There is now very little room at CES in Las Vegas, one of the main events dedicated to consumer electronics. In addition to the usual big names in the sector, the event also has a large space dedicated to innovative companies – Eureka Park – and for four years now ITA – Italian Commercial Agency and innovation factorythe startup incubator of Regional science park, organize the Italian startup mission, bringing together around fifty young Italian companies at the event. Innovation Factory’s mission is not limited to providing a showcase for these companies, but accompanies them on their path to growth, by offering them the necessary training to prepare to meet potential investors from all over the world.
A four-step training course
“We have completed the training, what we call the Academy” – he explains to Edge9 Fabrice RovatiCEO of Innovation Factory, explaining that the course divided into four sessions provides”Little theory and a lot of practice. In the first session, we explained to those who have never been to CES what it is and why it makes sense to go there, but also how to interact, how to behave with investors. Shortly after, we followed up with a discussion with a business angel who explained what an investor expects from a startup”. Not all of the 48 companies selected have participated in previous editions, and for some this is the first public event where they can meet potential lenders.
The second training session, on the other hand, was dedicated to legal issues, where a lawyer focused on the aspects to be taken into account when signing a collaboration, investment or joint venture agreement. “In recent years, we have noticed that startups often run the risk of saying the same thing whether they are dealing with a partner or an investor.“, emphasizes Rovatti, who explains how one of the objectives of IF is to transmit information to startups on how to behave with each other depending on the interlocutor and on which documents to pay attention.
The next step in the process of approaching the CES was to offer the 48 companies a kind of mini-course in public relations, to explain to them how to communicate effectively. “Stock an introduction on how to relate to the media in general, then Eric from The Constellation Group will tell you what type of positioning to hold, as well as explain what they will be making available as a PR agency”.
After these trainings, the startups go into practice, training to make pitches, that is to say these very short speeches – a few minutes at most – where the idea is presented to an investor. This is a key aspect, since it is precisely at such times that a startup plays its cards and must therefore be able to use the little time it has to convince the interlocutor of the merits of its project. These “lessons” will be held by an American consultant, Lisa Patti, over four days. “We divided the 48 startups into three groups. During the first session, they will learn to express themselves clearly in front of an American interlocutor. The second session will be dedicated to how to present complex ideas, while the third will be a real lesson on how to build a pitch”. Finally, the fourth is a kind of pitch simulation: the startups will train to present their idea to the representatives of the Innovation Factory, who will give their opinion and advice to improve their pitch. Before even starting the training, all the startups were asked to prepare a video with their pitch, in order to be able to make a comparison between the initial situation and the post-training situation, in order to be able to evaluate their growth path.
In a few weeks, the 48 startups selected by the ITA and the Innovation Factory – Area Science Park will have the opportunity to put into practice what they learned during the training and present their ideas at Eureka Park, the CES space dedicated to young innovative companies. Edge9 will not miss the appointmentand will meet with the representatives to find out what projects they are investing their energies in.