On October 15th I had the pleasure to pitch Ensafer at Norwegian Investment Forum 2013 (NIF) in Oslo. The conference was held at Oslotech with around 200 attendees and 24 selected startups giving their pitches and showcasing their products at individual stands in an expo area. This is an annual investment conference attracting attendees from both Norway and elsewhere, and it’s probably the biggest investment event in Norway as far as I know.
This is how the conference describes itself on their web site:
“Norwegian Investment Forum is the largest venture conference in Norway and attended by more than 200 participants. This is an exclusive opportunity to meet the leading Norwegian investors and Nordic investors to share information and know-how about prospects, trends and key issues, and to make new business contacts.”
Key issues are outlook on the VC market, navigating in challenging market conditions, future trends and investment opportunities, and networking. During the conference dinner the VC industry celebrated itself by announcing the six winners of the annual Norwegian Venture Capital Investment Awards. VentureLab and Oslotech hosted this conference.
Best of all: 24 of the best growth companies in Norway presented their investment opportunities at this event. All companies had passed a highly skilled jury in order to be selected. Ensafer was one of these companies.
It has never been easier to store and share data on the Internet. At the same time keeping those data safe has never been more challenging. As organizations invests large sums in corporate security, employees and individuals wildly adopt user friendly services to ease their jobs – that internal IT cannot control. The result is data gone astray, exposing the organization to attackers and theft. This is the landscape where Ensafer is operating, and this is an extract on how we described Ensafer when applying for NIF:
Ensafer is end-to-end encryption technology used to encrypt cloud services like Dropbox and alike. These services are very useful and efficient, and that’s the problem. Increasing use of these tools puts a lot of sensitive information at risk. The world is starting to notice. That’s why Ensafer encrypt these services to protect information in the Cloud. It means that a file is never unencrypted under transport, storage or sharing in the Cloud. All encryption and decryption happens on the client-side with all complexity hidden. It’s simple, elegant and efficient. The groundbreaking, patent-pending technology will enable millions of users of popular Cloud services to fully protect their data regardless of the security level of those services. As a start we offer Dropbox encryption, and we’ll soon be able to encrypt Microsoft SkyDrive and Google Drive as well. These services have almost 500 million users, giving us a huge user base on a global scale.
My 7 minutes pitch
It’s never easy to give a short pitch like 5 to 7 minutes, and this event was no exception. With a high number of investors and competition between the startups to get attention, I was very well prepared with my 10 slides and an inspiring presentation – I hoped. Here are the slides I presented:
- Front page
- The problem & needs
- Our solution to the problem
- Our business idea & model
- Market, competition and advantages
- Commercial launch of Ensafer
- Key financial information
- Fund raising & use of funds
- The team behind Ensafer
- Summary & contact info
It was fun giving my presentation because of the feedback from the audience and the expert panel. I think we have a compelling story talking about Ensafer and our potential global market. Our commercial launch in some weeks will show how the market reacts to our value proposition.
Our expo stand
All startups at this event had the opportunity to set up a stand. We did, and the picture shows our VP of Sales Dag Tore Aam and me at our stand. With 24 stands, where every startup had the same amount of space and a table, it was important to stand out in some way. We did with a big monitor showing the Ensafer movie and by being able to demo Ensafer. We also had the best position at the start of the expo area near the food and drinks. We had a lot of people visiting our stand and got very good feedback on Ensafer and my pitch.
It’s important for companies like us pitch at different events to get known, get feedback and expand our network. This was a good event with many attendees – at least for being in Norway.
An improvement would be to attract more investors outside Norway, get a couple of relly big international names within the VC and entrepreneur area as speakers, and have fewer fireside chats. The number and quality of participants is really important for startups using a lot of resources on events like this.
It was worth it for us, we got a lot of positive feedback, and some investors would like to get in touch with us. The latter is the goal of such an event for startups, so we’re happy with that result.