A few weeks ago, over 70 pre-qualified startups demoed their products and services for a chance to compete on Techweek’s main stage, for $100,000 is cash and prizes.
Our startup, WeDeliver, won! Here are the five factors we attribute our success to:
#1 WeDeliver’d in style
Delivering a transformational customer experience is everything to us, and we wanted to share what WeDeliver is all about. We accomplished this by sporting some classy denim bow ties that gave our startup t-shirts a touch of elegance and made us stand out from the competition. Additionally, our team walked around snapping pictures and tweeting people wearing our bow ties on a stick, using the hashtags: #wedeliverinstyle, #techweekchi, and #startupcity. Not only was this a great way to rally the crowd, but it was also a great conversation starter and prompted people to ask more about WeDeliver.
#2 WeDeliver’d a “Dose of Chicago”
WeDeliver is a B2B service that helps local businesses deliver same-day. We wanted to make sure any promotion we did would be in line with supporting local business and delivering on-demand. We partnered up with Dose Market, a year-round market featuring the finest selection of local Chicago vendors under one roof every month. Dose curated special gift bags full of unique local products, like: a pair of shoes from BucketFeet, Mama’s Nuts, Mayana Chocolate, and so much more . These bags were then delivered to Techweek presenters a few minutes before they went on stage in perfect guerrilla marketing fashion. We also had the honor of delivering a dose of Chicago to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
#3 We focused on getting the audience vote
TechWeek LAUNCH chose five teams from the 60+ that participated in Startup City to pitch on stage. Four of the five were selected by the judges, and one was voted for by the audience. We made sure that when our team was walking around with their bow ties, they were also collecting votes. Therefore, we could at least get the audience vote if we weren’t selected by the judges to pitch. The team also sent emails and messaged Facebook friends for online votes. Ultimately, this worked, and we were chosen as the audience choice.
#4 We were able to think on our feet
Our presentation had its unfair share of technical difficulties and instead of freezing up, our founder, Jimmy Odom, pushed through and pitched without a presentation. He shared how WeDeliver is giving local businesses the opportunity to offer same-day delivery. But more importantly, Jimmy was the only one of the five presenters who focused on the “why.” WeDeliver is helping small businesses make an impact in their community by encouraging local shopping, and Jimmy’s passion for the “why” resonated with the audience and the judges.
#5 We established ties to the startup community
You’ve heard it plenty of times: networking is so powerful. Here is another great example of how it pays off. Our entire team makes an active effort to participate in mentor sessions at 1871 and network through groups like Starter League, Startup Weekend, Chicago Ideas Week, and Ms.Tech. We support groups that are meaningful to us, and in return, many of these people were at Techweek Chicago and came by to show their support or, they saw our messages online and helped us spread the word.