EIC ePitching with Investors: exploring the SaaS revolution
The EIC started this summer by diving into the hot Software-as-a-Service topic. The ePitching on SaaS and ICT began with the speech of Kinga Stanislawska, member of the EIC advisory board, who mentioned the importance of this sector to the growth of Europe and finished with DeepCode winning the best pitch award. The online event brought together six high-class EIC-backed SMEs with nine investors firms.
The ePitching of June had a record number of investors attending, with representatives from Amadeus Ventures, BTOV, DN Capital, Experior Venture Fund, IdInvest, Omnes Capital, Kurma Partners, Speedinvest and Partech. After each pitch, the jury members asked a range of questions and voted for the ‘best’. The investors also pre-arranged one-to-one meetings with the SMEs and discussed a possible follow-up at the end of the online event.
Time to push digital
The trend towards digitalisation continues and a plethora of new products and services are booming in the markets, all fuelled by innovations on Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence. SaaS and ICT solutions are popping up in every sector, and their usage is becoming a commonplace. The co-founder of Experior Venture Fund and member of the EIC Advisory Board, Kinga Stanislawska, also highlighted these patterns, explaining how software tools can improve processes, decisions and workflows of any industry:
“No matter which sector we look at, there’s an element of data that needs to be gathered, analysed and there’s a need for some Machine Learning or AI to help make better and more customisable decisions. And this is something that happens right across all sectors. We are talking about healthcare, energy efficiency, very many different sectors”, she raised.
Kinga also mentioned the effects of the world going remote in the last months and saw this ‘home workforce’ as a bigger lift for many start-ups from the SaaS sector. “The old-school economies and traditional sectors are all digitalising. The latest developments in the COVID-19 arena mean that our digital transformation needs to happen very fast. All of the sudden, companies that were not using Software-as-a-Service for enterprises are just staying behind. They cannot ensure work from home in many of their departments, they cannot monitor things remotely just because they don’t have the right technology available and implemented. Software-as-a-Service is key to deliver the level of digitalisation to very successful, but also traditional sectors”.
SaaS to fill the gap
The winner of the ePitching session describes their innovation as a sort of ‘Grammarly for coders’. DeepCode is empowering software developers to be more efficient and deliver reliable code through AI code-review suggestions. The solution is also using machine learning techniques and received a lot of attention before the ePitching and after the online session, during one-to-one meetings.
“Several people wrote to me saying that I should apply for this ePitching and I decided to follow their advice”, mentioned the Co-founder and CEO of DeepCode, Boris Paskalev. “Thanks to this event, people can hear more about our project and that’s our goal. We want to make sure that every single developer around the world knows about us, so they can use our platform and write a better code at the end of the day”.
In the EIC ePitching with Investors sessions, the start-ups are selected by the investor jury beforehand, thereby making sure the fit between SMEs and investors is optimal. Fabien Collangettes, investor from Omnes Capital, highlighted the quality of other applicants, mentioning that it was a difficult choice. “Even before the ePitching session, we had to choose between roughly 100 start-ups. I think the double or triple of the selected start-ups would be eligible to pitch in this event. We had a good demonstration this afternoon and it’s very hard to pick a winner”, he added. After the ePitching session, Alex Zhigarev, General Partner at Speedinvest, underlined the other investment activities provided by the European Innovation Council and the tools available for investors across Europe: “First of all, it’s a good source. The platform ScaleUp EU (*) is pretty wide and gathers start-ups from all over Europe, which is precious for us. For me, it’s also important to understand how the entrepreneurial ecosystems are being developed across the European Union, and that’s basically why I like to be involved”.
Are you looking forward to pitching your ideas to top-class investors?
We host regular ‘EIC ePitching with Investors’ based on your company profiles in ScaleUp EU. Our next ePitching session will be on the topic Internet of Things and Smart Cities. Keep an eye on our events page for more information on future events.
If you are interested in joining, don’t miss out and update your profile information straight away. If you need help, please contact us through our contact page (choose ScaleUp EU: claim access).
(*) ScaleUp EU is an online matching tool designed to connect investors and SME companies funded by the EIC pilot programme. The platform is open to investors that have invested at least 500k EUR companies in countries part of the EU Research & Innovation programme, and are aligned with the professional and ethical standards stated in the Terms & Conditions. If you are interested to join the platform, drop us an email at: EASME-SCALEUP-EU@ec.europa.eu.