Preparing for Battle: 3 Tactics from 2013 Global Startup Battle Winner, Garden Genie

Global Startup Battle (GSB), the largest startup competition in the world, is coming to a city near you. With over 15,000 participants last year from over 40 countries, the buzz for this year’s event is building.


As you prepare for 2014’s Battle, we asked a few of last year’s winners what it takes to master this global competition.

Meet Jennifer Clamp, CEO and Co-Founder of New Zealand-based Garden Genie, a startup that provides first time food growers knowledge, seeds and supplies to start a garden. Last year, Garden Genie won GSB’s E-Commerce Circle competition and a month-long trip to Austin, Texas, to be a part of the interactive SXSW festival. Garden Genie’s team combined their passion for organic gardening with a can-do-anything attitude to win the coveted prize.

Screen-Shot-2014-06-19-at-10.06.06-AM

Jennifer shares her advice on what seeds to sow in order to reap GSB’s rewards:

1. Get outside your comfort zone.

GSB is a fantastic learning experience, and your startup is a great vehicle for that learning.

Unlike a job, you’re not boxed into a role. GSB is your opportunity to go outside your comfort zone and practice a new skillset. Maybe you’ve worked with someone who is a great leader or communicator and thought “I wonder if I could do that?” Now is your chance. It will be appreciated by the team. Give it a shot.

In a high pressure situation, a clear leader is required.  This is your opportunity to set aside your fears and lead the team.  Under such tight timeframes, it’s a great way to work on leadership skills.

While uncomfortable, have hard team conversations before you need to. Figure out who is truly committed before you’re at GSB. It’s a lot harder to have a realistic conversation once something is a stake. When the pitch is done, before the winners are announced, find out who is committed to continuing.

2. Make a point in 5 seconds.

The GSB requires a video entry.  The video should engage your audience, tell a story and meet the judging criteria.

We used the principles from the book Make It Stick to create our pitch.  Together, we discussed how to bring our personalities and passion to our entry.  We storyboarded every 5 seconds of the pitch with the key point and accompanying image. You can make a point in 5 seconds. In order to tell your story to a new audience in a minute, every second counts.

3. Give back to your community.

GSB is an incredible learning opportunity. Don’t underestimate all you have learned.

After winning GSB, we decided to make Garden Genie a real company. The experience and mentorship we received thanks to our win meant that we were accelerated through the first stage of getting started.

Winning GSB’s E-Commerce Circle competition has given us notoriety. We are often asked to speak.  We may only be one step ahead of our audience, but that makes it even more valuable to share our experiences. Sharing that knowledge builds a community. The stronger your startup community is, the stronger your businesses will be.

GardenGenie

Jennifer Clamp, CEO and Co-Founder, pitching at an event in Auckand, NZ. They won the People’s Choice award.








Preparing for Battle: 3 Tactics from 2013 Global Startup Battle Winner, VisionBoards

Global Startup Battle (GSB), the largest startup competition in the world, is coming to a city near you. With over 15,000 participants last year from over 40 countries, the buzz for this year’s event is building.

As you prepare for 2014’s Battle, we asked a few of last year’s winners what it takes to master this global competition.

Meet Stephanie Dionne and Natalia Petraszczuk, Co-Founders of Detroit-based VisionBoards, a social networking platform where users can design and order custom self-empowerment tools. Last year, VisionBoards won GSB’s Innovator’s Circle competition. VisionBoards took a successful empowerment tool, transformed it into a digital application, and formed a strong two-person team to power through GSB.

Untitled-1

Envisioning your way to the top of GSB this year? Stephanie and Natalia share their advice on how to get there:

1. Focus on your strengths.

Somewhere on the Internet, hopefully losing pagerank by the day, is the end result of the most humbling lesson learned from our GSB experience: our 60-second video submission. We hadn’t even processed our Startup Weekend win before learning we had 24-hours to post a video detailing our overall vision for the product and progress so far. We hadn’t slept in 2 days, had no access to professional video equipment, and nothing more than notebook sketches for wireframes. Instead of fixating on what we didn’t have, we decided to focus on what our assets were during Startup Weekend: passion, authenticity, industry expertise, and a massive network of supporters to help gain momentum. We filmed our entry on an iPad, spent 30 minutes on edits, and clicked send. As horrifying as it is to go back and watch it, it reminds us daily of the heights of success we are capable of when do what we’re good at. Let go of the little things and focus relentlessly on the long-term vision.

2. Check your ego at the door.

A lot of first-time attendees walk away from Startup Weekend with a bitter taste because their idea flopped or team fell apart. They don’t realize that the true magic of a startup event can only happen when people focus on what they’re good at, laugh off the awkward moments, and stop fixating on who is getting the credit. If it’s Saturday morning and you’re already talking equity agreements, you’re doing it wrong. Show up ready to learn, shake off disappointments quickly, and be prepared for transformative opportunities where you least expect them.

3. Once it’s over, pace yourselves.

Every now and again we get the chance to peek our heads out of what we call the “startup blackhole.” We continue to be stunned and honored by the support we’ve received within the startup community and from our early-stage supporters. We’ve learned the importance of pacing ourselves for long-term growth instead of constantly chasing the next “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity. We’ve started accepting obstacles and delays as an inevitable (and critical) part of the process. This summer we’ve purposefully laid low to focus on the blurrier details of our business model and marketing strategy. It has paid off big time: we just brought on our first team member this week, began final prep for a full beta release this fall, and were recently thrilled to learn we’ve been selected as one of three finalists for Detroit’s Entrepreneurs of the Year!

Our success story, like so many that have emerged in recent years, demonstrates the tremendous capacity that startup events have for fostering disruptive innovation at the grassroots level.

Are you free the weekends of Nov. 14-16 or Nov. 21-23? Sign up NOW to participate in this year’s Global Startup Battle! Big prizes, superstar judges…

 








Preparing for Global Startup Battle With 2013 Women's Circle Winner, Adlet

Global Startup Battle (GSB), the largest startup competition in the world, is coming to a city near you. With over 15,000 participants last year from over 40 countries, the buzz for this year’s event is building.

__

As you prepare for 2014’s Battle, we asked a few of last year’s winners what it takes to master this global competition.

Meet Emma Coles, CEO and Co-Founder of UK-based Adlet, an ad platform that allows independent bloggers to sell ad space to small businesses. Last year, Adlet won GSB’s Women’s Circle competition. Their prizes included a trip to Atlanta, Georgia, to meet with Coca-Cola business executives to help propel the startup forward.

Adlet pic.jpg

Adam Curtis, Software Developer; Emma Cole, CEO; Tom O’Brien, Marketing (Missing Chloe O’Connor, Marketing & Social Media)

Adlet’s solid teamwork and simple-to-use product idea created a winning platform. Emma shares her advice on how to come up on top of this year’s competition:

Adlet, GSB, Global Startup Battle

1. Hustle.

Teams are voted on by the world’s public. If you want to move forward to the next round, you need the votes. This means that you have to do two difficult things:

  • Sell your idea to people, and;
  • Get them to vote!

Your team really has to work hard to get the votes. It’s not easy. But this is not only beneficial for winning GSB – you’re also experiencing what it’s going to be like selling your product once it goes live.

2. Every second counts.

Every team has to submit a video entry to be considered for GSB. Your video is really important. It doesn’t have to be done by a professional – we shot ours on one of our phones. We made sure we took the time to write a good script, though. You need to tell your story, and a compelling one at that. You’ve only got a minute, so every second counts.

Take time to watch similar length pitch videos. Get ideas of what works and what doesn’t. Make sure you include all of the necessary information and follow the judging guidelines.

3. Now you have a running start.

Adlet has had a really great first year after winning the GSB Women’s Circle. Startup Weekend and GSB have given us an amazing opportunity to move Adlet forward quickly. We’ve had a fantastic response from the press and our customer base. User sign-ups are going amazingly well.

We just met with executives at Coca-Cola last week as part of our GSB Women’s Circle prize. Thanks to GSB, we have the support and momentum to turn this startup into a real business.

 








Prepárate para la Global Startup Battle con Pawly, Ganador del 2013

Global Startup Battle (GSB), es la competencia más grande de startups en el mundo, y viene a una ciudad cerca a tí. Con más de 15,000 participantes en 2013 de más de 40 países, la emoción por el evento de este año se comienza a sentir. 

__

Mientras te preparas para la batalla del 2014, le preguntamos al equipo ganador del año pasado qué es lo que se requiere para ganar esta competencia global.

Conoce a Mayer Elharar, CEO y Co-Fundador de la compañía Pawly, basada en Toronto, la cual creó un juguete interactivo para mascotas, ideal para dueños viajeros. Ellos son nuestros Grandes Campeones de GSB 2013, evento patrocinado por Google For Entrepreneurs.

El equipo de Pawly’s tomo una idea de producto innovadora y buscó la ayuda de extraños en las calles para derrotar a un poco menos de 1,000 startups a nivel global. Como campeones de 2013, recibieron 20,000 dólares en fondos, una visita a las oficinas de Google en Silicon Valley, un hangout emprendedor-celebridad en Google+, cobertura de prensa y soporte.

Un año después, el software de Pawly continúa desarrollándose y rompiendo esquemas en robótica para el consumidor. Actualmente es fondeada en Indegogo con una meta de 80 mil dólares.

Global Startup Battle, Pawly, Startup Weekend

Global Startup Battle, Pawly, Startup Weekend

Todos queremos ganar la batalla más grande de emprendimiento del mundo. En donde puedes probarte a ti mismo como el maestro de todas las cosas startup. Aquí te dejamos algunos tips estratégicos para alistar a tu equipo para el evento. Oh, ¿no te has registrado?

Mayer nos comparte sus consejos para ganar este año:

1. Trabaja hasta que más no puedas.

Cada uno de ustedes puede ser el próximo ganador de la Global Startup Battle. Sí, así como se lee. Yo no lo creía, pero ¡nosotros ganamos!

Sin embargo, tienes que trabajar. Mucho. Un día, estás perdiendo la batalla, el siguiente, estás como número uno. Esfuérzate hasta el último día. Después de todo ese trabajo arduo, ganarás. GSB es una preparación para la vida que te espera como emprendedor – muchos sube y baja. Recuerda la meta y trabaja aún más el día que sigue. Si ganas, tendrás una oportunidad única en la vida.

2. Habla con extraños.

Un aspecto importante que hay que entender es la validación del mercado – ¿existe interés del público en tu producto? ¿Lo comprarían?

Para ganar GSB, fuimos analizados por un panel de expertos. Únicamente los equipos en el top 15 tuvieron esa oportunidad. Para estar en el top 15 necesitábamos la mayor cantidad de votos posibles. No puedes obtener todos esos votos sentado en tu computadora.

Así que salimos a la calle y hablamos con extraños.

La retroalimentación que recibimos fue fantástica. Obtuvimos la misma reacción casi todas las veces: ¿En dónde puedo conseguir un Pawly? Lo cual nos generó los votos que necesitábamos. También entendimos más las necesidades de los dueños de las mascotas. GSB es la mejor competencia para cualquier startup. Aprendimos mucho!

3. Prepárate para renunciar a tu trabajo diario.

Cuando ganas, ¡prepárate para renunciar a tu trabajo!

La batalla nos impulso a alcanzar cosas in-imaginables. La atención que obtuvimos de parte de los medios fue fenomenal. Nos sentíamos casi famosos. Ese empuje fue el que nos llevó de ser concepto a compañía.

Desde GSB, hemos sido aceptados a la Zona Digital de Medios, una incubadora de startups. También estamos lanzando una campaña con Indiegogo el próximo mes. No podemos esperar para compartir Pawly con el resto del mundo. Ganar GSB nos ha dado la oportunidad de hacer este proyecto realidad.

Sean Min, Analista de Mercadeo (Izquierda) y Mayer Elharar, CEO y Co-fundador (Derecha).








Preparing for Global Startup Battle With 2013 Winner, Pawly

Global Startup Battle (GSB), the largest startup competition in the world, is coming to a city near you. With over 15,000 participants last year from over 40 countries, the buzz for this year’s event is building.

__

As you prepare for 2014’s Battle, we asked a few of last year’s winners what it takes to master this global competition.

Meet Mayer Elharar, CEO and Co-Founder of Toronto-based Pawly, a company that created an interactive pet toy for on-the-go animal owners – and last year’s Grand Champion sponsored by Google For Entrepreneurs.

Pawly’s team took an innovative product idea and enlisted the help of strangers on the streets to beat nearly 1,000 startups worldwide. As 2013 champions, they received 20K in funding, visitation to Google headquarters, entrepreneur-celebrity Google+ hangout, press coverage and support.

1-year-later, Pawly’s software continues to develop and push boundaries in consumer robotics. It’s currently being funded on Indegogo with a goal of 80K.

Global Startup Battle, Pawly, Startup Weekend

Global Startup Battle, Pawly, Startup Weekend

We all want to win the greatest battle entrepreneurs have ever known. Where one proves themselves as the master of all things startup. Here are some strategic tips to get your team ready. Oh, haven’t signed up? 

Mayer shares his advice for earning the win this year.

1. Work your ass off.

Each of you can be the next winner of Global Startup Battle. Yes, that’s right. I wouldn’t have believed it then, but we won!

You have to work, though. Hard. One day you’re losing the Battle, the next day you’re on top. Keep at it until the final day. After all the hard work, you will win. GSB is great preparation for startup life – lots of ups and downs. Remember the goal and work harder the next day. If you win, you’ll get the chance of a lifetime.

2. Talk to strangers.

An important thing to understand is market validity – are people interested in your product? Will they buy it?

To win GSB, we had to be analyzed by a panel of industry experts. Only the top 15 teams had that opportunity. To be in the top 15, we needed as many votes as possible. You simply can’t get all those votes sitting at your computer.

So we went to the streets. We talked to strangers about our product.

The feedback we received was amazing. We got the same reaction: when can I buy a Pawly? This got us the votes we needed. It also taught us more about pet owners’ needs. GSB is the best competition for any startup. We learned a lot!

3. Be prepared to quit your day job.

Once you win, get ready to quit your other job!

The Battle pushed us forward to achieve unimaginable things. The media attention we received was phenomenal. We almost felt famous. The push we got was enough to take us from concept to a company.

Since GSB, we have been accepted into the Digital Media Zone, a startup incubator. We are also launching an Indiegogo campaign next month. We can’t wait to share Pawly with the rest of the world. Winning GSB has given us the power make this a reality.

Sean Min, Marketing Analyst (left) and Mayer Elharar, CEO and Co-Founder (right)