SVOD Europe, supported by Google and held at its Europe HQ in Dublin, had previously announced the winners of the Startup Competition, choosing projects from Ireland, Israel, and the CEE. region. To get more details we talked withÂ Alexa Dovgopolaya, director of external relations at GrowthUP Group, the company responsible for organizing SVOD Europe.
How was SVOD Europe in general?
Alexa: It was amazing, indeed. 455 participants came from Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, the US, Israel, and Ireland. Among them were 52 funds, 75 investors and fund representatives, 80 enterprise representatives, and 227 entrepreneurs, representing a 3:1 entrepreneur-investor ratio. Of the entire audience, investors constituted 17%, which is higher than average for events of this scale. Supported by our partners, we managed to increase brand-awareness for SVOD Europe throughout Europe and gather an excellent audience, who came together to intensively network.
How was the turnout?
Alexa: Our primary goal was to draw applications from Eastern Europe and we received precisely as many as we expected; only in FinTech, in which we received fewer than we would have liked. After pre-selecting 130 worthwhile projects, our board chose 25 finalists. In sum, we gathered well-prepared startups and our cooperation was a success.
What can you feature that was interesting from our Southeast Europe?
Alexa: Our region has always provided technically-strong projects. In terms of business, local startups have gained, surprisingly, on average within the past 3 years. We have almost reached equal footing with Western European startups.
Where’s the potential you see in our part of Europe?
Alexa: The local markets are small, which is why more and more entrepreneurs attempt to build global companies from the beginning. In recent years, their thinking has become global and they can already identify problems in world markets. By finding solutions, they can build a big company.
What are the next steps for SVOD and the winner?
Alexa: The winners attracted the attention of the investors and had an opportunity to interact with them in an informal setting. Their next step is to participate in the Silicon Valley Open Doors conference in the United States on May 25-26th, where, without any pre-selection, they will pitch to a group of leading investors from the heart of the tech sector. We are expecting more than 200 investors. But for the winners, the participation in SVOD will not be only access to finance, but also access to the expertise and network in Silicon Valley.
The next SVOD Europe conference will be held within Kiev Startup Week in Kyiv in April 2016.