Today we are talking to Angelo Burgarello, Director of Business Development at AI Startup Incubator - the sponsor of Special Prize during Wolves Summit 12 (5-7 October 2020).
Hello everybody it's Monika Davidowicz from Wolves Summit and today i'm talking to Angelo Burgarello from AI Startup Incubator and we will talk a little bit about AI Startup Incubator and of course the price that they're sponsoring for our event and some other tech related stuff that will be valuable for you startup founders.
Okay so hello Angelo, how are you today?
Hi there i'm pretty okay even if i was a little bit sick the last week now i'm getting back to shape. Thanks for asking.
For those of you who don't know Angelo is the director of business development at AI Startup Incubator.
Could you kindly tell us something more about the organization itself how is it different from other incubators and accelerators for startups? How does it work?
Sure so AI Startup Incubator actually started as a an incubator for startups in the sense that we were able to invest with investment partners into startups at different level of maturity. But our main focus was seed stage and pre-seed stage at that time. Our uniqueness is on the AI artificial intelligence capabilities.
Because we have team lot of software developers that are specialized in artificial intelligence technologies and we are able to help the founders with the development of the product when the artificial intelligence component of their solution is part of the core of the product but also when is just auxiliary to the product itself.
Of course we we also differentiate from some other incubator from the fact that we usually say that we are not like a service provider but we are a partner for them only we decide to invest in or collaborate with because we set up a proper plan - ctually a real project plan for development of the product when is needed or for the achievement of specific business milestones.
There is a customized and tailored according to the needs of the startups. So we sit down together we see what the needs are and we make sure that we set up a proper plan in order to achieve those goals that we set up.
Of course we also we also work to prepare the startups to the next stage. So we prepared them for the next stage of investment. We help them uh seeking for investors afterwards and we stay with them along the way helping with anything is gonna be needed in the future too.
And why do you think it's so important to help start up at early stages?
Actually we know that the early stage is the most critical part for any company and especially for startups. Because sometimes you have the feeling that you have a great idea - you put together a great product and you think that this is maybe sufficient.
But then when you open your eyes and you talk to the right people, you understand that there are many different things that need to be taken into account for this project to be a success. And there are a lot of gray areas that usually founders do not put much focus and it's really important to be aware of those areas and fill in the gaps.
So this is also something that we usually do is trying to understand where the weakness so that we can get those stronger.
Okay that's great and for those of you who don't know AI startup incubator is the sponsor of a special prize during the Wolves Great Pitch contest. it's a part of our yearly event that we're hosting in Warsaw this October.
And could you tell us something more about the prize? What's that and how does it work?
Sure so this comes with the fact that we also recently established our own investment funds. That is actually uh helping us investing in startup there are at an even earlier stage of maturity. So even if the startup is at a concept stage or idea stage or really really early stage.
Actually we are also able to invest and help them with a ticket of 50 000 euros. But the acceleration (this is how the program is called) with the ticket of 50 000 is also something that is helpful for those startups that want to fill specific gaps as we tell as we were saying before.
So if there is a specific care of the business that needs special attention - this is where the acceleration will also kick in and we help them through services. And the acceleration program plus the 50 000 ticket. For the matter of the sponsor with you guys at wolf summit we actually propose the possibility to pitch in front of our investment committee and having the possibility to join the acceleration program with a ticket of 50 000 or eventually if the level of maturity of the startup is going to be different and the 50 000 are not going to be enough there is also a possibility to get even a higher ticket. And and actually yeah this is something that already happened so or it's happening let's say.
Okay so let's just continue on that topic because during one of our previous events purely online you sponsored such a price and the winner eyewear received it so could you tell something more about what happened next?
Yeah this is actually what i was referring to because the guys that eyewear made a great performance at the Wolves Summit and we were really really happy to meet them and we started the conversation after the event.
And we ended up being successful in securing an investment for them. This is still under discussion right now because we are agreeing on the terms and other details but definitely this was a success and thanks to you guys for having us at the last event.
Oh it was a pleasure
And connecting us with them we really think it's a great team with a great product and a lot of potential for even future application.
And i think maybe like based on their performance during the event could you give some advice to the startups that will be pitching this edition? You will be a judge as well during the competition so maybe you could just give some tips on what's important how to present the idea what to remember about what could you share with the startup founders?
This is a this is a nice question because there will be many things to discuss but if i have to narrow down the options to a couple let's say the one of the most important things that i think we all in our team appreciate in is when the founders answered the question directly and you know a so-called sharp manner yeah - just getting the point quickly answering the question without you know going around too much.
Because it's not just about the answer sometimes. It's about how the answer is given and it's really important to make sure that you show that you have this ability to focus on things and do it sharply. This is definitely one thing...
Being precise with your answers.
Right because when somebody has to convey a message you know everything starts in our mind. But in order to let the other understand what is in your mind you need to be precise enough. And you need to focus on what the question exactly was. Not thinking what is your opinion about the question and just answered the question directly.
This is something that really often happen and the most of the time like you don't get the answer you wanted and you ended up like wasting your time and the time of the founders too so this is something that is really - is definitely helpful.
So precise reconciles and make sure the answer is properly addressed.
Then maybe another important thing that i personally found paying a little bit of a of a problem sometimes is about knowing the competition. Because once again sometimes founders focus on their product and the solution on the business idea making plans which is a great thing.
But knowing who your competitor is your main competitor and the other competitors are. And how they are doing in the market. Which strategies they are adopting. This is this is really important because the competition is actually something that can get you know how. So you can learn a lot from your competitors and you should make sure that you do your research properly in order to acquire as much information as possible.
Actually i was thinking about about this before because there is a book that i read that i actually love that say exactly the same. That when you are knowing yourself you are off the way there. But when you're annoying yourself and your enemy yeah there is no battle you can loose.
So competition analysis is a crucial thing and we have experienced ourselves that in many cases this is something that is not taken into account properly. So yeah i can suggest guys do your research know your competitor are and be prepared.
And can you give the title of the book so maybe we could read it as well:
Oh sure it's the Art of war from Sun Tzu.
Oay so guys be precise know your competition read the right books and anything else that you could also advise to the funders before they pitch in front of the investors:
Maybe one more thing could be the fact that it's important to understand that the product is one thing. The idea is actually a different thing yeah? Because when you're pitching you are trying to convince people that your product is a good idea but you also need to make them interested on the fact that the business that you wanna get into it's a good idea and may have a good financial returns.
So make sure that you differentiate the product from the idea because the product is something that may change may be streamlined but the idea is the engine of the of the startup itself. Then of course we all know that idea is something and execution may be everything. But yeah start with selling the idea first and then get to the product.
Okay that sounds really powerful what she said and i hope the founders will just remember or note them and then implement into their pitching routine. And yeah thank you very much for that advice and for telling us more about the price and how AI Startup Incubator functions.
And everybody here in October 5th to 7th we're meeting all either in person or online because we're hosting a hybrid event so you can choose which version is for you. Which version is safer and better for you for current circumstances and i can't really wait to see you all. Yeah either online or in person and shake your hands maybe or at least you know away from the distance.
So remember there is a pitching contest during the event and Angelo will be one of the judges and one of the prizes - the special prize is sponsored by AI Startup Incubator.
So see you there everybody once again thank you Angelo for the short interview.
You're very welcome.
Okay so bring me over stay safe and goodbye everybody.
See you cheers everybody thanks.