Children are the jury for startups pitching at Stockholm IoT week

Swedish co-working space Impact Hub Stockholm hosted an unusual pitching event last month as part of STHLM IoT Week – pitching to children!

On October 14, 2015 Impact Hub Stockholm hosted an event entitled “NOT your usual pitching event”.   The participants were IoT startups pitching their businesses, investors…and children aged 5 years and older.

At 5 pm, the Impact Hub was full of parents and their children, running around, playing, and laughing.  The parents, who themselves have a passion for technology, were happy to find a technology event that was interesting for the whole family.

According to a tacit agreement, over the next 2 hours, investors swapped their places with the children. As a result, startups had to iterate their pitches to be able to explain their projects in plain speaking that kindergartners could wrap their heads around.

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The event included a hardware prototyping workshop with LittleBits that young participants went crazy over, a magical treat from Wonderbag,  and  7 pitches from some brave Stockholm and Uppsala entrepreneurs – DayCape, PawerSHL, Tinitell,Veckopengen, BioTailorLab, Leeluu, TimeVillage, and one pitching winner – Veckopengen.

I talked afterwards with Philip Haglund, Veckopengen Founder & CEO, to understand how he managed to win over the hearts of the tiny judges in this competition.

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Hi, Philip, thank you for coming! Could you please first introduce yourself?

I am Philip Haglund, 28 year old footballer player and entrepreneur striving to innovate and change how young people understand and use their pocket money.

 Could you please describe what your company does?

We want to teach young people about money. Our application is sort of a mobile bank for children, where they can see when they will get there weekly pocket money, how their savings are growing and what chores they can complete to extra money from their parents.

Do you have kids yourself?

No, but I grew up with 5 siblings trying to get my fair piece of the households attention!

Tell me about the pitch: did you have to tailor it a lot? How did you manage to keep it interesting for everyone?

Actually, we got an invitation for the event the same day. So two hours before the event started we decided that we would participate. So we didn’t really have much time for changes.

But how did you feel when pitching to the kids? Was different than usual?

Of course. I tried to keep it simple and understandable without any complex figures. But still, I addressed the kids as investors and I tried to explain what´s so great about our product. We actually took parts from our external investor memorandum.

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Philip Haglund from Veckopengen pitches to children

Yeah, you took a serious approach! What was the most complicated to explain to kids?

The understanding that in the future, we will use digital money and digital money only.

There were some great presentations there, why did you think you won?

We secretly bought ice cream to all the kids, haha.

No, we interact with parents and children on a daily basis, trying to understand their needs and behaviors when it comes to pocket money. Maybe that made it easier for us to address the children knowing what problems they have in their daily life.

Do you feel that there is need to have more events for both parents and kids?

Of course, children are the future-market in many aspects. The young people are the ones changing habits and especially when it comes to technical solutions. Just have a look at Youtube, Snapchat or Instagram. They all started out with early adopters in the young segments.

 

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