Startup Safary Berlin Report: What’s In For The Startups
At Startup Safary Berlin investors, accelerators, industry experts and startupers get together to exchange experiences, promote their work and share some insights of the internal startup kitchen.
Our Engagement Manager Halyna Levko and New Business Executive Solomiya Zahray got a sneak peek inside some of the coolest startup offices based in Berlin and are glad to share their insights from the intense Berlin Safary trip, along with some solid advice for startups seeking VCs.
Solomiya Zahray, New Business Executive at Romexsoft:
"If there‘s one city, which is able to keep founders constantly thrilled - it’s Berlin.
Berlin is the mecca where great startups & VCs to come together, “fall in love & get financially married”
As an attendee of Startup Safary Berlin I’ve managed to grasp the fresh air of innovation, which is flowing all over the city. It’s great to see people who spot an opportunity within an obstacle. To cut it short – I am a fan. Berlin delivers endless possibilities in each tier.
Personally I attended Point Nine Capital, Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator, YOU IS NOW, Number26, Cookies Labs GmbH, Earlybird Venture Capital, Bookastreetartist, TechCode & some after parties (hello, it’s a safary! You gotta hunt).
Some insights from VC’s I found quite useful:
- Berlin is the new leading EU Hub (VC investments are growing rapidly);
- VCs are also keeping an eye open for you. It’s no longer just you who should be actively seeking for them. Make sure you have your official profile with all the relevant information on several platforms (Linkedin, Angel.co, Crunchbase… )
- If you send out a cold mail, make it personal (make it count for god’s sake, don’t just copy paste all VC’s that you could find in CC, BCC).
- VC’s might support your startup from ground up, helping it to walk and stand on it’s own feet and as Savina van der Straten Waillet, Analyst at Point Nine Capital, stated: “Since we are screening around 5 000 startups you simply have to stand out. We closely look at the numbers you provide (market size, stage, user experience, monetization, team, traction (activity metrics), historical KPIs, user amount etc)”.
- Your team is essential. These days most VCs prefer not to bet on founder only. They prefer to see at least three co-founders, where each of them is responsible for a particular sector either it is sales, technology or operations.
- Also make sure to think about you financial numbers and exit scenario while presenting your company to a VC.
In general, you have to understand that getting funded doesn’t mean that you simply receive the money and go home, living happily ever after and doing nothing anymore anytime soon. If you meet all the criteria, you’ll be taken to some (4-6 month long) dates with your VC so:
a) make sure to look for a suitable VC early;
b) make sure you like and feel capable to work with your VC efficiently, since as mentioned both by Earlybirds & Point Nine Capital you’re kinda getting married to your VC;
c) make sure that the chemistry works because not all matches are made in heaven;
Oh, and here’s a nice pitch template that has been published by Google recently. Best of luck to you guys!
Halyna Levko, Engagement Manager at Romexsoft:
One of the first lessons I’ve learn was that the most successful solutions/products deployed lately were based on the personal needs. The founders originally designed something to make their own life easier and better. Afterwards their ideas stroke the cord within other peeps, eventually turned customers.
Here are the companies-hosts of the events I was lucky to attend: Hub:raum , Companisto , Berlin Startup Consulting,WestTech Ventures, Savedo, Trecker, Hubus&YouVo.
Hub:raum, Berlin Startup Consulting can be helpful in defining the way in which you’d like to see your startup evolving; how and where to look for investors and how to identify weaknesses and strong sides of your early stage business. If you seek funding, check out Companisto, WestTech Ventures for a start.
If you need some advice on how to become a successful entrepreneur, then you should get familiar with the story of Savedo and Trecker, which are both doing really great job at the moment.
If you are involved in an early-stage social project with little to no funding, Hubus&YouVo can help you to find talented people to join your team.
One thing is obvious to me: when you have an idea you truly believe in, the chances of failure are rather small as there’s a huge number of companies are out there willing to help with your startup in many ways.
You can learn more about Startup Safary events in our previous post.
Romexsoft is a software development company dedicated to Java applications with our own development center located in Lviv, Ukraine and a client base scattered around Europe and USA. We build dedicated Agile teams for tech start-ups and ISV (independent software vendors) to help them solve technical challenges and deliver the best products to end users. Having operated over 11 years on the market, we are proud to achieve vast expertise in Media, Education, Fintech & Healthcare industries.
Written by Romexsoft on May 6th, 2016