At long last, the day had arrived. No, it wasn’t Christmas. And no, it wasn’t Easter either. In fact, it was even better! Finally, the first edition of the “15 Entrepreneurs Meet 15 Investors” event was here. The excitement had been building for weeks, and the entrepreneurs and investors were anxious to meet each other.
Slated to begin at 6:30 in the evening, the event began early as excited entrepreneurs and investors arrived at Café Belair to begin networking a bit ahead of schedule. In total, the entrepreneurs were looking to raise 9.5 million €, ranging from 50,000 € to 2.8 million €. Given the fundraising desires of the startups and the great networking opportunity, it was understandable that many entrepreneurs arrived early to make sure that they used every moment possible to share their ideas with investors.
Each entrepreneur was given 5 minutes with each investor in a one-on-one setting to pitch his or her idea.
The event, which was held both inside and outside due to the fantastic weather, officially commenced with a brief networking session and opening remarks from Charles-Louis Machuron, the founder of Silicon Luxembourg, and Mathieu Laurent, a partner at Luther. In fact, Luther decided to sponsor the whole evening, a very generous offer from a well-respected law practice that prides itself on its entrepreneurial spirit.
“Luther has been active in the starts-up world since its creation 4 years ago. We like to be part of this world because we share the same entrepreneurial values, such as innovation, responsiveness, and straight-forwardness,” Laurent noted. “Sponsoring this event is part of Luther’s way to assist young entrepreneurs and investors to create new ventures. This event organized by Silicon Luxembourg was the perfect opportunity for entrepreneurs to meet experienced investors and connect ideas with capital.”
Following the official welcome, it was time to begin the main portion of the program – the entrepreneur and investor matchmaking. Each entrepreneur was given 5 minutes with each investor in a one-on-one setting to pitch his or her idea. At the end of each 5-minute timeframe, an announcement would be made to signal that it was time for the entrepreneurs to rotate to the next table to meet a different investor. Given that the entrepreneurs had such a limited time to pitch their ideas, these rotation announcements were certainly not the most well liked part of the evening (understandably so!). However, even with the time constraint, both entrepreneurs and investors in attendance really enjoyed the matchmaking portion of the event.
“15 investors in 75 minutes. What a ride!” said Alex Panican, co-founder of Malin Shopper. “It was a great opportunity to meet ‘la crème de la crème’ of the investment community in Luxembourg.”
The event lasted well into the night with stories and ideas continuously flying around even after the food had been devoured.
As the pitches came to a close and the extended networking session began, there was a palpable energy in the room. Both entrepreneurs and investors appeared excited to continue their conversations in order to gain more information about each other. In fact, many investors seemed to have genuine interest in providing capital to ventures that had caught their eye.
Shortly into the networking session, people’s stomachs began to growl. Fortunately, Café Belair was there to save the day! As entrepreneurs and investors continued their discussions, our gracious hosts at Café Belair served burgers, fries and beer. The event lasted well into the night with stories and ideas continuously flying around even after the food had been devoured. As the night finally came to a close, it became evident to all that the enthusiasm and quality of entrepreneurs and investors at the event demonstrated the growing strength of the Luxembourg startup and venture-funding ecosystem.
“The event was very exciting!” Paola Marinone, founder of BuzzMyVideos wrote in an email to Silicon Luxembourg following the event. “Meeting with a variety of investors from Luxembourg and cool up and coming startups was absolutely positive for BuzzMyVideos. We’re looking forward to see more events coming up soon!”
What are they saying about the event?
It’s great to see such strong entrepreneurial spirit in Luxembourg as the one on display at last night’s event. Many of the teams showed great maturity of thinking about the product and the market, and I was impressed that the event brought together such a diverse group of individuals. I met startups from London, Paris, and New York in one evening. Well done, Silicon Luxembourg!
Great event and a huge opportunity to pitch your startup and idea – not in front of a crowd but in a one-to-one 5-minute speed pitch with potential investors. What makes this concept special is that you get direct response as to your pitch. 5 minutes is challenging. It makes you concentrate on the most important information. You quickly learn what sticks. When the investors nod and their eyes start sparkling – you know you are on the right track. For me it was a wonderful experience to exchange with entrepreneurs, learn what investors are really looking for and if we get invited for a second pitch then it is a wrap!!!
Thanks to the Silicon Luxembourg Team. You guys are doing a great job, and I see you becoming a serious institution and hub for the startup scene in Luxembourg. Big props from wondermags.
– Stojan Rudan, Managing Director at wondermags
I was quite impressed by the event…First time I did something like this and the formula is absolutely adequate and appropriate for bother investors’ and entrepreneurs’ needs…Congratulations!
– Laurent Muller, General Partner at Sting
The feedbacks from both sides of the table were really positive and encouraging. I sincerely hope that Silicon Luxembourg will continue to foster this interaction between entrepreneurs and investors, and I wish to all the entrepreneurs and investors all the best in their new ventures.
– Mathieu Laurent, Partner at Luther Law Firm