – Hacker; LayrCake – Hugh Proctor is the self-proclaimed “Henry Ford” of IT (love it), bringing the assembly line methodology to the IT industry. LayrCake will provide your business with a complete, leading industry standard API – in a day! This is a complex one with a charismatic founder so for more info, drop Hugh a line!
9. Nils – Hacker; TeamLayer – an integrated work interface for busy people, TeamLayer will help give you full transparency across all the projects you are running. If you are a leader and your workflow is getting too much for you the TeamLayer could be just what you need. Currently in beta, get in touch with Nils if you think you can help!
10. Donald – Hustler; Vinea Entertainment – Donald has come all the way from Anerdeen to introduce London to the world’s first all-in-one event planning platform! From venues to entertainers, light shows and drinks brands, everything can be organised at once. Truly useful and definitely disruptive, Donald needs support from coders, mentors, investors, the usual. Don’t miss out!
I gave out so many prizes last night for so many winners in so many different categories (many of which I made up on the spot ; -) ) it was like Santa Claus had taken a summer day-cation! All thanks to our amazing sponsors, and thanks to you guys of course!
I wish I had time to squeeze in more pitches but I’m afraid that’s it for now folks, but if you are interested in promoting your startup through us, getting some copywriting done or sponsoring the work we do, visit our website and find out more about we do, and get in touch!
And next month, COME & PITCH!!
That’s all for now.
Keep on Hustlin’