Post Demo Day Post
Post Demo Day Post
One week following MindCET’s second Demo Day, I thought it would be an appropriate time to talk about what happens before and after that day. Like many things in life, the real story and the important happenings take place elsewhere than the place that draws the bulk of attention.
Before the Demo Day
People with an idea or an initial product come to us with both a desire and a fear. The desire comes mainly from personal experience, which has led them to devote a great deal of time to building a solution to a problem that they have experienced. The teams meet as strangers, and then go through months of intensive, incessant work and study. They build a team, talk with clients, learn to identify and understand who their initial customers are, how to reach them and speak with them, find out what alternatives exist in the marketplace, and how the market itself operates and, of course, build or develop the product or service. Along with all of this, they participate in professional workshops, meet numerous entrepreneurs, invest in and obtain feedback (some of which will be contradictory) from the many people who accompany them through this process (at one level or another). As time goes on, the group crystallizes, and what we see is a process of mutual assistance, complementation of skills, moral support, and social connections.
And then it all comes down to a five-minute presentation in front of a full auditorium.
Nonetheless, what is the importance of the Demo Day? This is a question that I and others are regularly asked (and ask). To a bystander, the program, which lasts about six months, seems to “waste” a great deal of time on preparing for the Demo Day. But I think that the answer is made up of four parts.
- To bring the process to a climax – from the outset there is a clear goal that artificially speeds the process up, demands discipline and constant self-examination of the individual’s ability to work and progress, and prevents inertia or resting one one’s laurels after receiving feedback (whether positive or negative).
- The Demo Day goal demands constant focus. The measurement parameters are clear. Hence, the Demo Day assists in refining many aspects of the business model, in its broader sense.
- Clarity in presentation is no less important than the product, the business model, and so on. We need the Demo Day to teach how to present to an audience. This is the ecosystem in which the entrepreneurs operate, and they have to be aware of it and trained for it from the outset. They have worked very hard, and they have what to show for it.
- It’s a celebration, yet it also marks the beginning of a long process. It celebrates hard work and the creation of a new initiative. It’s an opportunity for entrepreneurs to meet, sometimes for the first time, with their community and to talk with the public about what they have created. At the same time, it’s only the starting line for a long and arduous road.
And after all of these questions and reflections, I’d like to say something about MindCET’s second intake. This intake group was extremely varied, and reflected, to a large extent, our approach at MindCET to the interface between learning, technology, and the culture of the web. Among other things, this intake included 5 (!) women entrepreneurs who are leading three separate initiatives, two teacher entrepreneurs, three entrepreneurs from the south, and a musician.
We are proud of all of you! It was an inspiring evening, and we look forward to a future that is no less fascinating and successful!