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The focus of today’s interview is Christian Strebe. He works for Univations and supports young start-ups in their development. We got to know Christian for the first time in 2016 and convinced him about LineUpr through a pitch contest. Since then, Univations uses LineUpr for their Pitch Day.
In the conversation, Christian tells us more about pitch day, how and why he uses an event app from LineUpr and what he wants for LineUpr’s future. Have fun while reading. 😊
LineUpr: Hello Christian. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Please introduce yourself and Univations.
Christian: Hello. My name is Christian Strebe and I’m a Project Manager at Univations and help start-ups succeed. Univations is an affiliated institute at the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg and is active in the field of knowledge and technology transfer. In this role, for example, we implement several projects for the university, the state of Saxony-Anhalt or the federal government. One of them is the Investforum Start-up Service, where the primary goal is to help start-ups with capital acquisition.
LineUpr: In this context, you are the Organizer of the Investforum Pitch-Day. Tell us something more about this event.
Christian: We organize the Investforum Pitch-Day once a year, in order to consciously attract the attention of investors to Saxony-Anhalt. It’s a classic matching event where start-ups meet investors. The start-ups, which we advise all year and make investor ready, present themselves together with start-ups who apply for regular participation.
LineUpr: As far as I know, the Pitch-Day is one of the most significant start-up events in central Germany. How did you develop this status with so much competition?
Christian: We have been organizing the Pitch Day since 2009. We were the first to offer an event of this kind in central Germany. Today it looks different, which is good. The scene in Central Germany is quite small and the participants know each other and support each other. We’ve managed to get many investors to value our event in terms of quality. Besides, we put a lot of love and commitment into the preparation of the teams and the event, and both the investors and start-ups notice this.
LineUpr: You have already used LineUpr for the third time at the Investforum Pitch-Day. What was the decisive argument for you to use an event app?
Christian: And we will use LineUpr again this year! We always think about how we can easily communicate event information – organization, agenda, location, etc. – together with information about the start-ups and investors to the participants at the event. In the past, we spent the weekend before the event preparing our magazine – which took a lot of time and nerves and which already became outdated right after printing. Today’s event apps are much more comfortable.
LineUpr: Great. 😊 Have you used event apps before? If so, what were your experiences?
Christian: We used an app for the first time in 2015. We wanted to make everything sophisticated, the participants should communicate with each other through the app and arrange meetings at the event. Our experiences were very sobering. In addition to the very high price, the operation was in terms of content maintenance a disaster. Furthermore, we needed a lead time of 8 weeks so that the app could also be published in the stores. Then updates always had to be downloaded and in the end, hardly anyone used the app because you had to sign up for it and the matching function did not work either.
When you applied to participate at the Pitch-Day 2016, I was immediately impressed by the app. The simplicity was convincing and everything worked great at the premiere in 2016.
LineUpr: How do you use the app before, during and after the Pitch-Day?
Christian: Since we have a closed group of investors and start-ups, we communicate the app with password protection about two weeks before the event. First of all, we enter the information of the selected start-ups and then link them to Onepagers and Pitch-Decks, which are stored on our servers. Only the investors have access to these via a password. This allows investors to identify the start-ups with which they want converse in advance. On the day itself, we point out program items via the app’s push function and officially thank our sponsors, for example. This year, we also want to make the public vote for the best start-up through the app. After the event, we conduct a survey through the app to collect feedback.
LineUpr: How do your visitors react to the app?
Christian: We’re integrating questions about the app into our survey, and so far, almost everyone has praised it and found it entirely sufficient. On the day of the event, we see a lot of people who use the app. The uncomplicated access to all relevant functions and the good operability are very much appreciated.
LineUpr: We want to grow daily and offer our customers a better experience, what features do you wish for the app and why?
Christian: I think it would be good if you could divide a program point into more small sections. Especially for pitch sessions, it’s important to be able to allocate extra time to different start-ups assigned to a session. Also, some want to use a matching function. Maybe it would be enough to offer another optional feature that says I would like to talk to this person or company. Since the user does not register, the app would automatically have to recognize this request, manage a predefined slot and push both parties to one place at a time. It might also make sense to create two or more versions of the event app to provide specific information to different audiences. The selection can be made using different passwords. This makes it even more individual to the participants.
LineUpr: Which top three tips would you like to give other organizers for the use of LineUpr?
Christian: 1. Use the ability to import information from a past event for a new one. This usually saves us a lot of time. 2. Track the usage either through Google Analytics or a special link for example Bitly. 3. Inform visitors at the event that there is an app and how it can be used.
LineUpr: Thank you, Christian, for the great interview. As a former participant of the Pitch-Day, we know from our own experience, what a great job you do. We can highly recommend everyone’s participation.
We are already looking forward to the 2019 edition.