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воскресенье, 31 января 2016 г.

SVOD Europe: Afterword

Some numbers on SVOD Europe Dublin:
Number of participants: 455
Among them:
Funds: 52
Investors and fund representative: 75
Enterprise representatives: 80
Entrepreneurs: 227
Entrepreneurs per investor: 3
Applications for the pitching contest: 130
Pitches on stage on Day 1: 25
Speakers on the stage: 35
Number of jurors for the contest: 61
Representatives of billion-dollar companies on the stage: 8

Geographically:
Western Europe: 152
Central and Eastern Europe: 271
USA: 21
Israel: 11
Ireland: 70

And now to the point - we made it!

What did we make?

1. Despite a large number of events in Europe, we have probably found our UTP and drawn the attention from most European countries.
2. We gathered worthy startups, most of whom were well-prepared, and worked well with them.
3. As always, we did not choose startups ourselves, but relied on the opinion of the board during the selection stage, so we chose good companies. Even if I can`t say that I agreed with the board in all cases, I nevertheless think those projects are good. I did not completely agree with the results of the contest, but we trusted the jury and that`s it.
4. I have no doubts regarding the winner, as it was a company deserving of its victory. This choice is respectable and proper. We had some questions regarding the rest, but, this time, we focused on setting the evaluation process and not relying on our expertise.
5. We kept the ratio between entrepreneurs and investors around 3:1, with the share of investors among conference attendees coming in at 17%. It`s not 20%, as it was at the SVOD in California, but still significantly more than in the industry on average (for events with more than 300 participants).
6. We didn't organize any VIP zones or specific places that were off-limits to regular attendees. Thus, all VIPs were in touch with the other participants and they actively communicated.
7. The event was free to attend. Even though I am against this approach, we are satisfied with everything in this case.

What must we improve next time:
1. We`d like to choose 25 projects, but from 250 applicants, as opposed to 130. Marketing, networking, and partners will be priorities for us over the rest of this year.
2. Despite the fact that the conference was attended by 455 participants, there were only 320 at the event during peak activity. We have to work hard to continually keep 340-350 people in the audience and 150- 200 people in the lobby. This means that the number of participants should be approximately 1,000 over two days.
3. We will think about the format. It is necessary to carefully shuffle the three main components – content, networking, and competition. There is work to do.
4. Sponsors, sponsors, and sponsors.

What factors enabled the SVOD ​​Europe conference in Dublin?
1. The SVOD conference has been held since 2005. During this time, it has earned a good reputation and developed a network by accepting a large number of high-profile speakers and investors. This was essential, as we didn't have to start from scratch. What is insulting and ridiculous is that, despite having access to such resources, our negotiating came to nothing for various reasons (ambition, non-compliance of NDAs, some unacceptable conditions).
2. Google's support was priceless. Along with the venue, Google gave us invaluable assistance in introducing us to various ecosystem players and the brand itself opened many doors. The guys from Google are actively involved in the project and helped us during the preparation. In the last three days, particularly, they were backing us with a huge amount of resources.
3. Support from Irish government agencies that are responsible for the development of entrepreneurship. In addition to the funding, we received a significant amount of technical and moral support.
4. Our network provided us with anchor investors and speakers, while Silicon Valley partners gave us a few "stars" and we kicked off.
5. Our team has accumulated extensive expertise in organizing events. Without this expertise, our team wouldn't be able to implement a project on this scale.
6. Special thanks to Almaz Capital and, personally, Alexander Galitsky (as well as the whole team, including Lyubov Simonova). Without their involvement and financial support, we would tear ourselves apart. Sasha`s keynote was just great! Many thanks to PWC Ireland for their help and financial support.

I would also like to offer big thanks to the team. This conference was made possible by a lot of people, with everyone busy with his own work. I would like to list their names here.

GrowthUP:
Anna Smyrnova,
Alexa Dovgopolaya,
Anna Trotsenko,
Anna Shoffa,
Vitaliy Karpenko,
Igor Stefurak,
Nikolay Savin
Julia Getmanenko,
Galya Karpa,
Nikolay Sokratov,
Tatiana Krents,
Snezhana Sukhoroslova,
Olga Lubiv,
Sasha Paleeva,
Darya Orlova,

From Google:
Gennadii Nissenbaum,
Alexander Belenkiy,
Paddy Flynn
Celine Crawford
(and 20 more people, whose names I do not know. But it's heartening to have not students, but Google employees volunteering at our conference. Many of them are not at the bottom rung at the company, to put it mildly).

And my friends and partners from California:
Anna Dvornikova,
Stas Khirman,
And, of course Tatiana Fedorova.

Of this entire crowd, I wish to highlight Anna Smyrnova, who was a PM of all of this. It was damned hard. The workload was terrible. But she did it all and organized in such a way that our whole team worked well. I tip my cap to her!

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