Pitch Your StartupTM (PYSU) is back in Luxembourg City. Launched in the Grand Duchy four years ago by Docler, the contest now offers €100,000 in prizes (in cash and services) and has opened to new partners: BIL, EY, Luxinnovation, LHoFT, nyuko and Luxembourg City Incubator. We asked Márton Fülöp, COO of Docler, to talk about this event’s impact on the ecosystem.
(Featured Image: Márton Fülöp, COO of Docler / Image Credit © Olivier Minaire)
What were the social impacts of the first three PYSU events?
Since we started this initiative back in 2014, we have noticed a positive impact, not only on the local market but also within the contest itself. The players in both have had no choice but to evolve in order to remain relevant, which is never a bad thing. Competition fuels change, which in turn fuels growth.
The first PYSU event drew around 30 startup applications, which soared to 90 the following year! The peak so far was last year, with 180 applications from 25 different countries. We predict a similar number of applications this year. The increase in the quality of applications over the years has been impressive to witness, and we are looking forward to the 2018 lineup.
We have seen similar initiatives emerge throughout the national market, and an increase in the visibility given to the startup industry. This is really positive for Luxembourg, and we are happy we could bring our own flavor to it. However, we feel that there is still much more that can be done in order to attract even more talent and startups. That’s why this year we have decided to take it to the next level.
“All together, the prizes total €100,000. We are immensely proud to be able to take this event to the next level with all of these new partners uniting behind a single brand.”
How? What’s in store for us in this 4th edition of PYSU?
This year we have decided to do things a bit differently. We never wanted to be the sole owners of the PYSU brand and to be the only ones backing it. We have thus opened the competition to other partners, not only to raise the quality of the event and the prize money, but also to boost diversity, involve more collaborators, and bring everyone interested in startups and innovation to the same table.
We are happy to welcome two major newcomers this year: BIL, with its Innovation Award cash prize of €20,000, and Ernst & Young. Docler Holding will again contribute €50,000 in cash prizes. Nyuko is offering a free three-month complete acceleration program. LCI will offer two open desks in its open-space incubator, with full access to its resources for three months. LHoFT has guaranteed three months of hot-desking and a one-year membership, including “Strategic Benefits.” This is just the beginning as we also have other interesting partners in the pipeline.
All together, these prizes total €100,000. We are immensely proud to be able to take this event to the next level with all of these new partners uniting behind a single brand.
“A pitch has to be clear and straight to the point. Pitchers must keep it short, but at the same time tell their story and give us some insight into their world and their company’s philosophy.”
Why do you work with startups?
We believe in startups. It’s part of the company’s DNA, and it’s also how we started out.
We encourage our employees to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. Whenever they come up with an idea, we are always happy to listen to it and support it when we believe it has potential. We have also invested in and integrated some startups into our own technology and business, as we believe great ideas and innovation often come from outside sources.
I believe all of the PYSU partners share the same philosophy, which is why they have decided to join the initiative and add value to it.
How can you successfully deliver a pitch in 3 minutes and 33 seconds?
It’s difficult, that’s for sure, but it is also a great way to discover the real essence of your startup. A pitch has to be clear and straight to the point. Pitchers must keep it short, but at the same time tell their story and give us some insight into their world and their company’s philosophy. Practice is obviously a good idea, but enthusiasm is essential!