It is one of the fintech companies that has the wind in its sails and has seen its activities take off from Luxembourg thanks to the local tech fabric and its victory in the 2016 edition of the Pitch Your Startup competition. SESAMm has since expanded its activities throughout Europe and other regions of the world. Its COO Pierre Rinaldi took a few minutes in his busy schedule to share with us the team’s experience during this competition and to give you some valuable tips.
What are your memories of this competition?
Our participation in Pitch Your Startup at ICT Spring was one of our first major competitions and events. We were at that time in the midst of a going regional phase in Europe to strengthen our position in France, Luxembourg, the UK and beyond.
The support of KPMG, with the Hub the Khube, and the Lux Future Lab incubator had already helped us a lot but this type of competition was our first time participating in an international award. We have very good memories of it: it was a test of fire for SESAMm, an opportunity to demonstrate our know-how and ambitions in front of an international audience!
This competition was a real boost for our growth, allowing us to initiate new commercial approaches and accelerate our development in Europe and elsewhere.
What did the PYSU prize bring you? What has happened for you since then?
These were opportunities both from a business point of view but also to accelerate our international development. Our competition is global, it was crucial for us to demonstrate the seriousness of our project, our team, our solutions. This kind of unique award is an excellent way to prove this and helps to convince prospects and customers when a startup is still young.
Furthermore, it helped us to deal with new markets and competitors while proving our value, our know-how – our development had clearly been supported thanks to this award.
SESAMm has come a long way since this competition. At the time, we had raised almost 1,000,000 euros. Today, we have raised a total of more than 8.8 million and are present worldwide with offices in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Tunis and Metz.
Our team has also grown significantly, we are now more than 40 employees, with talent from many fields and sectors. The hyper-growth we have had is reflected in our portfolio of prestigious clients, including big names from all over the world such as Nikko Global Wrap (Japan), The Carlyle Group (USA) or Raiffeisen Bank International (Austria) for example.
“You need to be able to demonstrate quickly and clearly what you are doing, why and how. The pitch must be natural and adaptable to the audience.”
What are your tips for making a difference at such an event?
To prepare and make the difference during a similar event, we have 3 tips:
1. Perfect your Elevator Pitch: you need to be able to demonstrate quickly and clearly what you are doing, why and how. Don’t be afraid to show your passion for your project! Avoid memorizing it. The pitch must be natural and adaptable to the audience.
2. Popularise and differentiate yourself: to be well prepared, you must succeed in being understood. The saying “What is clearly conceived is clearly stated” is truer than ever for this type of event in order to be punchy. Also, don’t forget that it’s a competition – you have to differentiate yourself and show how your project is unique.
3. Master your introduction and conclusion: these are the two most important parts because they are the 2 moments when the audience is most attentive to what you will do, show, and expose.
Can you pitch your startup in 3 words?
SESAMm, in 3 words, is AI, Big Data and Finance.
These 3 words represent and encompass SESAMm. AI for our specialization in NLP and Machine Learning, Big Data for our strong Data, Technology and IT components and finally Finance for our Quantitative expertise and products dedicated to it, which bring together all our skills and technologies for the creation of innovative analytics and investment signals.
Apply now. For free: pitchyourstartup.eu
Photo: SESAMm’s team