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Collision Conference 2017: A learning experience all startups should consider

Publication Date: Jun 30, 2017
 
Article posted by Eman Mifsud, Co-founder and Managing Director of THATSpace

 

Back in January, we were excited to try our luck and apply for the Alpha Startup Programme of Collision Conf (collisionconf.com​) in New Orleans. Collision Conf, the sister conference of Web Summit in Europe, is one of the largest tech conferences in America with over 20,000 attendees.

 

Selection

 

The selection process for a startup to participate in this Conference was something that immediately struck me. As soon as we pitched our startup to the Collision Conf Startup Programme Team, I realised that the startup scene around the world is always growing as only 10% of the startups applying were selected to exhibit at the Collision Conference.

 

After being selected to exhibit ourselves as an Alpha Startup, we felt honoured that we were going to get the opportunity to be part of a huge conference at the ‘land of opportunities’. This milestone helped THATSpace’s motivation grow and push even further as now we were going to be exhibited amongst other international startups.

 

Several goals were achieved for THATSpace in First Quarter 2017 including testing our concept under the project THATSpace Offices and deploying THATSpace Directory (thatspace.io​). The second Quarter was just as exciting as the first because we were expecting to gather further feedback from different potential markets

 

Validation

 

As the end of April approached, all was set for THATSpace’s journey -  an opportunity to validate in an offshore space what we had been built during the previous few months. The trip consisted of a couple of days in New York and a week in New Orleans. In both regions we met awesome people. What made the conference truly magical though were the night events where, as startups, we had the opportunity to mingle with investors and CEOs of established companies.

 

Learning

 

In Malta, some people may complain that we are limited at different levels; the market is small, opportunities are limited; skills are limited; we are late adopters, etc…However, I quickly realised that certain issues are in fact universal. Looking at New Orleans, New York, London and Malta concurrently:

 
  • Opportunities are everywhere - you just need to look for them and follow your gut feeling.
  • Share your business concept if you feel like doing so!
  • Do not be shy - Be open to meet new people.
  • Listen to other startups - Every startup is in the same roller coaster as you.
  • There is no such thing as ‘love at first sight’ with investors. Build a relationship of trust rather than bombarding them with many pitches. In fact relationships with investors need to be build over time.

 


Needless to say, the New Orleans Collision Conference has enabled us to exploit opportunities to create meaningful connections, reflect about our THATSpace business idea, and explore our potential for growth and acquire new knowledge. In this respect Collision Conf has helped us grow and learn more about ourselves, our company, our community and other societies. So we are grateful to the MITA Innovation Hub for having supported and sponsored our trip. Now it’s time to apply the lessons learned.

 


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