Last week I was in Berlin for the Global Meetup of Get in the Ring. The organisation was set up by Dutch company the Unknown Group with a view of making pitching for new contracts as well as funding for startups and corporates smoother and shorter. We were invited to the global event thanks to successfully pitching for client work in the Netherlands.
If you are a business looking for new clients in the corporate world, keep an eye out for their calls and invites to take part. If you are a business looking to raise funds, in many areas around the world they will host Get in the Ring qualifiers. Usual pitch deck and interviews happen in the early rounds, however, the finals are hosted in a boxing ring. Two players aka businesses face each other and answer questions to win over the three judges and the public. Although the public vote doesn’t count, it is better to have the crowd on your side. You are also encouraged to include why you are better than your opponent in a bit of trash talking.
At the Rotterdam event earlier this year, I was struck with a really bad flu and cold, I just about mustered my way through the 10 pitches to the client and then hid away in the hotel to rest up. It was intense 1-1 pitching to each of the decision makers in the client company, they all had a slightly different angle and different questions. Thankfully I had done my homework and had come prepared. I was delighted that at the end of the second day we were announced as winners of the contract with the client. We are still working with them to this day and as client relationships go I would say they are great client to work with.
Because of my illness then I didn’t take part in the preparation or subsequent rounds to take part in the ring fight. On the night I did come out and looked at it rather apprehensively whether I could do this or not. The excitement and seeing some of the people I knew from business in the gamification space do well, set me up to prepare for the potentially global one.
As gamification of events goes, this one definitely took the dynamic from the boxing ring into the world of business pitching and made it their own version. I have the say it is the kind of gamification people often overlook, where you can take a sports template and apply to other areas of life and business.
At the Global Meetup in Berlin, all kinds of industries were present from agriculture to deep tech to workforce tech, enterprise etc. It was always interesting to hear what people were working on and doing. I had the most amazing conversations with people from Nepal, Qatar, Afghanistan, St Lucia, Benin, Pakistan, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium all around business and travel. Some were solving real issues in their countries like growing crops where there normally is no growth and others were solving business or social-economic problems. It was exciting, interesting and still full of pitching and speaking to potential investors, clients etc.
The event combined both fun and work in equal measures. On the first day a big opening German meal, the second day a full-on day of pitching and work talk. In my session, we had some great talks from people working in enterprise facing technology and what they see as important. The big trends that stood for me were partnering, microservices, data science, artificial intelligence and blockchains. In the evening we enjoyed the beautiful hot weather in Berlin on no better than an urban beach. The next day we innovation tours, city tours, a bit of rest and then the final pitch-offs where only 6 teams of the 130 winners from all over the world present were given a chance to give their best shot for the judges. I have to say I was impressed by the quality of people presenting their company in this final round, I would have happily backed two of the three winners.
Thank you to the Unknown Group organising team for a great event and for all those fellow business owners and great connections, I will be following up in the coming days. If you are reading this and feel like you want to take part next year, by all means, sign up on the Get in the Ring website.