This is not your average start-up competition
We are not a pitching event. You know what I am talking about… Those competitions that lure you in with the promise of gigantic sums of award money. You enter them just to pitch your business and if you somehow impress the jury, you become an award winning start-up. Sounds solid, right?
And yes, these events can be helpful. You get to practice your pitch, they can gain you exposure, build credibility and sometimes you meet some valuable contacts. So go ahead and give a try (or two).
Business school in disguise
ClimateLaunchpad helps you create a successful business with global climate impact. Awards don’t help you do that. Training, coaching and validating your idea with actual customer will. That is why our competition is basically a business school where months of hard work lead up to the Global Grand Final where only the best teams of our 50+ participating countries get to pitch and compete. To prevent money seekers from entering our competition, we keep the prize money low (1st prize wins 10k €).
So, if you are just in it for ego, quick wins, easy cash, fame or glory – I guess ClimateLaunchpad is not for you. If on the other hand, you are in it for the long haul, not afraid to roll up your sleeves and want to create a successful company for actual customers – this is the place to do it.
We get it, entrepreneurs don’t like school
Our focus is on first time entrepreneurs working on a commercial solution to fix climate change. There are many things to learn for anyone starting a company. However, entrepreneurs usually don’t like school. That’s why we shaped ClimateLaunchpad as a competition.
During Boot Camps and coaching sessions you will be trained in customer discovery, interview techniques, basic financials, product development and market analysis.
The pitching sessions during National, Regional and Global Finals are the climax of at least three months or hard work. The added value?
- It is a fun and empowering closing ritual.
- Start-ups inspire each other with their work on solving hard problems.
- During all finals start-ups get to connect with potential customers, investors, mentors.
Spend your time wisely: talk to customers (instead of juries of media)
Competitions that solely focus on the pitching create founders that are really great in convincing jury members to award them a prize. But not so much in convincing customers to actually buy their product.
Winning prizes is often followed by a media cycle. Winning lots of prizes and getting lots of attention creates founders that start to believe in their own brilliance.
Any time you spend talking to juries and media instead of with customers comes at a huge transactional cost.
I have seen start-ups fail because of it. Some founders go on tour to attend all available competitions to win prize money as an alternative for venture capital. I have seen start-ups do the media circus going from the local to national news outlets & TV to global media like CNN, BBC, Forbes and Al Jazeera in a matter of months. And then repeat it one or two years later. In the meantime they achieve nothing on creating a viable business or tackling climate change.
Of course, it is up to you how want to spend your most valuable asset: your time.
Here are some more thoughts on founder narcissism and why juries tend to pick ‘amazing technology’ as winners.