DEMO is like the Super Bowl of startups. It’s a rare moment where all the bright lights are on your company, your team, and most importantly, your product. People are in attendance to see how your company could potentially change the world. While you’re there you can literally feel the energy in the air. If you’re a startup looking to launch a product, here are five reasons to consider DEMO as your launch pad… even if you don’t think you can develop the product in time.
1. DEMO will push your company to work harder than ever before (seriously)
My company, Bizness Apps, is a DIY mobile app builder for small businesses, and at the time we applied for DEMO Spring 2011, we had only released an iPhone version of our product. We hadn’t even begun development of an Android version, but we applied to DEMO anyway. We were accepted to launch at DEMO, and after that we literally worked day and night to build a beta Android app. We were eating, drinking, and sleeping Android apps for about two months before the launch. It was awesome.
Preparing for DEMO was the hardest the Bizness Apps team has ever worked, hands down. We had a huge opportunity ahead of us, and we worked our asses off for it. It motivates you. It pushes you. It forces you. DEMO will push your company to work harder than you’ve ever worked in your life to develop things you wouldn’t have otherwise, at a faster pace than you’ve ever worked, and it’s completely worth it.
2. DEMO allows you to network with press, investors, and potential partners
Our company was hoping for some press contacts at DEMO, and we definitely found some. And yes, we did meet a lot of investors. Our company left DEMO with stacks of investor cards. We had spoken with well over 30-40 investors and walked away with too many cards to count.
Though we didn’t go to DEMO looking for investment introductions, they were definitely available if we had been interested. In addition, we met an international white label reseller partner at DEMO that has proven to be one of our most successful partners.
DEMO is an event that attracts entrepreneurs, press, investors, and others from all over the globe. If you’re a startup looking for funding, press, or partnerships I highly recommend attending DEMO. There is a lot of opportunity to speak face to face with investors who are actually looking to invest, press looking to write about you, and partners looking to do business with you. Real deals are made at this event.
3. DEMO will help grow your company
We landed some key partnerships from DEMO, which directly increased our revenues. The press coverage we received led to new clients/partners, which directly increased our revenues. The event drastically sped up development for our Android product, which directly increased our revenues. And the event put our product under a microscope, which motivated us to improve it, which directly increased revenues.
Since DEMO, we’ve grown our revenues by well over 300%, and I anticipate this number will reach 500-600% by the end of the year. DEMO is an event that can directly help companies grow by connecting them with key partnerships, press exposure, investors, and new clients.
In the chart below, you can see how our growth started to pick up in January, right when our team started working like crazy to get prepared for DEMO. So even before our product launched at DEMO in March, our beta version picked up a lot of traction because of our accelerated efforts.
4. It’s an overall awesome experience for your team
The DEMO experience is like none other. While preparing for our launch, we really had to come together as a team. We all had a common interest in meeting the launch deadline and worked like hell to reach it. I’ve never worked harder with my team (or in my life). DEMO really allowed us to show each other what we’re made of.
Even if you’re just in the planning stages of your product and you’re thinking about launching at DEMO, I think you should apply. It will push your team to come together and create something you didn’t think you could otherwise. It will show you what you’re really capable of.
5. DEMO will help your company reach the next level
After our “beta” Android app launch at DEMO, we eventually had our official “public” launch. This launch was covered by another large tech publication by a writer we had met at DEMO. If we hadn’t gone to this event, we wouldn’t have gotten that coverage, met our newest clients, and would not be where we are today. I can’t promise your company will have the same experience as we did, but I can guarantee your company will walk away better off than you were before.
Andrew Gazdecki is the founder and CEO of Bizness Apps, a do-it-yourself mobile app platform that allows small businesses to easily create, edit, and manage an iPhone, iPad, and Android app online without any programming knowledge needed. He is 22 and a recent graduate of CSU Chico.