Plant an App, a Romanian low-code startup, which developed a platform that creates applications dedicated to companies, participated on March 26th at Demo Day, the final pitch session of the 500 Startups business accelerator. At the event attended more than 1,600 investors from all over the world. Following this experience, the Plant an App team comes with a several tips and recommendations for Romanian entrepreneurs.
Amid the situation prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 500 Startups business accelerator in San Francisco, United States, has decided to cancel the Demo Day physical event and move it online, through the Digital Demo Day edition. This has been a way for investors and participating startups to continue to interact. The session was accessible via Facebook and YouTube for both investors and the general public through live broadcast.
The uniqueness of the event also came from the fact that the experience of live stream presentations was supplemented by the interaction realized in the digital space with the help of the Slack application. Investors were invited to a dedicated Slack domain, having free access to browse any public channel assigned to each participating startup. So, the startups could be presented similar to a physical event, with a “stand” where both informational materials and important details about the company were displayed, as well as building an “activation” experience, being all the team present in this environment.
In total, 28 technology startups from 13 countries have held pitches in the presence of more than 1,600 investors from Silicon Valley, but also from other regions of the world. For Plant an App, 500 Digital Demo Day generated at least 30 new conversations with investors from the United States, Europe and Asia. Following these introductory discussions, the Romanian entrepreneurs intend to open a seed funding round, attracting about $ 1.5 million.
”500 Startups Demo Day is a ritual of passage in the life of a start-up. It marks the end of an intense program after which we found our identity and matured the growth process. For investors, this means that we are very well equipped for success. Therefore, following the event, we were approached by over 30 new investors from all over the world”, said Bogdan Lițescu, CEO Plant an App.
The 5 most important things that Plant an App has learned at Demo Day 500 Startups and tips for Romanian entrepreneurs
- Agility is not just an assimilated virtue, but a muscle that must be continuously trained
- Needs and desires, not just products and solutions
- The ability to execute is the main difference in the eyes of investors
- In Silicon Valley, Venture Capital + Startups = Business as Usual
- An accelerator comes with many benefits. The biggest is, by far, linked to accessing an extensive network of valuable connections, from mentors and investors to other startups.
Plant and App representatives recommend now to Romanian entrepreneurs who wish to participate in such accelerator to not wait for the ideal moment. Any entrepreneurial vision must be supported by immediate action. The fundamental role of an accelerator like 500 Startups is to prepare entrepreneurs for an intense business environment.
Moreover, those who wish to do so should take into account that in order to enter such an accelerator, the competition is high. Plant an App had the chance to be accepted from the first try.
For an entrepreneur, extremely important is to build an active network of connections in Venture Capital. This is about investors who are always careful and present in the entrepreneurial world. Plant an App, for example, had the chance to be a guest business in 500 Startups by one of the partners. Therefore, it is essential for an entrepreneur to be constantly connected to the business environment.
”Our experience in 500 Startups came with a lot of new knowledge, work experiences, new types of activities and the formation of connections in a business world to which, until then, when we actually accessed the program, I didn’t feel we belonged to it. Now we have a valuable insider perspective and we feel ready for any Western challenge. We feel it is our duty to convey to all entrepreneurs in Romania the trust to make the step towards venture capital, to start discussions with startup communities around the world, but also to go on the road with big ambitions”, explained Alex Gavril, CMO Plant an App.