Nordic Tech Tour: Our journey gets goingJune 18th, 2010 by Harri Holopainen
As anyone who has ever started their own company knows, it is quite a ride. While every journey is different, all share the thrill of turning an idea into reality.
For any start-up, a key point in this process is when it pokes its head to the world. If it is mishandled, even a promising business risks having it chopped off. This is part of the reason it’s a good idea to take part in a pitching competition. Not only does it provide great exposure to the media and possible investors, it also forces you to cut down your key message from forty pages to ten.
With this in mind, a while ago Microtask applied for Tech Tour, which this year focused on the Nordic and Baltic regions. Because the great opportunities for growth companies at this event are well known, only a small number of the applicants that apply are selected to present at it. This year the competition was especially tough, and the jury went through the business plans of more than 500 start-up, growth, and expansion phase companies.
As you might have guessed by the fact that we are talking about it, Microtask was selected as one of the thirty finalists invited to present at the conference, which was held earlier this week. Although we were confident that we deserved a place at the competition, it is always encouraging to hear that other people agree with us!
After much thought, our pitch was based on the question “Why outsource to China when you can outsource to Farmville?” It proved popular with the audience (luckily the Chinese trade minister did not attend), and stimulated some lively debate and a lot of subsequent interest (not to mention Microtask’s first trophy for the cabinet!)
Aside from our presentation, it was also fascinating to see other growth company’s pitches, and get a glimpse of what the future holds in a variety of areas. Did you know, for example, that a spaghetti of carbon nanotubes can be used for transparent and bendable printed circuits?
Everyone I spoke to at the conference agreed that it was a great experience, and superbly organized. It was small enough so that you could comfortably have a decent chat with someone, but big enough so that you might later find out that he or she is a VC who owns 10% of every company of the world. (Needless to say, it’s the type of place where there is no shortage of people happy to buy the next round).
Following up with all the new contacts and ideas (not to mention filing of business cards) is going to keep us busy for weeks. Not that I’m complaining: for Microtask the journey is gathering momentum. It’s time to hang on, fasten our seatbelts and enjoy the ride!