Last month in London, RE•WORK hosted a VC mentoring session which provided startups with the opportunity to meet with leading AI investors, Venture Capitalists and industry experts to pitch ideas, and gain advice on their business ideas and strategies. To secure their place at the event, startups submitted elevator pitch videos, and the top 6 shortlisted were invited to present, and the panel of experts selected a winner, who was lucky enough to take home a Titan Xp card.
After some really exciting pitches from Hi9, Nordigen, uKit AI, Daco.io, BuzzTechnology and NextQuestion.io, and some great advice and feedback from the experts, Daco.io, a platform that benchmarks competitors on offers, pricing, and discount strategies, took home the prize.
The session ran in conjunction with the Deep Learning in Finance Summit, Deep Learning in Retail and Advertising Summit and AI Assistant Summit in London, to which all the entrants were invited, so In the run up to the pitches, I was fortunate enough to sit down with Paul Mouginot, Co-Founder of Daco.io, for a short interview.
What’s been your highlight of being here in London for the competition?
I’ve met lots of really interesting people. I’m here with my co-founder, and I’m in charge of sales and AI training, and the scope of attendees is really impressive. It’s my first rework event, and I really didn’t know what to expect, but I was attracted to enter initially by the quality of the speakers - I’m still amazed by quality. Sometimes you attend these types of events and there are lots of startups doing sales pitches, but there wasn’t one sales pitch today - and the Q&A for each presentation was amazing.
How has the event been useful to you as a startup?
Even if It doesn’t open new business opportunities, it’s so important as a small company to know if you’re ahead of the game, if you’re missing a trick, or even if you’re doing it right. Very few companies are doing it right, but we understand that even though we’re really innovative there are other people doing what we do, and events like this are a great reminder that there’s competition! It’s not necessarily bad competition, but we need to monitor the industry. Throughout the event we’re shared comments and thoughts on Twitter and it’s a great way to make connections.
What have you learned today?
I had 3 favourite presentations and I took something really unique from each one. First of all, Fabio from ASOS spoke on NAME and it was fascinating because it was close to our field and helped us understand what the best companies are doing. I was also blown away by Sam Lloyd from Travis Perkins - they’re using AI in building materials and have used tech to improve business in a crazy way. Companies like this are usually so bad at adapting and leveraging technology, but Sam’s developing an internal AI platform, and he was the representation of what you need for a good team! I also thought NAME from Catalunya University’s work about image recognition technologies is something really exciting and new - during the Q&A, everyone was asking about applications which was really educational. This is so different than my background in maths, sometimes you don’t even know if what you’re learning will have an applications.
What stood out to you about the event?
It was actually the conference I’ve been to that I’d say I’d come back to. At other events you’re separate from the experts, but here we get our technical questions answered by PhDs, industry experts, and we said ‘this is my problem, I can’t tackle it, and they tell us which KPI to watch, which papers to read, which is a really unique experience.
At previous editions of RE•WORK summits, we've been joined by startups working in all industries who have gone on to gain investment and success of their own. Check back on Friday when we'll be looking at these companies and where they are now.