Some of the most exciting disruptive start-ups in Europe were brought together in one place on Friday to present their innovative concepts to local and international investors.
The Vroom Summit has risen beyond expectations once again, presenting everything from a solar powered car and Formula 1 simulator to a new biometric fingerprint for the art world.
spoke to Penelope Hope, Head of Luxury and Innovation Partnerships, about the value of Vroom and how this year’s outstanding selection was chosen.
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The Lightyear solar powered car[/caption]
Monaco Life: What is the concept behind the Vroom Summit?
Penelope Hope: Vroom Summit is designed to bring the best-of-the-best from the start up world to the top members of our investor syndicate across Europe. The concept is that we have a variety of short pitches from these companies, and our guests (investors) have the opportunity to invest in them. This gives them access to some of the top startup investments from across Europe.
How did you select the participants?
We conduct something called the Vroom Caravan which sees us visit the top 10 cities in Europe. While there we hold Dragons Den-style auditions for the hottest startups in the area in front of a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs from our network. We choose the top startup from each destination and invite them to pitch in Monaco.
What kind of people attend the summit?
Private investors, family offices, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, business angels, tech executives, and HNW/UHNW individuals looking for the best tech investment opportunities.
How would you rate the response to the summit?
This year we had an overwhelmingly positive response to the summit. In particular, people praised the quality of the startups and their pitches, the exciting array of product sponsors outside the event (some of which were seeking capital themselves so also represented great investment opportunities), the high quality of genuine and interested investors in attendance from all across Europe, and the great organisation of the Vroom Team.
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Who were your favourite participants and why?
In terms of the product sponsors, we particularly loved the interactive products including the fantastic Formula 1 simulator car by Wave Italy, the virtual reality exercise machines by Icaros and the stunning automatic-gearbox electric bikes from Monaco company Stajvelo.
We also had two stunning yachts which were the stars of the show, both again made by Monaco-based companies which we are so proud to promote: the gorgeous Mercedes yacht Arrow460 by Silver Arrows Marine and the beautiful Porsche-designed yacht GTT 115 by Dynamiq, where all of our pitching companies had the opportunity to be interviewed.
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Left to right: Kool and Konscious founders Boryana Uzunova and Eva Vucheva, with Source Manager Ana Kremenlieva[/caption]
In terms of pitching companies, we have already had a host of investors jump in for Rundit, the investor reporting app, Pass The Keys, the home-rental service sponsored by AirBnb, and Kool and Konscious, the retail shopping site for women promoting sustainable fashion. Next to that we also have investors jumping in for Inplayer, the online paywall monetisation company, Proxy42, the future of interactive gaming, and SchoolFox, the app that allows parents to connect with teachers to streamline school communication. All of these gave fantastic pitches with great energy and passion for their amazing companies.
A final favourite was Lightyear, the solar-powered road-friendly car which not only pitched but also exhibited at the event to the delight of many a passer-by in the Monaco marina.
Where and when will be the next Vroom Summit, and what is your vision for its future?
Currently Vroom Summit is an annual event and we will hold the next major summit in October 2020 at the Monaco Yacht Club. Our vision is that we take the Vroom Summit brand to other cities in Europe including Cannes, Lugano, Zug and London. Having run successfully for six years now, we have had time to refine the format so that it is punchy, cohesive and effective in bringing the best opportunities to serious investors. We’re confident that we can replicate this in other cities to broaden the network and benefit investors in other locations.
Monaco Life will be publishing our series of interviews with these participants over the coming week, so stay tuned!