As a start-up we have gained a lot from start-up competitions, so we can say with certainty that it’s one of the best things that can do as as a start-up. It would be a great boost if you win something, but even if you didn’t win the experience will benefit you tremendously.
The competition you enter doesn’t have to be the biggest or the most well known. Actually starting from smaller ones can give you the confidence to on to bigger more challenging ones without hesitation.
While we don’t do this much now in the past we have entered many competitions and so far had great success. Check our awards page to see some of the awards we have won up to now. The relationships, cash prices and membership benefits of winning those awards have helped us immensely to grow as a company.
But the most valuable thing that you get from entering competitions is not the prizes – although they are great perks. The most valuable things are:
- Learn from others experience – Once you enter a start-up competition you’ll get the opportunity to socialize and collaborate with other entrepreneurs. You can learn about the challenges they faced, mistakes they made and much more.
- Dedicated mentors – In most start-up competitions you get a chance to work with a mentor. This is usually someone who runs a successful business and know how to take an idea and turn it into an business. They allow you to sound out ideas and can help you to fully understand the implications of the ideas you have and plans you want to execute.
- Awesome networking – During the events associated with the competition you get to network with venture capitalists, angel investors, journalists and fellow entrepreneurs. You’ll get the chance to impress them with your idea without the usual pressure of justifying your idea. If you have a great product and really passionate about it then you have a very good chance of getting funding as well.
- You get to practice your pitch – During a competition you are in a constructive environment and so people are around you to help and to provide feedback to improve your pitch. Remember to ask for feedback!
- Helps you to define Your Idea – Forces you to really think through what you are doing and actually document it and work out if it is really a viable idea.
- The feel good factor – Running a start-up can be a daunting task and you have to overcome many obstacles. This can sometimes weigh you down. After talking with fellow entrepreneurs you’ll realize they are going through the same thing. Thus feeling good about the fact that you’re not the only one struggling and fighting with your vision of what you want to achieve.
So I recommend that you get your idea hat on and start thinking and then search the web for a competition near you.