Earlier this month Plugg, one of the most important European startup events, was organised. They ran a startup competition where 20 finalists were invited to the event to present and compete for victory. As it happens, Estonian Fits.me won the contest and I had the chance to talk to Heikki Haldre, partner and CEO, about the experience.
Heikki Haldre told me that immediately after winning the competition the following few weeks had been pretty busy. They had received press coverage in many different countries like China and Brazil. Not only was the press interested, but they received a lot of enquiries from potential clients, VCs and fans.
“Plugg is certainly an event I would recommend. However, there’s only three or four events in Europe competing with them, so I’d really recommend going to all of them”, says Heikki Haldre. This is true and with only a few events like this, it’s not too big an investment for any startup once you’re in the phase to make that push for more PR coverage.
Heikki Haldre did not expect to win the competition and thus he had not put forward any personal expectations for it. He says that it was already a great victory for them as they had the possibility to pitch their company in front of the people they’ve always wanted to have in the audience. He also states that in the Nordic and Baltic countries, which are very small in size, you should talk to as many people as possible about the product or idea you have in mind. You will help the idea grow and in the process find some great co-founders. Many people still wrongly believe that if you pitch your idea to the wrong people they will steal it – something that is keeping many great innovations and companies in the dark.
Finally, a smart piece of advice from Heikki Haldre, “I’ve always thought, countries like ours are great to figure out the next idea that changes the world. It’s the execution, and access to advice, which is a shortcoming here. So go out and be sure you will be executing your idea with the most efficient manner. Do ask for advice on your journey.”