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Chat-roulette app between investors and startups

Image credit: Dylan Ferreira / unsplash.com

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Antonio Carusillo
Antonio Carusillo Oct 10, 2020
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A Chat-roulette (speed dating) app to match random investors with random startup pitchers for 30 seconds per pair.

Even if your business idea is great, without the required funding (people, resources, etc) you can't easily get it off the ground. Chances are you will need an investor.

The so-called elevator-pitch refers to a situation in which you, the creative mind, have just a few moments (as long as the elevator ride takes) to explain to the investor why your idea is worthy of their investment.

The point of an elevator pitch is to make the presentation as short and concise as possible. According to the Idaho Business Review, the first two sentences of any elevator pitch are the most important and should hook or grab the attention of the listener.

How about a business-oriented Chat-roulette app. You can register as a creator or as an investor. You can apply some filters at the beginning such as:
  • field of interest
  • type of product you are looking for/ offering
  • even the specific names of a company you are targeting
At this point the roulette starts spinning and when the creator is connected to the investor a 30 seconds countdown starts. The creator has 30 seconds (maybe you can add a pre-filter where you choose how much time the investor will be willing to listen to an idea). If successful the investor can decide to stop the countdown and they can chat/ call for a further discussion. Otherwise, after the 30 seconds are up, the roulette spins again and a new pair gets connected.

I was thinking that because of the COVID-19 situation there aren't enough moments of running into amazing people by chance. This has the potential to bring some luck to both sides while being fun at the same time.
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Spook Louw
Spook Louw Apr 13, 2021
I love this. Perhaps it could be approached more like Tinder rather than speed dating though. The idea of making a serious business pitch or decision with a time constraint may not be attractive to everyone. If you turn it into a "matching" app, startups can concentrate on presentation and potential investors can take their time to come to a decision.

This could be a great catalogue for people who are looking to invest in something but don't know where to begin as well as a powerful tool for startups to gather the funds they need for their product.

So it could be like a crowdfunding platform, but instead of searching for a specific cause you'd like to support, or startups having to beg for money on every media outlet they can, investors can leisurely scroll through ideas and donate/invest wherever they want.

The app could then also act as a contract between investors and startups, once a transaction has been done via the app it would be legally binding for both parties.
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Daami A.
Daami A.3 months ago
I totally agree with you!

This is cool!
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Timeboxed (5 minute) speed dates or a meetup (virtual or in-person) between investors and startups similarly to the HackerX recruitment events

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salemandreus
salemandreus Aug 03, 2021
Your idea reminded me of a recruiting event I attended called hackerX where software developers “speed date” companies that are hiring.
The format is developers are invited (or can request an invite) to a recruiting event and companies have various stands chatting to applicants for a timeboxed few minutes on a timer. This forces both parties to pitch/ask only what is most important before the row of applicants moves up to the next “speed date”.
When the pandemic started, HackerX made their event virtual.
Key features:
  • Timeboxed/Speed-date feature: 5 minutes each
  • Invite-only - applicants from both sides are lightly vetted allowing tailoring of the experience and also connecting companies with the right skillset candidates, or ensuring the right diverse mash-up of companies and no timewasting from either side - I recall that I had to sign up initially on an online form and possibly provide my CV and references.
The context behind this type of meetup:
A lot of innovation has gone into changing the nature of recruitment when it comes to the software industry particularly in silicon-valley-like environments.
Software companies try hard to market themselves and their benefits and learning opportunities to software developers given how challenging it is to recruit software developers as a scarce skill in a vastly growing industry.
On the other hand, companies still have to be selective, often looking for a very specific skillset, aptitude and culture fit in a candidate, so finding the right candidate can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

The model of connecting small business entrepreneurs with the right investors for an “elevator pitch” is very adaptable to the HackerX model of developers meeting companies, as the needs are similar: finding an efficient way of connecting people with very particular needs on both sides and limited time to do it in but the five minutes grants enough time for the company and candidate to vet each other.

Due to the creative and tech-focused nature of many startups, where large numbers of developers and tech companies congregate in sillicon valleys originally popularised by the investment of large tech companies, these places also end up becoming startup hubs in order to capitalize off of the existing tech giants’ investment, the diverse experience of developers, the network of other startups and the digital culture convergence in general.
39% of developers also have the goal of starting their own companies according to this Offerzen survey done in South Africa, which seems to draw further correlation between the out-of-the-box creative thinking in entrepreneurship and that of software development, so this also implies quite a similar profile of individuals who might respond just as well to this efficient and gamified approach.

Looking into how HackerX arrange their events and match prospective developers with company events may lend some great insights into how to do this efficiently, whether in an online meetup, via an app, or even in in-person events, or may at least serve as a rough guide of an existing successful long-running and global event which could be adapted to or advise your specific model.
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General comments

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Samuel Bello
Samuel Bello2 months ago
The idea is a good one. The time limit and the fact that it is going to be a video chat may limit its effectiveness. Some of the innovators may not be good communicators or marketers and the probability of a startup getting chosen can be affected by how well the idea is communicated. As a result, some brilliant ideas that are not expressed well enough can be rejected.

To reduce this effect the platform can have some intermediaries that analyze the startups with their innovators and present them to the recruiters in the most attractive way they can.

Another way to do things is to create a system for the valuation of ideas where the ideas are weighed based on how realizable they are and their financial impact. If such a system is in place, it reduces the effect of personal biases in the selection of ideas and startups to be sponsored. The Y-combinators platform has one of the best systems for sorting ideas. I would recommend a study their mode of operation for people who want to improve the current means of appraising ideas and start-ups.
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Udruga Mladih UMNO
Udruga Mladih UMNOa year ago
There should definitely be credits or stars to rate the investors and inventors.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica year ago
Getting such an app off the ground would not be easy. Ideally, it would be backed by a strong VC firm with many partners who would make it interesting for the founders.
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Udruga Mladih UMNO
Udruga Mladih UMNOa year ago
I strongly disagree to 30 seconds time limit. Hello, my name is Robert, i am inventor from Croatia... bzzz.... your time is up. Way to little time. I strongly aprove the idea, and maybe it should havemore options like inventor to inventor , investor to investor. Also, it would be great to make categories to stop endless switching. Make it a local thong. Like very very specific categories.
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J
Jurana year ago
I support the idea, for the same reasons Darko mentioned. What I am interested in is would it be a live chat, or pre-recorded videos up to 30s?
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