Pitching to American Investors – BookBuses’ demo day in New York

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New York: In a few minutes, Danish BookBuses founder Oscar Aabech Jung will be entering the stage in front of 700 American investors.

This is the day Oscar Aabech Jung and the rest of the Danish IT company Book Buses have been working towards the last months. “Demo Day” is for startup businesses looking to raise capital.  Though similar events in Scandinavia exist, the scale is much larger in the US. Aabech Jung expects no less than 750 000 US dollars based on his performance today. That´s in Dollars, he underlines, not Danish kroner.

Book Buses has been selected as one of eleven startups to participate in the popular four month program of ERA (Entrepreneur Roundtable Accelerator), an accelerator and early stage investment fund based in New York. ERA helps IT startups to take their company to the next level, says the founder and managing director in ERA, Murat Aktihanoglu. The startups will have access to a network of 250+ highly experienced mentors that can assist them in various businesses related issues that they will face in the US, such as legal and financial matters.

PR and communications specialists, including an actor, have contributed to the making of Book Buses’ presentation.

The pitch must be perfect – there is a lot at stake.

“Securing early investments will give us the opportunity to enter the US market, and scale faster. It also allows us to manage and retain talent, which is equally important,” says founder Aabech Jung, who is attending alongside his cofounder Ostap Kovalisko (26) and Bjorn Broby Glavind (25).

Glavind graduated from Copenhagen Business School last year. BookBuses is his first startup related experience in the US.

“I think that when pitching anywhere, it pays off to be overly confident. On this matter, I don’t see any difference between the US and Scandinavia. Practically speaking however, due to the massive hype in the US around startups competing to raise money, I think you see a lot more preparation going into the pitches themselves, often making the entrepreneur seem more confident in their pitch than their Scandinavian counterparts. But I think that anywhere in the world, you will have a hard time raising money, if you don’t seem extremely confident in your idea. That said, the lack of “janteloven” in the US is definitely a positive factor when pitching, as investors are more receptive and positive to your pitch than for instance in Denmark.”

Pitching the American way

It´s Oscars turn. He runs up on stage to the beat of techno music and is ready to give his pitch with high confidence.  His presentation is focused on showing US investors that BookBuses is ready to hit the ground running:

– We have developed a new technology that revolutionizes how booking charterbuses are done.
– We have an experienced team who knows how to do business.
– We have already signed contracts with companies in 50 US states.
– We grow by 130 percent each month.

Interactive effects and animations underline his points.

“Join us on the journey!”, he shouts in closing. It´s an invitation to the investors.

Finding the investors
After the event, investors and entrepreneurs discuss and exchange business cards.

What are investors looking for?

“We are looking for tech companies with a market potential- and with an product or idea that they believe in. In the ends it´s really all about “people, people, people”, says one of angel investor at the event, Mr. Erving. “It’s essential to you show that you have a good team behind you and have a personality that can sell the product.”

BookBuses will established themselves in New York, but are also looking for investments opportunities in Silicon Valley.  “Demo Day is somewhat different on the West coast,” says Oscar. “It’s more like a speed-dating event with various investors, without onstage presentation, but equally intense.”
See Oscars Book Buses pitch here: https://youtu.be/grBnDZnJp08

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