From start-up to brand: SevenVentures CEO Florian Pauthner speaks about the pitch of the year

SevenVentures Pitch Day has become a real institution in the start-up scene. In 2018 the competition will take place for the first time at DMEXCO. We spoke with SevenVentures CEO Florian Pauthner about working with start-ups and past winners.

From start-up to brand: SevenVentures CEO Florian Pauthner speaks about the pitch of the year

Why is SevenVentures Pitch Day 2018 taking place at DMECXO?

DMEXCO serves as a community and central meeting place for all important decision-makers from the digital economy, marketing and innovation and thus fits perfectly with this year’s motto, “from start-up to brand”. In addition to major brands, international investors and opinion leaders from all over the world will be there. For the start-ups—and thus for our Pitch Day as well—this is an ideal environment in which to make valuable contacts.

What distinguishes SevenVentures Pitch Day from other start-up competitions?

One big difference is the prize awaiting the winner and the opportunities this offers the start-up: as prize money, we offer a comprehensive media and service package consisting of three million euros in TV advertising money, 200,000 euros in online marketing budget and 30,000 euros for the creation of the winner’s own TV commercial. For the first time this year, a four-month mentoring program is also being offered by Procter & Gamble, the world’s leading consumer goods company. A team of experts from P&G will support the winning start-up with any questions they may have in the operational business. The winner can thus draw on the full range of marketing and sales knowledge of all the award sponsors. To my knowledge, this is unique!

The SevenVentures Pitch Day (7VPD) provides B2C start-ups a platform to compete against each other in a pitch duel. How far along should the start-ups be in their development to participate?

We are seeking companies that have a scalable business model and that are already at the right stage of development to cope with the demand resulting from a successful TV campaign. German companies wishing to advertise their product on the ProSiebenSat.1 TV channels as well as international companies that are not yet active in the German market and want to change this are eligible to participate.

How long will it take before we actually see advertising for the winner in the ProSiebenSat.1 Group?

The prize should be redeemed within 14 months of DMEXCO. This provides the winning start-up enough time to prepare everything necessary for the advertising campaign and create the commercial. When it comes to marketing support, brand building or logistics, they can always rely on the help of experts from SevenVentures and P&G.

Last year’s winner was the muesli bar manufacturer Hafervoll. What was the decisive factor for the victory?

The young Cologne-based company Hafervoll, which produces handmade muesli bars without additives, was perfectly qualified for the 7VPD award last year: a unique physical product with a business model that can be scaled as required.

SevenVentures regularly sells shares in its media-for-equity portfolio. How long on average does the work with a start-up company last?

SevenVentures is not a venture capital fund in the conventional sense, but a balance sheet investor. In other words, we accompany the companies as long as they need support with growth capital in the form of media for equity. As a general rule, this is a period of between two and five years.

SevenVentures has been hosting its Pitch Day since 2014. What has become of the winners?

The prize has enabled all 7VPD winners to reach a wide audience very quickly. For many of them, this was the next step in their corporate development. Last year’s winner, Hafervoll, used the publicity boost to consolidate their position in the retail sector. Tinkerbots, the winning start-up from 2016, received many listings after winning and broadcasting the TV commercial. And Withings, the winning start-up of 2015 was sold to Nokia just months after winning.

Would you like to present your vision live at DMEXCO? If so, then apply with your start-up by August 22 via the Seven-Ventures website.