TRANSIP PRE-ACCELERATOR – THE HIGHLIGHTS
Domains, Web Hosting & VPS Solutions + The Dutch = SchexyTech
That was the theme from TransIP, the Netherlands based company who through constant innovation and improvement to their products and services are the countries biggest provider in the web and hosting space.
After a decade of success in the Netherlands and Europe, TransIP are launching their offerings into the UK and to kick things off they hosted Inspiration Centraal a festival of tech in the heart of London’s Tech City designed to celebrate and ignite the entrepreneur in all of us.
As part of this week long festival TransIP invited us at Oxygen Startups to put on a four day Pre-Accelerator out of their amazing events space in Shoreditch for eight startups where they would pitch to an audience of tech cities finest on the final night as part of the festivals closing event.
So who were the startups?
Spoonly is an online platform for cooks to share recipes, get feedback & see what works from real users.
Greenseed aim to get everyone gardening – a platform to share information & get advice from the community.
RouteMap helps students of all background in making decisions on careers & education via online taster sessions.
Backpack Consulting connecting skilled travelers with local startups to help them get to the next stage.
DevHunt helps entrepreneurs to connect with developers who want to work for equity & evaluate interesting projects.
Spaceify the Airbnb for event space helps people to instantly find & book inspirational venues online.
Vendoo is a card-linking platform that connects offers & loyalty programs directly to customers’ payment cards. We are hiring!
Road2Driving is a web app that provides learner drivers with progress feedback, training resources & managing lessons.
And finally we had a surprise ninth startup join us, a young entrepreneur from Ireland who popped in to find out what was going on and impressed us with her improvised pitch so we couldn’t possibly say no!
Bezlo through an online platform is launching a range of clothes for girls. Breaking the gender rules with designs that appeal to the child’s interests and personality. Not just pink.
DAY 1 – IDEA MAPPING
The first day was all about going back to the drawing board with the teams breaking down their ventures into its basic business components via the use of the business model canvas model. The teams were joined by three of our amazing mentors Zufi Deo one of our top business advisers at Oxygen Accelerator and Amir Jirbandey, Inbound Marketing Lead at Mailjet and George Kartakis, Startup Lead at PayPal & Braintree to give the teams a wall to bounce their ideas off. We closed the first day with an insightful and inspirational talk from Andy Parker, co-founder and COO of Zealify who are successful alumni startup from our Pre-Accelerator programme of yesteryear.
DAY 2 – LEAN METHODOLOGY, MVP, TESTING ASSUMPTIONS & USER ACQUISITION
Day two we welcomed Mike Bandar of Turn Partners to give a series of workshops on Lean Methodology, building out your MVP and Testing Assumptions which expanded upon the first day’s sessions on Idea Mapping. The late afternoon we were joined by the brilliant Vincent Dignan, founder of Magnific to give a session called ‘ How to attract humans’ which was a one stop guide to everything you need to know on user acquisition. With allot of food for thought the teams spent the evening working out of the venue in preparation for their mentoring sessions the next day.
DAY 3 – MENTORING, INVESTMENT & PITCHING
Day three kicked-off with the teams being joined nice and early by our mentors for a round of 1-2-1 sessions – time to sink or swim guys! Our mentors were Marc Curtis, head of TMW Labs, Nick Levine of Crowd2Fund, Barbara Greenway from the BBC, IBMs Benjamin Lower, Ken Valledy of Techstars, Michelle Morton Banks, Founder of TIM Agency and Max Kelly founder and former managing director of Virgin Insight. After a few hours of being put through their paces the teams were able to walk away with their heads held high and taking allot of valuable input from our mentors. The afternoon was back to the chalk board where we welcomed Oxygen Accelerator mentor and advisor Stuart Hilson who ran two sessions on demystifying investment and pitching to get the teams into focus mode for tomorrows competition.
DAY 4 – TIME TO PITCH!
Day four and it was all hands on deck with less than 10hrs to go before the teams were taking to the stage to pitch to 250 of tech city’s finest! The day kicked off with a session run by Amplify Presentation who work with the top Accelerators to prepare their startups for Investor and DemoDay pitching. Once the teams were up to speed and pumped by the amazing session run by the brilliant Tambo Silavwe they got a visit from Angels Den Founder & CEO Bill Morrow who took time out to sit with each team and so some informal mentoring around raising investment. As the afternoon ticked on the with only hours before the competition would kick-off the teams were joined by Forward Partners associate Matthew Bradley who sat in on their dress-rehearsals to give some useful last minute feedback to fine tune their pitches.
At 18.30 we welcomed sold-out room of 250 people including 70 in a second room watching on a big screen as the teams took to the stage for a five minute pitch and 2 minute Q&A from our panel made up of Angels Den Founder & CEO Bill Morrow, Forward Partners Associate Matthew Bradley and our very own Oxygen Startups Founder & Chairman Mark Hales.
After an hour of pitching and gruelling questions by the panel the voting was left up to the audience via Twitter to decide who they wanted to be crowned TransIP Pitchers Competition winner. Whilst we waited on the votes being counted our Commercial Director Anthony Catt took to the stage with Richard Ayoade the English comedian, actor, writer, TV presenter, and director, best known for his roles as Maurice Moss in The IT Crowd. The two spent half an hour talking everything tech and beyond in what was a joke filled interview before Richard was given the honor of announcing the winner.
And the winner was…
Spoonly our online platform for cooks to share recipes, get feedback & see what works from real users.
Oxygen founder and chairman Mark Hales had to say this in reaction to the competition and entire week.
“I’m sure I can speak for the entire judging panel in saying we were thoroughly impressed by not only all the ideas pitched, but by what the teams had achieved over the past four days as part of the programme. Although there could only be one winner selected which was the brilliant Spoonly we felt that all of the teams had made significant progress, validated a number of key assumptions and had a clear strategy to take their ideas forward. We very much look forward to working with all of the teams as they continue their startups journey.”
Congratulations to all our amazing teams and we look forward to supporting you as your continue your startup journeys. But once again a massive thank you to TransIP for hosting Inspiration Centraal and sponsoring the Pre-Accelerator programme.
If you’re interested in joining one of our future programmes with your startup then go to our website to find out what’s coming up. Or if you would like to explore whether sponsoring or having a corporate hackathon/pre-accelerator might be good for your company, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. With the subjective title Corporate Innovation.