As CoinGeek Seoul is set to begin this week, the Bitcoin Association are starting off the week with something they’ve never done before. The group have gathered Bitcoin SV (BSV) companies and interested investors to have the first ever Pitch Day. To talk about how it all came together, Bitcoin Association Founding President Jimmy Nguyen joined CoinGeek’s Stephanie Tower on the sidelines of the event.
The reasons why the Bitcoin Association put this together are pretty easy to understand. “We created this as a service for Bitcoin Association to be able to connect the great number of BSV ventures, startups that are happening on this, great people building on Bitcoin SV with the investor community,” Nguyen explained. “As a startup entrepreneur, you need investment to support yourselves, and there’s such excitement happening now in BSV development so essentially putting them together.”
Every idea has to come from a bit of inspiration though, and this one was no different. The last CoinGeek conference had a lot to do with this one having a Pitch Day. “In the CoinGeek Toronto conference, I got so many requests to take meetings for venture pitches,” Nguyen recounted. “I said, let’s create an event where we ask the entrepreneurs to submit investment materials which I and a few other people including the team from Two Hop Ventures screened. We selected top ones, and we’ve got about 15 here that have come to Seoul to pitch their projects in front of a room full of investors.”
And as Nguyen told Tower, the event has a dual purpose. “I was able to help gather investors from across Asia and other places to come here, so it’s got the benefit of giving entrepreneurs an opportunity to access room full of investors and also getting more investors knowledgeable and interested in the BSV ecosystem.”
And while they’ve been learning a lot, the Investors have also had some interesting pitches to entertain. “It’s a bit like Shark Tank but it’s not a competition,” Nguyen noted. “I think all of the investors so far that I’ve talked to have been really impressed by how heartfelt the startup entrepreneurs are in their feeling about BSV. They’ve also come in and said we choose to build on BSV. We choose BSV, I’d like to say, and they’ve explained why they chose BSV, why they want to help Bitcoin SV, so I think that’s been heartening to see.”
As Jimmy Nguyen has often preached, the Bitcoin industry has to grow up and professionalize. This event is a step towards doing that. “I think the process has also forced and challenged these young entrepreneurs to actually outline a business plan—think about things like how to generate revenue, what’s my operating expense going to be, how much money do I need to raise, who are my competitors, all those things that, as someone who has worked in the business world for a long time, I know you need to do for business planning.”
Another element that Pitch Day helps emphasize is the welcoming nature of the Bitcoin community, and Nguyen hammered that home. “We’ve seen a range of people today already who are experienced business owners, someone who’s had four businesses successful in China before to a young developer who’s never started a business before but has been great at creating great tools and applications on BSV, so it tells you the range of people interested in saying we choose SV.”
If you couldn’t make it to Seoul for this first pitch day, Nguyen noted that there will be future opportunities. “We plan to do this again before CoinGeek’s next big conference which should be in London in February 2020, so entrepreneurs, startup team members think about what your project might be,” he announced. “We’ll be making an announcement in the weeks to come about how you can submit your investment decks and materials to be considered for the second pitch day before CoinGeek London – February 2020.”