HighSide is the startup that convinced the Luxembourgish jury during the national selection of the Startup World Cup. Next step: The semi-final in Prague, before the Grand Finals in San Francisco next May.
by: Aurélie Mohr-Boob
photo: Anna Katina
featured: Aaron Turner
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The Luxembourg session closed with the victory of HighSide, a fast-growing US-based startup that has set up a branch in Luxembourg and has been a part of the Technoport‘s incubator programme for less than a year. It is developing an end-to-end encrypted collaboration platform to reduce companies’ exposure to IT threats by restricting access to data to only authorized individuals.
“In 90 days, we’ve made 3 million sales. Protection against government intrusions and industrial espionage has become a major issue.”
HighSide has also brought in employees with recognized cyber security experience. Aaron Turner, for instance, was chosen to “pitch” last Thursday evening. “In 90 days, we’ve made 3 million sales. Protection against government intrusions and industrial espionage has become a major issue. Our clients have understood that they should not wait until they see a flaw before equipping themselves with a high-performance system,” adds Frédéric Richter, COO of HighSide Luxembourg, the subsidiary in charge of developing the structure. The fast-growing startup is looking to recruit developers, and aims to attract government agencies, multinational companies and financial firms in particular.
A pitch is not a presentation!
The evening began with an address by Bill Reichert, a brilliant American orator and key figure in Silicon Valley. Bill is the current CEO of Garage Technology Ventures, and a director at Pegasus Tech Ventures, the main organizer of the Startup World Cup. With his experience as chairman, investor and managing director of several Silicon Valley startups and companies, he has provided the 10 candidates with charisma, humor insight, and some advice on how to pitch successfully.
“VC’s make decisions with their heart, not with their brain… Always remind yourself that a pitch is not a presentation. You have a few minutes to be compelling… or go home!”
The candidates faced the particularly difficult task of summarizing their business in four minutes, followed by two minutes of questions from the jury. Four minutes may seem short, but for some, speaking in public is a test, so imagine when the visual support messes up a little… It can get panicky! A real feat that Bill Reichert sums up as follows: “VC’s make decisions with their heart, not with their brain… Always remind yourself that a pitch is not a presentation. You have a few minutes to be compelling… or go home!”
According to this year’s organizers, the Luxembourg selection was of high calibre. HighSide was rewarded because it is visionary and because it knew where and when to develop (cyber security is a trending topic, particularly in Luxembourg) to achieve its goals. After the national selections that are currently taking place in more than 50 countries around the world, the winner of the Startup World Cup will have something to be proud of: 1 million dollars of investment will be awarded to the winner during the Grand Final in San Francisco between May 20-22.