Winner of the 2017 Pitch Your StartupTM (PYSU) competition, Aiva’s founder Pierre Barreau shares with Silicon Luxembourg how the pitching event has been a springboard for the startup.
(Featured Image: Pierre Barreau won the 3rd edition of PYSU / Image Credit: Dominique Gaul)
What makes the PYSU competition unique?
PYSU is a really good initiative for the Luxembourg ecosystem. With similar events taking place in London and Silicon Valley, it is important for Luxembourg to host this kind of event as well to empower innovative startups as they launch their businesses.
This event has also opened Luxembourg up to areas other than finance. The Luxembourg ecosystem has so much more to offer. Startups with a diverse range of expertise attended last year’s event and this inspired emulation between the competing startups. There was also a really lively and friendly atmosphere!
How does the pitch session work?
Last year, each of the 12 startups had around three minutes to pitch their startup. Each pitch was introduced with a jingle. This was quite an advantage for us as we obviously played Aiva music. So we actually had a few more seconds of pitch time than the rest! The first spoken words of my pitch were also directly linked with the music just played and helped to engage the audience. The pitch also ended with the same music to leave a lasting musical “note” in the audience’s mind!
Once all the pitches were heard, the jury selected three winners. While up on stage receiving the reward, we had the opportunity to thank everyone who had made it possible.
“Since PYSU, our portfolio of clients has grown significantly, most notably in the US, and we are now a team of 10, all located in Luxembourg.”
What are your top tips for a successful pitch?
In my opinion, it is crucial to present clearly and with a controlled voice. You must speak slowly to make sure that you hold the audience’s attention!
Also, keep in mind that not only tech professionals are listening to your pitch, but also journalists and other professionals who might be less familiar with the specifics of tech and/or finance. The jury is quite eclectic in that sense. Therefore, it is important that your presentation speaks to everybody, and appeals to the widest audience.
How has Aiva grown since your win?
Thanks to the €50,000 we received from PYSU, we could afford to wait for the best deal possible for our first round of fundraising (last December). The money was a big help – we could hire new people in the meantime, and also maintain positive cash flow, which was very useful when presenting AIVA to potential investors!
Since PYSU, our portfolio of clients has grown significantly, most notably in the US, and we are now a team of 10, all located in Luxembourg. In addition to developing our algorithm, we focus more and more on video games as it is a market in constant evolution and human capacities are limited to compose for such games. Aiva therefore has a big part to play in that field!