Thanks to BigBooster and MassChallenge, we were last week in Boston
for an amazing accelerator week program! Inside experience overview.
8 months after the start of BigBooster adventure in Lyon, 2 intense selection stages, numerous improvements on our product, raising money from friends and family and a few thousand kilometers later, here is a feedback on our experience in the Boston BoosterCamp that was held from June 4 to 8, in partnership with the US accelerator MassChallenge.
Day 1: welcome to MassChallenge & sales strategy
The adventure begins in the Boston Design Center, where MassChallenge is located. We arrive in a dock area, within an old industrial building, quite typical, renovated in a startup working place and with a nice view over Boston. We are greeted by Brittany McDonough, Director of Global Partnerships at MassChallenge, Christophe Dercamp, Director of BigBooster, Karine Dognin-Sauze, Vice President of Metropolitan Lyon and David Sweeney, Chief of Staff of the City of Boston.
The program starts with a Sales Strategy conference by Kent Summers, Mentor MIT VMS, and a Channel Strategy conference by Alec Stern, CEO at Global Point2Point. We then meet with two first mentors, Gregory Smith, Director of Solidworks for Entrepreneurs at Dassault Systemes, and Gary Woolf, CEO at Shiboomi Capital, to talk them about Artifakt and our product and to gather their opinions, advice and contacts in order to enter the US market.
Our business evaluation took place on Wednesday afternoon, and our CEO Aymeric had the opportunity to pitch our product during 8 minutes followed by a Q&A session to a 5 people jury, made by IT professionals and entrepreneurs.
Day 2: pitching, marketing & fundraising
We arrive Tuesday at the Landmark Center, a brick Art Deco Building built in 1929 and under renovation. We start with an Elevator Pitch session with Stephen Davis, Business Development & Sales Channel Expert. The US approach of pitching is quite different from the one we know in France, but it will be very useful for our near future!
The day goes on with a very interactive conference on Personal Branding & Media Engagement by Jodi-Tatiana Charles, Author, Marketing Expert and Speaker. Again, many differences with our European vision, but so many things to remember and apply to both Artifakt and our team! We continue with a conference on Fundraising in the US, by Kathleen Healy, Angel Investors at Atlanta Ventures: what we want to do should be to “make money” before “changing DevOps working life”… but no worries guys, your daily life is going to change, we promise! Our MassChallenge day ends with a mentoring session with Suchit Jain, Vice President & Business Dev at Dassault Systemes, and Tonya Brody, Startup & Growth-Stage Advisor.
As part of the 2018 BIO International Convention, which took place from June 4 to 7 in Boston, we are invited by Only Lyon to spend pleasant time in an art gallery place, to enjoy an evening of networking with all the startups present on the BoosterCamp and representatives of the Boston business community.
Day 3: legal & future technologies
The day begins at 28 State Street, in the historic Qunicy Market neighborhood, next to the Faneuil Hall Marketplace. We have an appointment with the law firm Mc Dermott to conduct individual interviews and evaluate the need of Artifakt on the legal part, for our future establishment in the US market.
We then move to the MIT MediaLab, where we are greeted by Arnaud Grignard, Research Scientist at MIT MediaLab, who has prepared a full visit of the labs where are thought and developed the technologies of tomorrow. No camera, no pictures, but we took full view and come back with beautiful memories! We then have the opportunity to pitch our product in front of researchers from MIT MediaLab, and to gather their advices. Awesome! Our adventure at MIT ends with a presentation of the MISTI program’s international partnerships by Molly Schneider, Managing Director of MIT France and Belgium, and we hope to soon join a MIT researcher who will be working on a top secret topic for us…;)
Day 4: pitch elevator day & opportunities
We have a meeting in the Quincy Market area to attend a Pennsylvania conference by Michael P O’Rourke, Co-Founder and CEO of Pocket Network. The state has a big appeal for startups and has many advantages for foreign companies wishing to establish in the United States.
Our afternoon is intense. After picking up our President and Co-Founder Julien at the airport, we adapt and revise our elevator pitch, which will be presented by Aymeric the same evening to investors, entrepreneurs, speakers and representatives of the city of Boston. We are expected on the 17th floor of the Prudential Tower, on the Foley & Lardner Venture LLP offices, which will host the closing party of our BoosterCamp. On the program, elevator pitch, startups presentation, networking and cocktail party, with a splendid view over the Charles River and the illuminated stadium of the Red Socks, hosting a MLB match.
Day 5: meetings with Akeneo
Our week in Boston ends with a day spent with Akeneo teams (Frédéric de Gombert and Nicolas Dupont are Artifakt investors), in Boston. Their US headquarters are located in the city of Cambridge, part of the Boston metropolitan area and home to the prestigious MIT and Harvard. We are gathering valuable advice on their experience in the US market. A big thank you for the welcome!
BigBooster, OnlyLyon, MassChallenge, City of Boston, MIT Media Lab, Mc Dermott, Foley & Lartner LLP, AirFrance, Akéneo, DSML and all the organizers, speakers and mentors.