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This article was published on January 23, 2015

Our startup program is evolving

Our startup program is evolving
Matthew Elworthy
Story by

Matthew Elworthy

Marketing Manager, TNW Events

The Next Web Conference is turning 10 years old in April of this year, and for the majority of its lifetime the event has been an active provider of startup rallies and competitions – with companies including Waze, Rapportive and Shutl having all benefited from taking part over the years.

However last year, we consolidated everything we’d learned into the single format of Boost – our now well-known early-stage startup growth program and competition.

Boost has been nothing if not successful, but now the program is receiving a significant overhaul as the conference crew aim to further enhance the exposure and general growth opportunities for the companies selected to take part.

Stage time!

Amongst the changes being introduced this year is the potential for stage time at the European event. In previous editions, the number of startups that could find themselves on The Next Web’s renowned stages has been limited to anywhere between 10 and 20 companies.

This year, 75 will be invited to pitch their product or service to the TNW Conference audience, on a stage dedicated entirely to Boost. Even with the number of potential opportunities for exhibiting in the Conference’s (much expanded) business area increasing to 150 for 2015, that still leaves a 50 percent chance of securing some serious extra exposure onstage.

The TNW Conference Business Area in the infamous Gashouder, Amsterdam.

On this same topic, we’ve also responded to feedback from participating companies, resulting in some new changes to the selection process for securing a spot on stage.

Previously, eligibility for stage time (and therefore, the pitching competition) was determined entirely by an online public vote prior to the conference. This meant that B2B companies often had a far tougher time than their B2C counterparts when it came to enlisting support and getting on stage. This year, 50 of the available spots will still be determined by the public, but 25 places will be allocated by an independent investment jury.

To enhance Boost in a range of ways, we have been working closely with investment firms to assess how the growth program could improve its success rate when it comes to matching investors with companies. Amongst these changes is the introduction of a dedicated investment jury for assessing participants prior to the conference, providing expert feedback, and getting their top picks to pitch on stage.

More tweaks and adjustments will no doubt arise from these conversations between The Next Web’s co-founder Patrick, Conference Director Wytze and prominent investment firms.

For now though, apply to take part in the Boost Program for free here. If your application is successful, you’ll be invited to an interview with a member of The Next Web team. Taking part costs less than the price of two conference passes.

➤ To apply free for The Next Web’s early-stage startup growth program, Boost, click here.

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