WSC semifinals in Cluj-Napoca – pitching, investment, business, strategy and more!

By January 18, 2018 No Comments

Hope you are ready, as 2018 is going to be filled with opportunities, hard work, challenges, and accomplishments, of course! And to get the year started, we are happy to announce that we will be hosting and organizing the Romanian semifinals of Women Startup Competition on February 17th!

This competition is dedicated to startups and small companies with at least one female co-founder, allowing them to access investors, possible partners and customers. Interested? Then you can sign up here! The WSC semifinals will be held throughout the following months in Romania, Russia, Italy, Germany, Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, UK, and more to be announced!

Selected startups will benefit from mentoring, pitching feedback and workshops from the Risky Business core team, mentors and investors, culminating in an intensive pitching preparation day on February 16. The winners of the semifinals will join the Demo Day in London in September.

Why a Women’s Business Competition?

Despite continued and remarkable progress of women advancing into senior business roles and entrepreneurship, they still face unique challenges–especially in attracting financing to their new businesses. This has much to do with bias, closed networks, and difficulty gaining quality mentorship from senior figures. This competition aims to provide female entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to gain access to high-quality mentorship focused on hard-skill development and expand their business and finance networks. In fact, this competition is open not just to female-startups, but all mixed-gender teams. Research has repeatedly demonstrated that mixed-gender business teams outperform non-mixed teams. We hope to see more mixed gender teams in the future.


Who can apply?

The competition is open to any small company or startup with at least one female founder  or employee. The company needs to have its headquarters in Europe or at least have one European founder. The companies should have between 2 and 15 founders/employees.

Do  teams have to be composed entirely of women?

No, it is enough to have one female founder or employee, as long as she can pitch in front of the jury.

How will the startups be selected?

First of all, the startups will be selected based on the answers they provide in the f6s form. Additional questions on email or Skype interviews may also be required.

The selected teams move in the second phase, which involves preparing for the semifinals with the Risky Business team and mentors. Only the teams that perform well and make progress will get the opportunity to pitch in front of the jury. Thus, it is very important to be present in Cluj for the preparation, especially during the pitching preparation a day before the event.  The semifinalists will be announced on February 16.

Are there any fees for startups?

No, participation is entirely free for the selected startups. However, be ready to cover your accommodation, transport etc for the preparation and semifinals in Cluj (unless you already live here, of course), should you be selected.

Who can pitch in the semifinals?

Only the female founders/employees can pitch in front of the jury, so it is imperative for them to be present in Cluj for the preparation and final event.

Can only tech startup apply?

No, any small business that fits the requirements specified above can apply – food industry, fashion, agriculture, energy, you name it. Tech startups are welcome of course, but so is any other business.

Where can I apply?

If you have a company that fits the requirements of the competition, all you have to do is fill in this form and prepare to hear from us.

The faster you apply, the sooner you get to hear from us, so don’t wait until the last moment and take the chance to receive the first round of feedback from the Risky Business team!

Where does the event take place?

The event will take place in Cluj Napoca, so take that into consideration as physical presence here is necessary, especially on February 16 and 17. We will announce the exact venue soon.

What happens during the semifinals?

During the semifinals, the selected teams get the opportunity to pitch in front of a jury of renowned entrepreneurs, investors and specialists. Expect questions and feedback, especially in areas such as business, strategy and investment strategy!

Who is in the jury?

For now, we have confirmations from entrepreneur and angel investor Philipp Kandal, Simona Baciu, founder at Transylvania College and Simona Gemeneanu, partner at Morphosis Capital, who will soon be joined by other highly experienced business people and investors, so be prepared to make the best of this opportunity to talk about what you are doing!

What is the structure of the pitches?

The pitches will last for 2 minutes, followed by a 4-minute Q & A. All the teams need to be prepared to pitch in English.

What are the prizes?

The winners of the semifinals will have the great opportunity to present during the Demo Day in London on September 15. Here, they will have the opportunity to interact with even more investors and possible partners! Besides that, the best performing teams will get other perks and goodies, including the opportunity to pitch at Codecamp Cluj-Napoca, in front of over 1000 IT specialists, tickets to JSHeroes and tickets to  TEDxEroilor!

Who can join the event?

In order to provide meaningful networking opportunities for the startups, the event participation will be invite-based only.

I have more questions

Write us at ana.maria@riskybusiness.ro and we will answer you as fast as we can.

So here it is! Apply here by February 10th (again, the sooner, the better!) and get ready for an intense experience of learning, pitching, business, strategy and intense feedback.

Author Mara

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