Every startup, and even large businesses, as the recent Reliance Jio launch by Mukesh Ambani shows, will have to pitch their product. While pitches in front of investors and industry leaders have been the norm, the innovation-led space is slowly but surely realising the benefits of pitching to larger audiences.
Large audiences are not to be underestimated. They deliver more diversity, and hence provide the business with more unique perspectives. Further, if audience members like your product, they could become your brand advocates and even potential customers. Do not forget that the Reliance empire too was built on small contributions from a large crowd.
In just the past couple of weeks, we had witnessed a handful of pitch meetups in Bengaluru, where early-stage startups presented their products to a curated audience to receive feedback and validation using Crowd Product. Here, we take a look at some of the recent startup pitch winners and crowd favourites.
Taal Digital Stethoscope
Founded by veterinarian Dr. Arvind Badrinarayanan, Taal helps medical professionals and others hear body sounds even in a loud environment. He says that his patients generally tend to be noisy, but now thanks to noise cancelling earphones, in-built audio filtering and other features available as part of the Taal Digital Stethoscope, he is enabled to hear better quality heart and body sounds. Unlike other solutions available abroad, Taal is cost-effective, thereby benefitting more medical professionals and health workers. You can now pre-order Taal from their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
Dr. Arvind presented Taal at the IoT Crowd Pitch, a meetup held at the Chili’s Grill and Bar venue in Bengaluru. The event saw IoT influencers like Sanjeev Malhotra (CEO, IoT Centre of Excellence), Nihal Kashinath (Founder, IoTBLR), Bahubali Shete (Serial Entrepreneur and Founder, IoTPot), Anup Deshpande (Head-Product, Kyron Global), Adhiraj Banerjee (IvyCamp / IvyCap Ventures) and Venugopal Sathyanarayana (Venture Partner, Orios Venture Partners) share insights with him and other pitching IoT startups.
MindIQ - Business On Chat
An Artificial Intelligence company in the B2B space, MindIQ is a plug and play ‘Chatbot builder platform’, which helps businesses get on to any conversational platform in just a few minutes. The conversational platforms here include Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram and Slack.
The team, along with seven other shortlisted startups, pitched at the Matrix Partners Bengaluru office to win co-working space inside their office, along with the opportunity to receive holistic feedback from the curated audience present. While MindiQ missed out on being the Crowd Favourite, they did receive top scores from the event's jury panel.
PiBell - Smart Doorbell
The Crowd Favourite at the Matrix Partners pitch meetup, PiBell achieved a rare feat by receiving a full score from the meetup’s audience. A product by PiOctave, PiBell is a small doorbell that enables video surveillance and aims to move people from just recording video surveillance to reacting live to situations.
Besides being the audience favourite, PiBell also received considerable connect requests from both the meetup’s audience and those watching the livestream online. PiBell is part of the company’s series of interactive security and home awareness products to be built in the coming months. If you have thoughts and suggestions on the kind of products they should be looking at, do let them know.
Sensy Smart Remote
On the occasion of its third anniversary, the Nasscom 10K Startup Warehouse launched its first edition of Fantastic Friday - a bi-monthly event for the 10K programme startups to reach out to the community. At this meetup, startups can launch their products to the world in the midst of peers, the media and ecosystem leaders. Here too, we ensured the audience was able to share their feedback with the pitching startups.
Sensy Smart Remote enables one to personalise their favourite TV shows, channels, actors and movies, all with a simple voice search. The Sensy app aims to revolutionise the way people interact with their television sets, and ended up being the event’s favourite. The panel included Amit Somani, Shripati Acharya (both Managing Partners at Prime Ventures Partners), and Ravi Gururaj (Founder of QikPod and Nasscom Executive Council member), who shared their feedback on the pitching startups.
Eventosaur for Traditional Events
Last but not the least is a unique startup that pitched remotely from Bengaluru (2 am IST) to New Jersey, and won top honors. Eventosaur is an online marketplace that helps customers book priests, caterers, decorators, venues and anything one may need for the hosting of a traditional event.
The startup business pitch competition was at the Business Forum in the 9th AKKA World Kannada Conference held in Atlantic City, New Jersey on September 03, 2016. The startups at this pitch competition were scored and ranked based on their idea, market, scalability and execution strategy among other parameters in order to win dedicated mentoring hours from successful VCs and entrepreneurs, as well as co-working spaces and the opportunity to pitch to select angel networks.
The many incentives aside, pitching to the crowd helps one understand the pulse of the audience like no other and accordingly fine-tune efforts. Coming from a crowdsourcing background and having worked closely with crowdfunding pioneers, I trust the ‘Wisdom of the Crowd’ to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of products. If you want to learn more about the latest crowdsourcing trends, join us at the upcoming Crowdsourcing Week Summit. Also, do not miss out on engaging with the best of the startup community at India’s most-loved conference - TechSparks 2016.
If you thoughts on the above startups and trends, do let us know in the comments section below.