#betapitch:May the Best Pitch Win

This Friday, six startups in Vienna will get the chance to pitch their project to a jury of six startup pros at the betapitch | Vienna event. The best team will not only be provided with a desk at coworking space sektor5 for six months, but also earn the chance to travel to the betapitch | global in Berlin where they can win amazing prizes, including 5.000 Euro and a funded trip to Silicon Valley.

The betapitch competition was initiated by betahaus, a coworking space in Berlin which now has locations in Hamburg, Sofia and Barcelona as well. The competition is international and all events are held at coworking spaces – either betahaus locations or partner coworking spaces like sektor5 in Vienna. It doesn’t matter which phase or which field of work the startups are in – however, traditionally, betapitch competitors tend to be mainly hardware and software focused. Alumni of the Vienna competition include MagicShifter, Codeship, and last year’s pitch winner Drystorm.

The 2014 winner of betapitch | Vienna , Drystorm, holding up his trophy.betapitch | Vienna 2014 winner Drystorm, photo credit: Teresa Hammerl

We’ve had a chat with Floor Drees, managing director of sektor5 and one of the three co-organisers of betapitch | Vienna about why and how they’re using Walls.io at the event:

What’s going to be happening at the betapitch | Vienna event this friday?

We will have six startups pitching. They all get a slot of five minutes to present their idea plus three minutes of Q&A. Then the jury members will gather and decide who they are sending to Berlin for the final. By selecting the competing startups in advance we’ve secured a high quality of pitches. In addition, the teams will receive pitch training by Manuel Gruber from DREAMA TV on the day before the event.

Why use a hashtag and social wall for a closed competition?

The competition is decided by a jury, but the event is open for anyone who wants to attend. We want to be able to track all the engagement around the event, collect feedback, answer questions. A social wall is ideal for collecting everything in one spot while also giving everyone something nice to look at.

How are you going to get people to use the hashtag?

#betapitch is already widely in use now since all the competitions share the hashtag. The startups are already using it since we’ve used it in all our communication with the teams, We use it on social media ourselves ourselves and are going to project the social wall onto a screen during the event at sektor5 as well. Physical social walls work so well, because people go: “Oh, look that’s me on the wall up there,” and then they happily post away. And on top of that people can follow it all from elsewhere as well since sektor5 will be tweeting the pitches from the event and we’ll use the hashtag when sharing pictures after the event. We will also encourage jury members to use the hashtag – though obviously not while they are deliberating.

Man speaking in front of the audience at betapitch | Vienna event at Sektor5 in 2014Teams get to pitch their ideas in front of a jury and the audience, photo credit: Teresa Hammerl

Five minutes for pitching plus three for a Q&A – that’s not a lot of time. Do you think the teams will try to use social media and the hashtag to give more ample information about their project?

Officially, that isn’t allowed. But, I think, they’d probably have better luck bribing the jury anyway. Because they’re the ones that decide and not the audience.

betapitch | Vienna is free to attend, but make sure to claim your free ticket first – there are still a handful left. The Walls.io page for #betapitch can be found here.