You may or may not know that, but Startup Grind is the right place for every startup to be, especially if they like us are expanding in the US. Investors, startups and entrepreneurs from all over the world come together in Silicon Valley for this event. No wonder that we were really excited when we got selected from more than 3000 applications to participate in this event!

So, after getting all printed materials ready, polishing our pitch and putting on our cool hoodies we were ready to shine in the light of California sun. However, the weather had its own plans. It was raining throughout the whole conference, which still could not stop us from enjoying it to the fullest. We started by attending the mixer event on 11th February, getting to know other startups and attendees over some beers. The setup was great: the historic Fox Theatre opened its doors to host speeches and presentations, and the first evening was active and loud. The next day was going to be busy, as we had Q&A’s, speeches and meetings with investors, all packed up in a tight schedule.

The most interesting thing on our agenda were the Quickfire Pitches which consisted of 1-minute pitches from different startups. It was quite a good practice for them and a great lesson for us. If there is one thing we have learnt so far it is that the best ideas are those which one could explain under a minute to anybody.

The various speeches were quite popular, so if we were not there on time, we had no chance to get in. Which is understandable, if the topic you hear is “How to build a brand like Google” presented by the Chief Marketing Officer of the company.

The sponsor tent was also buzzing the whole time, featuring free coffee, photoshooting and such challenging opportunities like pitching your idea in a real elevator (a metal box on the premises). Talking about an elevator pitch! However, the best thing ever was to have people look at the logo on our hoodies, come up to us and exclaim: “Oh, it is you, guys! I’ve read about Gearrilla, and I just love your idea!” or “Platform for sharing gear - that is exactly what I need!”. Those words were keeping us warm almost as much as the coffee in Starbucks.

As you get to exhibit only one day of the two, we got our stand on Wednesday, 13th February. It was raining cats and dogs the night before, and there was quite a bit of water on our side of the tent. Nevertheless, with the help of the staff and the boost from Starbucks coffee (did I mention it before?) we cleaned up the ground and had a great time, interacting with fellow exhibitors, students and eager attendees. 8 hours of talking on your feet was exhausting, but so rewarding! Not only to meet people who see value in our vision, but also those who got into the core of things and offered practical advice and support.

In the end, we got everything we hoped to find and more. Most importantly: the conviction that our product is needed and is already well-received in US. So now we are back in Germany and already hard at work. Stay tuned and follow our progress on social media: we have big plans for Gearrilla!

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