Podim Pitching Competition Builds Trust between Startups and Investors

Are you a startup? Do you want to pitch in front of hundreds of investors, business people, and other stakeholders in the startup ecosystem? The Podim Pitching Competition is an excellent opportunity for startups and scaleups to raise their profile and get the attention of investors and other potential business partners. For many, participation in the competition has enabled a faster path to investment opportunities and new partnerships.

If you are an ambitious startup from Central and Eastern Europe, you should apply for the Podim Pitching Competition. This will put you in the spotlight and help you connect with investors faster. Many startups tell us that making it to the semi-finals or final of the competition serves as proof to investors of the company’s quality, trust, and hard work.

Marin Ćurković from AdScanner, the winner of the Podim Pitching Competition 2019, is the one to trust on this, having received an initial investment of €2.7 million from Podim onwards and, more recently, an additional €5 million. That’s a total of €7.7 million!

It starts with Demo Day and continues with the winner announced on the Podim’s main stage

The Podim Pitching Competition will start with pre-qualifying rounds of applied startups at the online Demo Day on 4 May 2023. The best startups, as decided by the jury, will qualify for the semi-finals, which will go live on the pre-conference day on 15 May 2023. The following day, the five finalists will compete on the main stage in front of a panel of renowned investors for the Podim Pitching Competition Winner title. The winner will be awarded an exclusive three-day Podim London Springboard program with participation in a Fundraising Bootcamp led by angel investor, tech veteran and seasoned entrepreneur Francois Mazoudier. In London, a series of presentations and meetings with investors and potential partners will also be organized for the winner.

“It was definitely great for us to present our company at Podim and then enjoy and use the platform in pitches towards clients, partners but of course also investors. We were not directly contacted because of Podim but surely it massively helped our visibility indirectly. The time we spent in London with and because of Podim helped us a lot to prepare for our previous fundraising round.” said Marin Ćurković from AdScanner in a recent interview. He described his Podim experience with, “The pitching competition was great because it was ‘quickfire’ and no ‘bullshit’,” which gives the organisers a confirmation of its value for startups.

Opportunities to meet and network with potential investors and partners

With over 1,100 meetings, Deal Room is a central space for startups looking for their next investment round or to find new clients. Podim may not be the largest gathering of venture capital investors in the world, but the fact that it attracts over 150 highly motivated regional and global investors and up to 200 startups and scaleups looking for new investment opportunities in the CEE region makes it a powerful platform for deal-making. The boutique approach, i.e., up to a maximum of 1,000 participants, allows for quality and genuine networking among all participants. 

In 2022, the Bosnian startup OREA Bazaar took another significant step forward at Podim. It received a commitment to get €100,000 from Fil Rouge Capital right on the stage, giving them the momentum to enter the market faster.

Deal Room is just one of the places to meet your new potential investor. If you can’t book all the meetings you’d like to due to your busy schedule, you can also reach out to them through other channels, such as LinkedIn, after the event. This is also the route taken by Swiss startup ZenOwn, a finalist in the Podim Pitching Competition in 2021. Co-founder Blaž Bevc told us that many investors are quicker to respond to their message after being presented as a finalist in the competition, as it was easier to get their attention.

Another positive experience comes from the Dwelt team, winners of the competition in 2021, in which Marija Dimitrijević also shared her thoughts on how Podim opened many doors for them. “My PODIM experience was absolutely phenomenal, that is why I am inviting all startups to join PODIM and maybe you will be the one who will be standing on the winning stage. The feeling for me and my team at Dwelt Software was amazing as we got another validation that our product, team and potential are strong and that we are going in the right direction. In the weeks following Podim win, we received a lot of international media attention, which we find to be vital for our business goals and development of the local startup ecosystem. In addition to that, since we are looking for an investment, we got significant attention from VC funds too that will help us close our Series A round.”

Marija Dimitrijević from Dwelt

Success stories of the startups that took part in the competition

The success stories of many startups and scaleups participating in the Podim Pitching Competition prove that the renowned investors who make up our jury have the knowledge and experience to identify promising startups.

Take a look at some of the startups’ latest achievements:

  • AdScanner, a marketing startup providing comprehensive analytics solutions for data-driven TV advertising and winner of the 2019 competition, recently secured a €5 million investment from Lead Ventures, South Central Ventures, and J&T Ventures, and last year raised €2.7 million in investment.
  • OREA Bazaar, a Bosnian startup with an online marketplace for buying and selling local handmade products, received an investment of €100,000 from Fil Rouge Capital at Podim 2022 and entered the Croatian market in November.
  • Farseer, the winner of the 2020 competition, was listed in the FP&A Market Guide as one of the top 15 global software tools for planning and analytics.
  • CUX, a semi-finalist in the 2022 competition, offers a UX and analytics automation tool to improve online sales results and has been recognized as a rising star in the international product analytics market. It also won the prestigious international I-COM Data Startup Challenge and named “Best Smart Data Marketing Startup” and AI Startup of the Year by OVHcloud.
  • 2021 finalist PriceHubble, a global leader in AI analytics and data for the residential real estate industry, raised USD 34 million in the Series B round. PriceHubble serves over 1,500 B2B customers, including brands such as Credit Suisse in Switzerland and BNP and Axa in France. To date, they have analyzed real estate with a total value of € 24 billion.
  • DWELT, the 2021 winner, developed Platform X, a cloud-based software solution that connects utility providers and customers on the grid and was ranked among the best green energy startups in Europe.
  • ZenOwn, the 2021 finalist that revolutionized the post-purchase experience, raised €1.4 million in December 2021.

Grab the opportunity and take on the challenge

Want to raise the profile of your tech-focused startup and present yourself to investors and business partners in 2023? Then you are in the right place. 

Do you accept the challenge? Take it as a test of what you can achieve. A competitive spirit is a good thing. It encourages you to try harder and pushes you to progress even faster. 💪

Show us your superpower! Let’s see it on our stage! Apply to Podim, and if you are one of the lucky 150 to 200 startups selected, you will receive an invitation to attend the Podim Pitching Competition. We can’t wait.

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