Posts Tagged ‘mike sigal’

Innovate!Europe Pure Gold

conor 8th of February 2009 by conor

Last Wednesday saw the team from Guidewire host a leg of Innovate!Europe in The Digital Exchange in Dublin. And what a day! Chris Shipley, Mike Sigal and Carla Thompson ran the most impressive start-up workshop I have ever encountered. If you missed it, you really missed out.

The format was very simple. There were approx 12 Irish startups there including PutPlace, IGOpeople, LouderVoice, Locle, Toddle. The day kicked off with each of us giving a 90 second elevator pitch. Then we gave our 10 minute company pitch and got feedback from the Guidewire team.

That feedback was accurate, fair, pointed and deeply useful. I gave the first company pitch of the day and everything I heard back from them was spot-on. During the rest of the day I was able to refine the deck quite a bit.

However, it was’t just the feedback on our own presentation that was valuable, it was hearing about the problems (and successes) in everyone else’s that made the day so special. As the afternoon progressed, we had more and more discussions involving everyone. This included some excellent insights from Ray Walsh in Enterprise Ireland.

One thing I did notice was the difference between the expectations of  Valley VCs  and Irish ones. I was told I could easily ditch my detailed financials slide in a Valley pitch. I was told the complete opposite as part of the Genesis programme.

The Innovate!Europe roadshow then moved to London on Friday. The remaining venues are:

  • 31 MARCH in Bern, Switzerland
  • 3 APRIL in Berlin, Germany
  • 6 APRIL in Paris, France

If you are a start-up based on the continent, you owe it to your business to attend one of these sessions. The best companies from the roadshow will then attend a Masterclass in Zaragosa Spain in May. The best of those will take part in a Trade Mission to the Valley in June.

Thanks again to Chris and the team for an invaluable day.