Putting an idea up to peer review is crucial for any entrepreneur. When a new venture is still in the early stages and traction is just getting started, identifying potential flaws in the business model, and having the opportunity to assess new ways to grow the company can lead to increased chances of long term viability.
Rockstart, an Amsterdam based startup hub has been aiming to address the need for effective pitch events for some time now. They launched their Answers event a few years ago in the Netherlands, and have been gradually expanding the concept across Europe. On July 17th the gathering will make its way to Berlin.
The setup is simple. Six startups pitch their product or service to an audience of experts before finishing their three minute presentation with a question related to the company’s most substantial challenge at the moment and how they can overcome it. This is followed by a short Q/A session where the guests can learn more about the businesses in order to provide more well rounded feedback. The session closes with each audience member writing their recommendation on a piece of paper which is distributed to the company co-founders afterwards during the networking session.
“Participants will receive honest and useful answers for any problem entrepreneurs are facing on their way to the top” says Shirin Kamali, a member of Startup Germany, the group organizing the Berlin installment of the event. She also mentions one of the other main benefits, the contact building. “Rockstart answers is a great way to strengthen your own business network”.
Solidifying Your Idea
Valéry Döhler is taking part in the event along with his co-founder for their new curated music playlist venture NeverGoSolo. While he’s launched other successful startups in the past, Valéry also recognizes the value such events can generate for growing businesses. “Since we are a bootstrapped company and not VC funded, things like mobile and user retention become an entirely new challenge. We’re sure we’ll get some great input from founders, who have gone through the same experience before”.
In terms of what his own startup does, and how it can disrupt the music industry he had the following to say. “We will publish weekly hand-curated music playlists on a subscription basis for 99 cents a piece. We want to bridge an important gap in the music industry: between manual search, and suggestion algorithms. Our focus is on exclusivity: unknown, un-published & remixed music”.
With an established startup scene years in the making, Berlin isn’t lacking a support system for new events looking to gain traction within the community. Startup Germany has played an important role in facilitating the expansion of the Answers event to the German capital. The organization, which looks to promote similar initiatives across the country seems keen on turning Rockstart into a mainstay.
Shirin explains her group’s rationale behind bringing the event to Berlin. “Startup Germany’s main mission is to support founders at any stage. Rockstart Answers is a great way to get direct and useful feedback from experienced founders that already went through a lot of entrepreneurial problems themselves. We love the community-driven and grassroots approach of Rockstart Answers”.
One For The Road
What attendees and participants alike will be able to take away from this meeting lies in the ease with which they can exchange ideas. Sharing experiences, and building on past errors is an important part of growing a business, and Answers promotes an environment where connecting with like-minded individuals to go over the trials and tribulations of building a startup is uniquely straightforward.
Rockstart has been successful in growing business networks around the world, and even in an established market like Berlin there’s still much to be done in powering startups and providing them the input they need to succeed.
Interested parties can send an RSVP request: HERE