TimeCapsule Named Victor in Inaugural Pitch Slam

By Claire Adamson |

The sun set beautifully on the assembled crowd on Wednesday night for the first ever Pitch Slam, an outdoor pitching contest designed to find the best new idea and pitch in Berlin. The beachy ambiance of YAAM was the perfect venue for the event, which aimed to encourage startups to share ideas and inspire each other.

Through a series of sudden death elimination rounds, theatre director Michael Ronen of TimeCapsule, an app that lets artists expose their media via mobile in geographical locations in real time, impressed the jury and the audience alike with a good idea and a great pitch, and was named the inaugural Pitch Slam Champion.

The evening was broken up into three rounds, with the initial eight teams becoming four, then three, then one. Pitches were delivered to a skeptical jury, consisting of Christoph Raethke of Berlin Startup Academy, Lina Chong from Hasso Plattner Ventures, Markus Schranner of RallyPad.org and Heiko Hebig of Facebook.

In the first round, teams were given a minute to deliver their elevator pitch, and then defend their idea to the jury. Two teams were pitted against each other with an audience vote determining who would go onto the next round. TurnYourTime, TimeCapsule, Expertise and CoWorfing were the lucky four, despite getting an absolute grilling from the jury.

In the second round, the teams were given two minutes to talk about the execution of their idea, and then five minutes to defend this to the judges, who were responsible for choosing the top three. Sergiej Rewiakin of TurnYourTime, a map-based person to person marketplace, was met with thoughtful questions from the jury regarding the need to break though the noise and the problem of tax evasion. Alban Leveau-Vallier of CoWorfing, an app for sharing coworking spaces, defended his startup against the judges who questioned the size of its audience and its longevity.

Audience favourite TimeCapsule was up next and Michael talked about his established connections with artists and the potential for growth. Finally Angad Singh presented his startup with the working title of Expertise, a web testing platform for technical jobs. The judges visibly liked the idea, and asked Angad about monetization and gaining credibility.

The judges deliberated and selected the winners for the third round. With CoWorfing out, the remaining startups then had a minute to tell the audience about their vision and how they wanted to change the world. The audience vote was a very close call between TurnYourTime and TimeCapsule, with Michael’s onstage charisma pushing him to victory.

The quality of the pitches was a mixed bag, with the winner Michael Ronen of TimeCapsule being the clear standout, which was not surprising given his theatre background. The other finalists Sergiej of Turn Your Time and Angad of Expertise also looked very comfortable on stage and answered questions confidently.

Organizers Lutz Villalba and David Nagy were pleased with the excellent feedback they received and have plans to make Pitch Slam a monthly event.