by: Jason Weiss
What Makes Axis Tel Aviv Unique
300 people, 25 presenting startups, over 50 international investors, 100+ 1–1 meetings — these are just a few highlights from last week’s Axis Tel Aviv. But all these numbers can be boiled down to just one word that really matters — relationships.
When it comes to tech conferences, networking isn’t enough — building real relationships is what really matters. Relationships that can lead to new business, investment, or the connections to help you achieve your goals. At all our Axis events, we focus on quality over quantity — spending close to 6 months screening and meeting entrepreneurs, speaking with investors, attending international conferences, working with partners, and much more. Here’s a breakdown of how we did it for Axis Tel Aviv:
Investors: A majority of investors are people we’ve been working with for years already and already established trustworthy contacts. Some were new contacts — either a referral from other investors or personal outreach — and we’re actively following up with each of them (I’ve already set this week with 3 investor follow up meetings at their request, with more in the pipeline). Since spring of 2016 we travelled the world attending or speaking at events in China, Hong Kong, USA, UK, France, Spain, and Russia to meet new investors and several attendees this year are a result of these events. Investors also don’t just attend one Axis event — many investors return year after year and join us at Axis events around the world. In between events, we share dealflow and act as scouts for many investors looking to be more active.
Startups: Some of the presenting startups have worked with us already, but almost all are new. Beginning in the fall of 2016, we started reaching out to partners such as accelerators, investors, VC’s, and more to get their recommendations and introductions to their best startups. We began our marketing through social media, emails, and research to call for startups to apply. After more than 50 meetings, we selected the 25 presenting companies, and spent over 100 hours working with these companies to prepare them for their presentations, analyze on investment strategy, arrange investor meetings, and more.
Custom matching: It’s not enough just to get the right people in the room — because we know both sides well, we use that knowledge to match them together. Each investor receives a booklet with startup one pagers, and we speak to each of them to highlight which startups would be most interesting for them. During each startup pitch, the investors fill out feedback forms so we can best know which companies they would like to meet. And after the conference, we have a special dinner for the presenting startups and investors to continue networking in a more casual setting.
Post event, we’re now following up with the startups, investors, and our partners to continue our relationships with them. Our goal for Axis events such as Axis Tel Aviv is to help build stronger connections with all sides of the ecosystem, in order to help make more deals and enable startups to scale globally. Looking forward to seeing more great things from the Axis Tel Aviv companies!