Demo Day : a head start in the entrepreneurial journey
The In-Venture team
Business accelerators emerged a decade ago, with the launch of Y Combinator in 2005 in the UK, which intended to create a new model to fund early-stage start-ups while ushering their growth. Therefore, accelerators set themselves apart from incubators which, very often, do not seek to fund some of the start ups they support.
Since then, demo days like the one GnB was holding in Jakarta, have become common practices to complete an acceleration program. After having gone through a selective process, accelerated start-ups leaders attend intensive workshops and trainings for a given period of time (around 3 months) and can finally showcase their progress during the demo day. At the end of the training period, most accelerators offer some funding to their most promising candidates.
In the business world, the demo day is also a key moment that brings entrepreneurs and investors together. The event offers both the opportunity for start-ups leaders to pitch their product to raise funds and for investors to assess the market readiness and to source promising business for their portfolio.
Besides refining their models, products and pitch, accelerators also encourage start-ups to understand investors’ expectations. They introduce project leaders to wide networks of chosen mentors and potential investors. A demo day becomes a key period test where startups can prove their investment readiness and test the attractiveness of their idea to a wider public.
Accelerators can therefore position themselves as both investors providing funding for the most promising teams and as intermediaries, making their knowledge and networks available to selected start-ups to find the right investment.