Investor Ready and Pitch Perfect

It’s hard to believe that already on Thursday the programme comes to an end when the 10 startups pitch to the panel of judges for a share of the €2 million grant funds up for grabs.

Last week put the startups endurance, agility and stamina to the test. Throughout the week, the startups continued with their trainings and met with more Booking.com experts and the programme’s lead trainers for gruelling one-on-one sessions.

Aside from the learnings, startups have more that they can take away from these weeks here in Amsterdam together. As Jaideep and Paras from Global Himalayan Expedition said, “we spend so many months in the mountains, but even if we’re together, we don’t have time to step away and work on the business as a team. This has given us the chance to take 3 weeks and work together, get to know each other as teammates and put our energy into GHE”

 

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Pitch Coaching and Kayak Pitching

On Wednesday morning, Pitch coach, David Beckett, visited the startups for the first time and helped them unleash their pitching potential. Together, they spent the morning session breaking down how to best utilise their 3 minutes in front of the judges and prepare for the Q&A.

After the session, the Booster team let the participants in on a surprise - each startup would have 10 seconds to pitch their business on camera to be voted on by Booking.com employees. The catch? They’d have to do this while kayaking.

Putting all the tips and tricks that David had provided into their 10 seconds, the startups arrived on Thursday at the Amstel, ready to give their kayak pitch their best shot.

Watch below! The startup with the most votes from Booking.com employees will win €10,000 in Booking.com credit.

 

 
 

 

 

Biggest Failure Awards

On Friday night, we headed to Pllek, for some dinner and drinks and a light-hearted perspective on some of the mess-ups that can occur in one’s entrepreneurial past. Six Booster participants, trainers and experts took to the stage to share some of their favorite failures, how they overcame them and what they learned in the process.

Some discussed taking roles they weren’t ready for or losing money while upsetting customers, while others shared some of the mistaken assumptions they had made prior to starting this business or a previous one.

It was great to hear from the presenters on how they’ve overcome difficulties in the past - their resilience as well as creative problem solving was something the whole group could learn from.

 

Investor Decks Submitted

Last night, just before midnight, the startups all handed in their investor decks - 21 slides (exactly) on their business, financials, impact metrics and more to help the judges make their decision on who should receive funding and how much.

We asked a few how they were feeling after the weekend and now that they’ve submitted the investor decks: “After an intense 72 hours of non-stop application of new learnings we have obtained over the program we are excited to see how far we’ve been able to progress in such a short time,” said Will and Naomi from KITRO.

Onno and Will from Hotel con Corazon said they were “very relieved that it’s handed in and satisfied to put all learnings of the last two weeks into one plan.”

Our lead trainers spent the day at the office in back to back coaching sessions with the startups who needed some last minute guidance and feedback on their decks.

All day tomorrow, the judges will review these investor decks prior to the Final on Thursday where the pitches will complete the final 20% of the startups’ scores.

We have seen huge improvements among the 10 startups participating. They have taken the feedback from judges, experts, mentors and trainers and adjusted their metrics, their models and their growth plans - all hoping to impress the judges and be able to put a grant towards their future planning.

Stay tuned for the announcement on Friday for who will receive grant funding.