The Web Summit has been a landmark for tech startups for quite a few years now. Betmarkets has exhibited there and the impact was much more significant than initially expected. Looking forward to being part of next year’s edition!
Betmarkets at the Web Summit
As the major tech event happening in the world, the Web Summit is a mandatory stop for most startups. Having occurred in Lisbon for the past three editions – including this one -, Portuguese startups have an even bigger possibility of attending the event.
Betmarkets didn’t want to be an exception. Back in April, we were selected by the Web Summit to have one booth at the event. A few weeks prior to the start date, the staff informed us that we would be exhibiting on the third, and last, day. We were a bit bummed by our lack of luck, given that that day tends to have the least affluence. The accumulated tiredness of all attendees, fuelled by a great closing party at Pink Street the day before, and some early flights, are surely to blame.
However, we ended up not having any reasons to have that as a problem. Indeed, the biggest edition of the Web Summit so far – with more than 70,000 attendees – gave us an exhibition day filled with enthusiastic attendees. A big thank you for the free coffee at the event, as well, for keeping everyone awake!
But let’s take you one step at a time, shall we?
Two weeks before the conference, Beta-i arranged 2-days packed with activities for the Portuguese startups in preparation for the event. Road 2 Web Summit gave us insightful tips on how to approach the event and how to pitch our business to attendees and investors alike. Hustling and networking were two common topics throughout the bootcamp. There, Betmarkets had its first appearance on national television! Have you seen us there?
The best was still to come.
Day 0: A packed Altice Arena for the start of the Web Summit
Good news before arriving
The team started the journey from Porto early on Monday and didn’t have to wait until Lisbon for the event to start on giving. Halfway there, a message popped out in our inbox. We had been selected to be part of Bright Pixel’s Tuk Tuk Pitch (Executive Digest; content in Portuguese)! A few startups crammed in each Tuk Tuk would have the chance to pitch their businesses to two reputed investors. Betmarkets, although quite young, would be there!
Getting to Lisbon was a breeze and we came across git//scale upon arrival. They are improving the way through which developers can get credited for their work in open-source code. We ended up sharing a table for lunch and discussed action plans for the upcoming days.
The start of the Web Summit 2018
Paddy Cosgrave opened the event by stating its conviction on having made an amazing call when signing the deal to keep the event in Lisbon for the next 10 years.
He was followed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, one of the ones to blame for the branding of the event. As a matter of fact, why on Earth would the Web Summit be called that way if there were no World Wide Web to begin with? The creator of the Web urged us to develop a contract for it, due to the recent surge in the presence of menaces such as the “fake news”. In his opinion, we were reaching a critical point for this decision because, for the first point in time, more people would be online – as in having access to an internet connection – than offline!
Another highlight of the day was, in my opinion, the intervention of António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations and former Portuguese Prime-Minister, defending the responsible usage of the Internet and its upbringing as a tool that can solve some of society’s most prominent issues.
The following day would kick-off the event officially.
Day 1: Investor meetings and Bright Pixel’s Tuk Tuk Pitch
We had the opportunity to listen to Cal Henderson from Slack on how they managed to grow so quickly, and the iterations required to completely change the initial plan of becoming a gaming company to becoming a business communications tool.
Two investor meetings followed. The first one was with a major accelerator and the second one with an investor that has a deep portfolio in European tech companies. Received great feedback and the stage fright was over!
The afternoon brought a talk of Behavioural Economics and customer perception. Nir Wegrzyn touched upon a lot of examples from Daniel Kahneman’s book. You can learn more of Kahneman’s utility reasoning and its application to decision-making in this post.
To close the day, we would be attending Bright Pixel’s Tuk Tuk Pitch, a 30-minute drive between the Web Summit and downtown Lisbon where we would have the chance to present our company to two VCs. It was a very interesting experience, to say the least! Afterwards we attended the Techlicious Party at Bright Pixel’s office where we met some other companies and possible partners.
Day 2: A focus on growth, some more meetings and preparing the exhibition day!
Growth was the main subject of the second day. Social media, virality, word of mouth, SEO and other topics were brought up. Plenty of use cases to learn from!
Later, at the Centre Stage in Altice Arena, Ray Dalio – the mastermind behind Bridgewater Associates – talked about the company’s culture of radical transparency. It might seem crazy that anyone can evaluate anyone in real-time, while on a meeting, but that’s exactly what they have been doing for the past decades! And with tremendous results, as everybody can see.
We closed the day with some meetings with investors and ended the conference day earlier to prepare for the challenges to come. Betmarkets would be exhibiting to a large audience the following day!
Day 3: A massive surprise, potential users, investors and media.
Our inbox had reserved for us an even bigger surprise to start the last day of the Web Summit. “WOW” was the one-liner that quickly appeared in the team’s WhatsApp group.
And there was a great reason behind that: Betmarkets had just been selected by the Web Summit as one of the three most favourited startups exhibiting that day!
This highlight (image below) in the newsletter was given due to Betmarkets having received the most investor meeting requests:
We spent the rest of the day exhibiting at the stand while carrying a meaningful grin in our faces. Who would have guessed that a small startup from Portugal – just a side project a year before – would receive such a distinction?
We made significant leads, mostly within the betting sector in Europe. Also had the chance to receive one of the speakers in our stand and interacted with media from Portugal and Brazil, who were interested in the project, and with some attendees who were just curious about the startup that popped out in their Web Summit newsletters.
Later, while coming back to Porto we were bombarded with some messages from friends warning us about appearing in SIC Notícias website (Portuguese media; content in Portuguese) and in Época Negócios from Globo website (Brazilian media; content in Portuguese). It was a great way for Betmarkets to end the Web Summit! Our previous University also dedicated an article (content in Portuguese) to Betmarkets.
All of this occurred even before we launched. Yesterday we opened our platform to our first early users! Have you registered in our waiting list already?
If not, register now at Betmarkets and you’ll receive your invitation soon!