Time flies, also for our ten Kickstart Accelerator EdTech Startups in Lausanne who are getting ready for their final pitches in 3 weeks. It is therefore time, to read about what they have been up to:
Week 1: After the arrival of all 10 startups it was time to settle in the EdTech Collider at EPFL adding to the interaction in the co-working space with its 60 members. There was a brief introduction by each of the key players: Denis Gillet, co-founder of the EdTechCollider, Didier Rey, digitalswitzerland and EPFL and Patrick Veenhoff, representing Swisscom as a business partner. It was also the first time the startups gave their first five minute pitch to the audience. That was when many realized, that clear messaging, affirmed product benefit, knowledge of the market and operational granularity are key. To paraphrase Thomas Edison, inventor of the incandescent electric light bulb, creating a winning startup is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration! Execution is the name of the game. By the end of the first day, participants were already revising their slides for the Opening Ceremony.
There was a full house at the Opening Ceremony, where after the official presentations the networking over drinks proceeded apace. In that short time, all the startups garnered appointments for business, talked to investors, mentors and experts. The realization that the ecosystem is rich, willing and supportive was a fantastic and motivating start for the following 11 weeks.
Weeks 2-5: After the official opening, the startups have had many subsequent pitch practices – a startups daily business. Thanks to their mentors they’ve been able to refine their offer, put together approaches to key costumers and establish pricing, among the many other things that they are being helped with. All in all they are negotiating proof of concepts, signing their first customers, pivoting and garnering success through the pivot: The Zurich Kickstart Team has been most helpful to U Smart Toys, a startups that intends to revolutionize public playgrounds and malls with their interactive game “bug”. The Swisscom team has made available space, experts and opportunities, and are developing a proof of concept with ‘The Experience Accelerator’. The latter and ‘InTeach’ have signed on major clients!
Apart from the intense acceleration through mentors and experts, the startups participated in many interesting workshops dealing with topics such as IP, copyright & trademarks, digital marketing, valuation, Swiss law and policies on child protection on the internet, data protection, team building and many more.
Week 6 onwards: The clock is ticking and soon the startups will be pitching their final pitch within the Kickstart Accelerator program (but hopefully not the last in their life). On November 23rd they will be able to show what they learned and how their businesses developed. If you want to be part of this event, we’re happy to welcome you at EPFL starting from 13:30h. Click here to register and stay tuned to discover more about this exciting EdTech journey!