The beginnings of a startup are seldom profitable, moneywise. The race for funds is among the top priorities. Depending on the maturity of the startup, hunting for investors can prove very challenging. The French Tech thrives to ease the work of the entrepreneur with clever events. On July 6th, French Tech teams held the third edition of “Startup on the Beach” (SOTB). Sea, ideas, money & sun…
Some get luckier than others, startups growing up in an incubator/accelerator have an easier access to investors. But they don’t all get that chance. In France, the French Tech is not just a word that regroups startups. It’s a full ecosystem, dispatched all over France and abroad. Their role is to foster innovation and help startups along the way.
Organizing get-togethers with investors is one of their actions but some try to join that with a pleasant day out.
Startup on the Beach
The French Tech Rennes-Saint Malo (that recently joined with another Tech center to become The Poool) set up a “casual demoday” in the privateer city of Saint Malo. As Saint Malo Mayor, Claude Renoult, said: “Some people have ideas, others have money. Our job is to put the two together”.
8 accelerators, 38 investors, 50 startups and a lot of sun…
A sense of stressful anticipation was everywhere in the “Palais du Grand Large” on the morning of Friday, July 6th. The younger startups were pitching in the morning and the exercise was daunting to most. Two pitching rooms and a one-to-one zone for meetings with investors. Investors were very specific in their questions. However, it was done with consideration and it was certaintly an educational time for CEOs unaccustomed with the whole process.
Once lunchtime was on, the beach became the place to be. Startupers and investors all chating under the sun in a relaxed fashion was certainly a moment quality contacts were made. The bravers ones took a quick swim.
An Anglo-Saxon feel to it
French people tend to have definite idea of where business should be made and in which conditions. Stepping away from the rigid framework, thus surprising at first, helped knit closer ties. Conversations were easy to start, all were open to dialog. Getting everybody back inside for an afternoon of pitching proved slightly more difficult.
All afternoon was dedicated to pitches of more mature startups after hearing of the success stories of Procsea and Energiency.
The proximity of investors and startupers could seem like a great opportunity for the latter. It is, obviously, but investors in this third opus have also come in numbers. Major Brittany investors were present as well as groups from Paris. The difference with last year’s SOTB was that they came with reinforcement. That is a good sign of the momentum “Startup on the Beach” is gathering.
Time will tell
Startups had different needs in funds and they add up to 22 million Euros. Only time will tell if they reach their goal and come back, next year, as success stories, like Procsea and Energiency. One thing is for sure: there are different ways to bring ideas and money together but bringing sunscreen along makes it all the more pleasurable.
View pitches here: http://sotb.msy.io
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