What does Be My Eyes, the eye-crowdsourcing platform have in common with Danish virtual bookstore Saxo.com and newly launched Recho, a spatial bank of memories? Together with three other start-ups, they have just been through Innovation Center Denmark’s 10th SCALEit program.
After placing the companies in the middle of highly entrepreneurial Silicon Valley, the startups are challenged through five intense days of workshops and presentations with leading experts from the entrepreneurial scene. Here they get to perfect their pitches, revisit their business plans, and meet up with potential investors.
But does it actually matter to the companies? What is exactly the purpose of SCALEit, and how does it create value for the participating startups?
Scale up your business!
The short answer to the question above is that the startups should learn how to scale up their activities, hence the name SCALEit.
However, scaling up a company in a profitable way requires many aspects to be fulfilled at the same moment. According to Christian Vinther, Co-organizer of the SCALEit program, the companies leave Silicon Valley feeling highly inspired armed with the right tools and contacts to improve their business plans and shape their companies for successfully entering the world markets.
“We want the companies to be ready to take on the world and feel prepared to seize their opportunities – whether it is raising capital from new investors, developing new software for their products, or simply entering the US market. Usually, all companies leave Silicon Valley with their arms raised above the head and a new perspective on their own business, which is also our main success-criteria”, says Christian Vinther.
New investors on board
The climax of the week is the Nordic Pitch Night that concludes the week’s program. Here, the startups get to pitch in front of a large audience including venture capitalists – and this time was no exception. At a local incubator venue with well over 100 people in place to watch the pitches, the startups displayed their new competencies and all managed to amaze and thrill the excited audience. Well done after only one week of training!
After participating in SCALEit, some of the companies headed on to the large South by Southwest tech-conference in Austin, Texas (link til wordpress artikel om dette). However, some of the companies had already established so many contacts and new business opportunities after the SCALEit week that they decided to stay in Silicon Valley and have meetings with potential partners and investors.
The above pretty much encapsulates what is in it for the participating startups. They are inspired to pursue their business opportunities and they establish the right contacts that will help them move forward and scale their companies – which is what SCALEit is all about.
The SCALEit program propels participants into the Silicon Valley ecosystem through a number of relevant and value-adding workshops at exciting and inspirational venues. The workshops, networking and presentations among others include; thorough pitch-training from local expert consultants; presentations and discussions with established Danish Silicon Valley entrepreneurs; and sessions with PR-consultants, lawyers, etc. Thereby, the participants get the whole range of angles on how to deal with startup issues and how to make it in Silicon Valley.
The next SCALEit will be held in Silicon Valley in September in connection with the Tech Crunch Disrupt conference.