Helping Startups Grow at the WebSummit 2017

Our team recently got back from the WebSummit. Considering that this year the attendance was over 60,000 people, it’s pretty safe to say that it’s the largest concentration of people who are passionate about innovations, digital transformation for their business, and new ideas of how to make this world a better place.

It’s the third year the APP Solutions is a partner for the WebSummit conferences. This year, we’ve also decided to help a rising e-commerce startup called Bizitome with finding investments and one of our Business Development Managers, Mariia, became their representative at the event.

Here are their experience and our lifehacks that might be helpful to you or fellow startuppers.

Preparations

Among the startups that come to the WebSummit there are ALPHAs, BETAs, and START levels. Bizitome is currently developing their web solution, therefore they are at the ALPHA stage.

There are three main reasons for an ALPHA startup to come to the WebSummit:

  1. Get a proof of concept (in case there is no ready product to show yet).
  2. Talk to people to find out what kind of improvements can be made to the product in the future (since WebSummit, in a way, is a large focus group for innovations. Granted, this depends on the type of product you’re working on, but still.)
  3. Get investments.

You can never be overprepared for events like this (especially if you want to get investments), so it’s better to start a few months prior to the date of the conference.

Study the attendee list and set up meetings with people you think might be interested in your idea. The list shouldn’t be limited to attendees with a badge “Investor.” You don’t know who might want to invest in your business, so don’t disregard people based on the badges.

A word about attendees: majority assigns their tickets right before the event. Below is the graph we’ve got based on registrations in the weeks leading to the WebSummit, so keep updating your data.

How many tickets were assigned each week leading up to the WebSummit

At the WebSummit

You’ve made it to the WebSummit. Congratulations. Now the hard (and/or fun) part begins :)

This year the conference lasted for three days and each day a new set of startups would have a stand day. Allocate your energy accordingly, so that you won’t die before the last day of the event.

In case you’ve got a stand, the day when you present your idea to the WebSummit visitors is the most important day. Show up early, don’t forget to smile, and get ready to talk all day long.

If you don’t have a stand at all (or in the days when you don’t have a stand), networking can get you where you need to be as well. Talk to people, learn about their product, tell them a bit about yours.

There are also very useful WebSummit Mentor Hours for startups. The idea of these meetings is to connect high-level attendees with startup representatives to gain knowledge on how to start, grow, and scale a successful business. While our Mariia was representing Bizitome at the stand, the co-founders met with the mentor in order to learn valuable insights on how best to proceed with implementation of the project.

Get ready to walk a few miles each day. Below is one of the team member’s activity track (considering that she was mainly stationed at the stand.)

Walking around the WebSummit

Following Up

The conference itself might’ve ended for this year, but the work doesn’t stop here.

If you haven’t had a chance to meet with someone during the event, don’t give up. We’ve met one of the potential leads in the airport in the wee hours of the morning. He didn’t have a chance to meet during the conference, but here was the perfect opportunity to chat. Chances are that people to and from Lisbon around the time of the WebSummit are among attendee list, so don’t be shy and talk to them.

At the conference, our client’s team talked to hundreds of people, collected over 200 interested contacts, and captured the attention of three investors.

The APP Solutions team is happy that we got a chance to help Bizitome, our startup client, this year and we’re looking forward to helping more startups in the future - with web & mobile development as well as representing the companies at the events like WebSummit.

P.S. Here's Mariia and the Bizitome team at the stand. 

Mariia and the Bizitome Team at the WebSummit 2017