Betmarkets has been invited by Startup Lisboa and Made of Lisboa to exhibit at Collision as part of its mission. We had the chance to have a booth at the event during the three days of the conference. Albeit smaller than the Web Summit, where we got selected as one of the three Most Favourited Startups exhibiting in the last day, attendees were very interesting and we made connections that can help us in our scaling process. Looking forward to being part of next year’s edition!
Betmarkets at Collision 2019
Collision has just finished its first edition in Toronto, Canada, this past week. Previously, it was held in New Orleans, Louisiana. The change was mostly due to the Visa restrictions imposed by Trump’s administration and to the thriving tech ecosystem in Toronto. Our attendance there was decided in the weeks previous to the event. Startup Lisboa was forming a delegation to attend the event and we applied. Got accepted and received the chance to exhibit for free in the Conference.
Comparing Collision to the Web Summit
The event is smaller than the Web Summit – roughly one third of the attendees (+25,000 expected). However, it can pose as a great entry point to the North American market for European startups. We acquired great leads on possible investments, partnerships and affiliates. We will be following up on those for the next few weeks.
Collision’s first edition in Toronto also had some downs. The most important of which was the lack of Wi-Fi in the venue throughout most of the time. Pitching a product without being able to showcase it was a bit problematic… A tech conference without internet is a little bit paradoxal, no? We hope to see major improvements to it for the next edition, and the team has already shown it can pull it off in other events.
The Portuguese delegation
Portuguese startups and institutions composed the delegation [content in Portuguese]. As for the startups, the ones that got allocated a booth as Beta companies (already established startups) were:
- China Facture
- Betmarkets (Yay!)
- Blockbird Ventures
- 99 GEO
- Eureka Studios
It was a pleasure to receive feedback from them and from other attendees regarding our product. Besides, we could see potential synergies with some of them!
Collision’s Opening Night
The event started on Monday evening. To say the least, the first night predicted some of the issues to come in the rest of the Conference. Unlike in the Web Summit, where only media, startups, investors, partners and speakers can attend, in Collision everyone could. Plus, the organization decided not to increase Centre Stage spots for the day. Suffice to say that the seats were all taken minutes after the opening of the doors. In the Web Summit, thanks to the sheer size of Altice Arena in Lisbon, this would be almost impossible to happen.
It was a little disappointing to arrive – prior to the opening of the doors – and to be sent to another stage to follow the talks through a screen. On the flipside, it just shows how much enthusiasm from general attendees there was! We felt that same enthusiasm while exhibiting. Just have to thank the general niceness of Canadians for a great experience.
Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime-minister, spoke about Canada’s role on the worldwide tech scene. Highlighted the nation’s belief of the significant advantages of a society that is diverse and inclusive. Towards which an overall acceptance towards immigration is a major factor. Recent growth figures prove his point. Canada has been adding tech jobs at an acelerated space, increasing GDP growth. He also spoke about the recently-introduced start-up visa and how it is the complete opposite of what Trump’s administration is doing in the US.
Two other talks were held, the first being about disruption in entrepreneurship and the latter about the introduction of cannabis businesses around the world, and the perspective of two Hollywood actors and comedians towards creativity-inducing drugs such as this one.
Exhibiting at Collision
The main advantage of Collision being a less crowded event than the Web Summit is that, as an exhibitor, you can dedicate more attention to each visitor. This led us to more easily foster potential leads and even to discuss partnership opportunities right at the booth!
We barely had time to attend any of the scheduled talks as we exhibited the three days of the conference. Still, we managed to wiggle some room to listen to some of the speakers. We would highlight “Bulish predictions on the future of sports betting” – for obvious reasons! There, the speakers, John Levy from theScore and Darren Rovell from The Action Network, closed the talk the same way we close our pitch: “there is a lot more data available about sports and teams than there is about companies”. If you invest in the latter, why shouldn’t you be able to invest in the former? After all, it all boils down to data and statistics!
Attending NewCo in Toronto
NewCo is an amazing event that consists in a full day of 45-min talks held in each company’s office. Last Friday, we attended NewCo Toronto and the quality of the talks impressed us. Established companies, scaling startups and institutions from the ecosystem all host the event.
We visited Airbnb, Facebook, Uber, ElementAI, Secret Location, Diversio, Techstars and MaRS. Airbnb’s talk was so interesting that we had a small one-on-one meeting with the speaker afterwards. It completely challenged the way we see things. To be successful, they must do some things well, but the fact is that everything they say is fully aligned with their behaviour and with the value they provide to users. All in all, it’s not just about providing with accomodation when you are travelling. Airbnb aims to create magical experiences and let foreigners taste a more local way of living when they are abroad.
Translating these findings to what we are doing at Betmarkets, we shifted a little bit from a vague target of enabling sports betting investment to anyone in the world to building a platform that is set to deliver long-term positive returns, while sticking to the sports betting thrill. Wrapping up, our north star should be offering the long-term profits everyone seeks while taking advantage of the implicit virtues of the product – such as the entertainment it can provide, if used responsibly – we work with.