Startup pitching events have become sort-of a cliche, they are all alike and there really needs to be an improvement to the whole process. Investors want to get a better understanding if the startup would be a good fit for them, the audience is interested to know if people are actually going to use it and the founders want to get quality feedback from the audience, the judges (if any) and investors.
This seems like a very straightforward problem and for the most part it is solved by de facto. However as we have seen with Catchbox, small additions to events can make them a lot more exciting.
So when we heard about the Estonian based Funderbeam, it caught our eye. Their current plan is to provide an app for pitch-feedback that collects votes & ratings from the audience, generates leader boards and statistics. However they plan to do a lot more with it.
Kaidi Ruusalepp, the CEO and founder of Funderbeam, told ArcticStartup that they “take events as a package and provide event organizers an app to present their event from the moment lets say the person decides to participate in the event. “
They have already had good traction with it, as the app was used by Seedcamp at their demo days. The cool thing about it is that the audience gets “Pitch Coins”, 1 000 per startup and can use them to “invest” into participating companies.
Ruusalepp commented that “In the future [Funderbeam] will add more functionality. Right now the audience can only rate the startup as a package but later they will be able to rate the team, the market, potential.”
The jury has their own voting mechanism and the audience can compare themselves to the jury and see if they think alike.
In the long-run, however, the company is aspiring to do a lot more than pitching-events. They actually want to go into real funding. In November 2013, they want to provide startup ratings and analytics from all pitching events that they went to, in 2014 they intend to introduce a toolset for wealth management and investment. Finally in Spring of 2014 Funderbeam wants to provide analytics-supported startup investments.
There is already an effort in Helsinki to introduce live crowdfunding at a pitching event by PitchHelsinki in November using the Invesdor platform. This shows that people and companies are thinking of new and easier ways to provide investment opportunities to both the average folk and also the professional investors.
That being said, it remains to be seen if people can be convinced to invest right there at the event or even after seeing the pitching history of a company. Would you invest at the event? Let us know in the comments.
Top Image Courtesy of Shutterstock // Microphone Money