Join us to review the Class of 2021, watch their pitches live on Demo Day, and set aside time to meet the telco tech scouts, vendor partners, and communications industry investors who are committed to discovering the next set of innovation partners for the telecom industry. 18 spectacular Showcase companies have been selected and we look forward to introducing them to you on May 13. This year’s class cover a broad range of technologies, including 5G, Cloud, Edge, Open WiFi, AR, consumer engagement and more!
Silicon Valley, California, May 18 2021/Meeting Recap/Well, COVID-19 can certainly knock us all down, and it certainly has had terrible consequences for over a year. But in the immortal words of Chumbawamba, we get back up again. You can't suppress the human spirit for long, and the force of innovation and progress was on display last week at the Telecom Council's Innovation Showcase, featuring our Class of 2021.
This was our 12th Class, into which we work with our Member companies to pre-select a group of companies with interesting and shovel-ready solutions for the telecommunications industry. This year's class had 18 great startups and innovators, hitting the following areas:
We also heard from our sponsor, UK's Department for International Trade, who introduced us to two of the companies in the Class, and brought another 9 startups to participate in our one-on-one meeting tool, which the companies used after our program. It's in the one-on-one tool that scouts and startups can schedule private meetings to dive deeper into the solutions, and discuss potential partnerships.
Now, you would assume that, in order to hear a presentation from 18 innovators, 3 alumni, and a panel discussion of Telco Executives, you'd need a two-day conference - but that's not how we work. Innovators are fast. Silicon Valley is fast. 5G networks are fast. So we, too, need to work at the speed of innovation. Our meeting began at 8:00 AM, and by 11:30AM, we'd finished our program, and moved on to one-on-one networking meetings. That means our presenters did an incredible job of presenting their companies in 4 MINUTE TIME SLOTS! Is that too short? Can it be done? Well, we can assure you that, if well-prepared, it absolutely can be done, and all 18 of our Class pulled it off.
To be clear, this Rapid Fire format is also of interest to our audience. These are technology scouts, whose job often involves reviewing over 300 companies per year for possible partnerships. So, as a first step at the top of their funnel, they really want the "elevator pitch", they want the "Tell me what it is, what it does, why it's better, and what you want." part of the story in a clear and concise pitch without the details. From there, they decide if what is pitched would be a fit for their company. If so, they book a follow-up meeting, where, yes, of course they want to learn the deeper details. So, the rapid fire format allows the scouts to review multiple companies in a short time, and follow-up on a personal level with the company's leaders right away.
It's intense, but remember. From little things, big things grow. And despite the year we've had, it's clear the fields are still fertile, we've had our storms, and the sun is shining again. Soon, we'll be free from the constraints of the year, and we'll bet there are some crops to be harvested from the efforts you've all made throughout.
Congrats to the Class of 2021: