Before – the challenge
Before adopting Dealum, sTARTUp Day faced operational challenges. Pitching competition organizers struggled with the manual nature of the event management: startups registered via Typeform and data was managed and processed in Excel. The festival’s growth over the years made this approach unsustainable. As the event evolved and the number of participating startups increased, the workload became overwhelming – old methods required increasingly more time and effort.
The decision to transition to Dealum was influenced by practicality. Dealum’s founder, Rein Lemberpuu, is also a founder of sTARTUp Day and recommended the platform. The primary criterion for choosing Dealum was its ability to make the organizers’ lives easier.
Dealum’s user-friendly interface and comprehensive platform features aligned with the festival’s goals. The decision was later reinforced by Dealum’s support system, assisting whenever needed.
The competition has grown significantly. In 2017, around 20 teams were selected to pitch on the stage, increasing to 30 the following year and now featuring 40 teams in recent years. The first sTARTUp Pitching in 2017 had over 100 applicants, rising to approximately 250 in 2019 and exceeding 380+ startups from 47 countries in 2022.
During – the transition
The onboarding process was straightforward for sTARTUp Day. Their entire startup applications management process was streamlined to one platform and the simplicity of Dealum’s user interface made it easy to share and evaluate startups.
What stood out for the event organizing team from the very beginning was Dealum’s responsive support who swiftly addressed any concerns or modifications needed. Even during the ongoing pitching application period, the organizers found the platform support highly responsive, receiving immediate answers to their queries.
“I remember that Dealum was already incredibly user-friendly when I started using it years ago. We even sent information and reminders to startups through Dealum, which made the entire process so much smoother. Dealum is essential for managing an event of such scale; I can’t imagine handling it without it.” — Marili Vihmann • sTARTUp Day 3rd head organizer
Dealum’s role extended beyond managing startups; it also facilitated collaboration with partners and investors. Applications filtering became a valuable tool for presenting data to partners and tailoring offers to startups and investors.
After – the impact
The sTARTUp Pitching funnel setup was established 4 years ago and it is being used to this day with minimal adjustments before each competition. The Dealum platform has seamlessly integrated into the registration and validation process for the festival – startups complete their profiles on Dealum creating a centralized information hub for the event.
The competition receives 350-400 startup applications each year that can be evaluated quickly and effortlessly with the tools available on the platform. An additional benefit for investors is startup categorization by verticals giving sector-specific investors the ability to assess relevant categories and reduce the clutter.
Dealum had a profound impact on sTARTUp Day’s pitching competition management. The streamlined process from startup registration to evaluation and selection reduced workload and ensured a seamless experience for both organizers and participants.
“If there’s one thing I, as the head organizer, have never had to worry about, it’s sTARTUp Pitching and how our pipeline operates.” — Mart Lättekivi • sTARTUp Day 4th head organizer
The platform’s ease of use was reflected in the absence of complaints from participating startups, and the process was described as efficient and time-saving. The impact was so significant that sTARTUp Pitching organizing feels very smooth process.
sTARTUp Day’s experience with Dealum has been overwhelmingly positive. The platform’s time-saving capabilities, intuitive interface, and continuous support made it an indispensable tool for managing their pitching competition.
For organizations contemplating a similar transition, the advice from sTARTUp Day’s team is to invest time in thoroughly planning the processes and applications as well as funnel setup. Additionally, active communication with participating startups, partners, and investors ensures a smooth transition. The system’s capabilities provide substantial benefits in terms of time efficiency and data management – make sure to utilize and maximize the automation functionalities.
In conclusion, Dealum has not only met but exceeded the expectations of sTARTUp Day, providing a solution that not only streamlines the process but also adds significant value to the entire pitching competition experience.