‘And the winner is…’ The SaaStock EMEA Startup Pitch Competition 20205 min read

EMEA pitch comp

SaaStock’s Startup Pitch Competition is the perfect opportunity for up-and-coming startups to get in front of SaaS experts and big-name VCs. And while we haven’t been able to get together in person this year, the Startup Pitch Competition at SaaStock EMEA Online proved a huge success.

How does the Online Pitch Competition work?

We are on a mission to find the best B2B SaaS startups of 2020 and get them in front of the top SaaS market leaders as well as most reputable VCs to accelerate their growth. We want to recognise younger companies that are growing fast, as well as those that are changing the way we see SaaS.

All startups on our Startup Program had the opportunity to enter our Pitch Competition. We also invited a select group of Startup Ticket pass holders to take part.

Companies were assessed on the following criteria: 

  • Business model: Is the business model viable in the current landscape?
  • Innovation: How you’re solving the problem and how relevant it is.
  • Scalability: Is the product scaleable?
  • Traction: Evidence of traction
  • Competitive Advantage: How it stands out from the competition

Pre-selection took place during the Startup & Investor Day that kicked off SaaStock EMEA on October 12. 10 startups were selected to take part in the semi-finals live at SaaStock EMEA, and from these semi-finals, four startups progressed to the live final that was held on the Scale stage on the final day of SaaStock EMEA.

The winner receives various prizes including a Startup Program booth at our next SaaStock conference, and a perk package containing prizes from our partners.

Meet the Judges

Semi-final judges:

  • Tom Jameson, Partner at CMS
  • Joyce Mackenzie Liu, Founder at Pegafund
  • Daria Danilina, Investment Professional at Oxx
  • Niklas Raberg, Investment Manager at Capnamic
  • Melissa Lester, Investment Partner at Dig Ventures
  • William McQuillan, Partner at Frontline Ventures
  • Michael Hart, Associate at Lakestar
  • Varun Purandare, Vice President at Accel

Live final judges

  • Andy Leaver, Partner at Notion Capital
  • Alex Konoplyasty, Managing Partner / Co-founder at Flashpoint Ventures
  • Tom Jameson, Partner at CMS
  • Natalia Panowicz, CEO at Codility

Meet the Finalists

  • BlinkIn – a startup on a mission to ‘give the world a help button’, revolutionizing Customer support using AI & AR.
  • Loyaltics – a comprehensive suite of AI driven SaaS applications and solutions to transform your retail business. 
  • Mercury.ai – offers conversational AI to deliver customer happiness in messaging apps.
  • SyncSpider – a universal marketing tool that helps you synchronize your web app data across 100’s of channels and platforms.

Watch the final of the SaaStock EMEA Startup Pitch Competition:

For the first time ever, the competition was so close that as well as a winner, we announced a runner-up in our Pitch Competition. We’re delighted to share that SyncSpider were very close runners-up…

And the winner is…

We’re delighted to introduce BlinkIn as the winner of the SaaStock EMEA Startup Pitch Competition.

We spoke to their co-founder, Josef Suess, who shared more about their SaaStock EMEA experience, and what’s next for BlinkIn:

What were your goals for joining the startup program at SaaStock EMEA?

“SaaStock has a really good reputation as a global software community and has been able to create exciting formats. We’re starting to go into “sales mode” and we’re going to raise our first financing round next year, so we were hoping for some exposure in the SaaStock context which has worked out really well. “

Tell us about the pitch competition: how did you prepare and how was the experience?

“The outcome was surely amazing and of course flattering! We really enjoyed it throughout. As a team and as individuals, we’re eager to learn and improve. Going against such strong competition has helped us step up our game.

The preparation for the pitch was pretty much the same as always: understand the framework, identify your audience, understand your competition, build the story, build the deck, and rehearse until you’re confident to do well. 

In addition to winning the competition, it has meant a lot to us that many members of the expert jury have reached out to us afterwards to congratulate and give feedback in person. We are thankful for the conversations we’re having with them since.”

How has Blinkin been impacted by the covid pandemic? How have you adapted and overcome these challenges?

“On the one hand, Covid has helped us to gain awareness as a remote collaboration platform. Potential clients do not only see the benefit of remote work for cutting costs, they are faced with the challenge of continuing their business under “new normal” circumstances. It is great to see how we can help achieve this.

On the other hand, we are an operating business and now have to rely on remote work entirely as well. It has not been easy for sure but in comparison to most other companies we’re in a good position and work hard to keep it that way.”

What’s next for BlinkIn?

“Many exciting things! For instance, we’re building the no-code framework for delivering Visual AI assistance and are looking for new co-innovation partners for the next use cases. 

Also, we’re completing our visual collaboration platform with time-shifted tools in addition to live video calls. This will allow us to actively approach new market segments and to shift from individual client projects to providing a clean SaaS product. 

As said, we’re diligently preparing for our first investment round next year. We are currently looking at our options and have started talks with a number of VCs, who like what we do and how we do it – and at the same time challenge us to become better every week.”

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