by: Jason Weiss
Roadshows 2018: Why roadshows?
Last month we wrapped up our 2018 Roadshows to Moscow and New York. For the first time, we combined both cities into the same week, making it some of the most busy and exciting travel days we’ve had. 2 cities, 6 events, 14 startups, over 80 investors, more than 50 arranged 1-on-1 meetings, and many more follow-up meetings to come.
I’ve written before about our philosophy as startup finders, working with early stage tech companies on international fundraising. I’d like to emphasize here why we focus on organizing events and roadshows as a critical part of our work. There are 3 key reasons: Relationships, Strategy, and Innovation.
Relationships: Having regular events in Israel and around the world helps establish solid and meaningful relationships with investors and corporations. Events bring people together face to face and provide a platform for meeting with people year after year. Even if an investor can’t attend an event, a personal invitation is a great way to stay in touch and sometimes start a new relationship. Moreover, the Axis Roadshows take this to a new level - by actually traveling to the investors home city (such as Moscow, Singapore, New York, etc), it shows them our high level of commitment and that of our startups. On the other side, during a roadshow we get to establish a much deeper relationship with the entrepreneurs by flying together, working on their pitches, enjoying dinners and drinks in a new city, a historic tour, and much more. Real relationships are about consistency, providing value time after time, and events play a critical role in doing so.
Strategy: While tech events may be fun or interesting, most of them don’t provide long term value. Our events and roadshows are designed specifically for investors, corporations, and startups to meet in a focused environment that can lead to new business or investment. We carefully select startups based on our desire to work with them beyond the event on their fundraising, and invite investors and corporations based on their fit to the startups. Post-event, we continue to work with many startups year round on additional investors, and work with the investors on new dealflow later in the year. Through the Axis Roadshows, we’ve helped close multiple deals and started valuable new relationships with people only because we had the events. Events are just one piece of the puzzle to focus on our main mission of helping both startups and investors make the right connections year round.
Innovation: Every industry is about innovation, so why not us? In order to be successful, we constantly need to innovate how we work. At our events for example, we have begun adding more emphasis to corporations and corporate VC’s. Beginning in 2014, we identified a growing trend of corporate activity early stage and created the Axis Corporate Edition, the first event to focus solely on corporate open innovation with startups. This year, we expanded the Axis Corporate Edition to both the Axis Russia and Axis New York roadshows, where we had over 40 corporations attend and meet with startups.
Now, we will watch these relationships mature and work to ensure the right business connections are being developed. With another successful event in the books, it is time to focus hands on follow up with both sides, and looking towards our next events in Israel and around the world. Stay tuned.