Winner of the 2016 Pitch Your StartupTM (PYSU) competition, SESAMm’s cofounder Sylvain Forté shared with Silicon Luxembourg how the pitching event helped take the business to the next level.
(Featured Image: Sylvain Forté won the 2nd edition of PYSU / Image Credit © Docler Holding)
What makes the PYSU competition unique?
First of all, we were really impressed by all the startups that attended the event. There were really high-profile and international startups presenting a wide variety of projects. It was really enriching to hear from them and discuss matters different from our field of expertise.
We also really appreciated the informal discussions that occurred with various players from the economic sector in Luxembourg. We even had the opportunity to speak with a minister of the Luxembourgish government present during the day! The set-up and organization of the event were amazing!
The support of the sponsors was also incredible through their presence on the day and afterward. We still maintain a really good relationship with Docler, who regularly asks for updates.
Finally, the communication surrounding this event was excellent, creating a real boost for SESAMm through great exposure and media coverage. Our participation in this event significantly increased our visibility in Luxembourg and beyond, allowing us to succeed in launching our business.
“You need to work on your pitch! Even if it is easy for you to speak in public, it is important to arrive prepared with a written text that has been rehearsed several times, in public preferably”
How does the pitch session work?
It was already two years ago! But as far as I remember, we had three minutes to present our business on stage, then a selection of three startups was made by the jury and the awards were given on stage. This last part was obviously a big deal for us!
What are your top tips for a successful pitch?
I would start with an obvious but important one: you need to work on your pitch! Even if it is easy for you to speak in public, it is important to arrive prepared with a written text that has been rehearsed several times, in public preferably, so you can analyze the impact your words have on others.
When you write your pitch, I would advise you to think of what the audience present in the room will want to hear about. These listeners come from different backgrounds and fields of expertise, therefore you need to give the public a presentation that is easily understandable and that is of interest to them.
For instance, in our pitch, we emphasized our presence in Luxembourg via the BGL BNP Paribas incubator Lux Future Lab.
“With clients in Paris, New York, Dubai, Hong Kong, Luxembourg (of course) and many other cities around the world, winning PYSU certainly gave us visibility.”
How has SESAMm grown since your win?
Since 2016, a lot has happened for SESAMm! We have experienced 2000% growth in two years. Therefore, our team also grew significantly, from eight to 18 people, and is spread between our offices in Paris, Metz and Luxembourg. We will soon open a new office in London.
We just launched a new product, l’Humeur des Marchés – a data visualization of sentiment and emotions attached to financial assets for use by portfolio managers. It is currently used in Europe and the United States. Our algorithm is now capable of working in eight different languages.
With clients in Paris, New York, Dubai, Hong Kong, Luxembourg (of course) and many other cities around the world, winning PYSU certainly gave us visibility that we wouldn’t have managed on our own and let us access key financial players.