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Georgia Tech Create-X Demo Day

Context

Demo days are critical to a startup incubator's success. The connections made on these demo days - both for startups and investors - ultimately define the value of the incubator.

When Rahul Saxena at Create-X (Georgia Tech's largest accelerator) was faced with the challenge of organizing their first ever virtual startup exhibition, he reached out to us for help. Normally, the Create-X Demo Day would feature nearly 100 booths, each with teams continuously pitching and speaking with attendees.

From the onset, it was clear that traditional broadcasting or video chat platforms wouldn't cut it. Create-X needed:

  • Capacity for upwards of 1,500 people for over 5 hours
  • A way for 65 startups to pitch in different booths - in one booth at one time there could be multiple conversations
  • A way for conversations to happen outside of booths
  • Fluid networking to encourage investors to meet and connect with founders

Setup

In person, an attendee would normally navigate Demo Day through the following 3 mechanisms:

  • Different rooms containing different startups, organized by industry
  • Booths for each startup throughout the venue
  • A map detailing the location of different startups

The beauty of Gatherly is that our platform's customizability allowed for this to be all recreated digitally!

Ahead of the event, our customer success team worked with Create-X to create a floor plan that effectively separated the 65 startups into 6 different floors. By making use of the elevators as well as custom maps, Create-X was able to retain the structure of an in-person event.

Once the event was underway, the startup founders at each of the booths were able to screenshare pitch slides and product demos to people at their booths. Additionally, these presenters were able to lock their huddles to keep certain conversations private. Direct messaging was also used to easily share contacts, resources, scheduling, and followup links.

Results

Demo Day was a smashing success! Here's what Tamesha Squire, the event organizer, had to say:

Tamesha Squire
GT Event Planner

“Bringing our in-person event to this virtual platform was a unique and fun experience... We appreciated the ability to move around from “room to room” or what would be booth to booth in person; this was key to our premier virtual event... I’m looking forward to brainstorming and collaborating for future events! After using Gatherly, what’s Zoom?”


Here's some stats to summarize the event:

65 Presentation Booths
949 Unique Attendees
5+ Hours

Post-event, Create-X organizers were told the digital format was superior to the in-person format by many attendees and so the organizers are re-thinking how the event should happen in a post-COVID world.

For startups, networking and connecting with others in the space has immeasurable value. We're grateful to have helped the Georgia Tech startup community, and we look forward to bringing more showcases and networking events to life on Gatherly!

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