Rose Lewis

What I Learnt About How To Sell From Being Sold To

With a background in (advertising) sales and having backed over 40 startups now through Collider, I think I have a pretty good idea on how startups sell their products... especially on what not to do. So it was a real eye opener when I recently went on the search for some software for Collider operations. I needed something specific, which meant many of the companies offering a solution were likely in the early stages of developing it, and would therefore also mean they'd be on the early side of developing their sales pitches too.

I knew it would be fun.

The good stuff

Well, there were plenty of passionate and enthusiastic founders that you can't help but get excited about their products.

There was also an impressive can-do attitude, especially when the product needed tweaking for us.

The not so good stuff

But of course, I also saw things that with a better approach to the sales pitch, the outcome could have been entirely different.

These are things we teach Collider startups to do from day one, and whilst they seem pretty obvious in most cases, every company I spoke made the same mistakes.

1. Don't pitch – ask questions.

Many startups came into the meeting and just talked. Talked about their company, talked about what it could do, talked about why it was great. But what they forgot to do was ask me questions on what I was looking for, why did I want a product like this, what did I want it to do and why?

Learn their language and what success really looks like for them, so when it comes to pitching your product, you can relay back exactly what they're looking for.

2. Never do a standard demo.

It completely misses the point and undermines step one of any sales process – to firmly understand your customers needs. Then you can amplify it for them and replay back how your product could be their dream solution.

A standard demo won't do it.

3. Learn when to say no.

I asked for a lot, and in almost every case they said yes, they could do that, clearly without thinking about it.

It was only when I asked to know how many people were in their dev teams or how much cash they had that I understood how likely my needs were going to get onto their roadmap. Usually not at least until they'd raised their next round.

Focus on the customers that your product can help now, but use your meetings to understand what else you could do further down the line. Be honest.

4. Know how to close a deal.

Always ask my timeline for implementation, as that'll tell you how urgent it is. Is my mission critical (3 months), important but not urgent (6 months), or is it actually just a nice-to-have?

Ask if there is a budget, no matter what it is you're building, and then ask where would that money come from and who would sign it. Are you talking to the decision maker?

Whilst these simple changes will not guarantee success, they'll certainly help you better understand your customers' needs. That means getting your product to exactly where it can seriously help today, and help in the future, too.

Best Things We've Heard All Week: MadTech News

The working week never feels long enough, but if someone suggested lengthening it, we'd laugh, cry and result in a resounding no. (Come on, even you entrepreneurial types).

But with so much going on in MadTech, from adtech and martech news, industry events, recent raises and inspiring people, here's our summary of the best things we've heard all week.

1. "As the world gets more serious, social media becomes more trivial".

As a die hard lover of the Nokia 3210 ("I mean... it has snake"), Bob Geldof is never going to be the biggest fan of social, but his views gave us some serious food for thought.

Our marketing lady Tazz headed to a breakfast meet up with the man himself, who blames social media for many people's misjudgement, raising the point that speaking out on social isn't 'doing something' or 'doing good', it's just a self fulfilling prophecy which blocks us from making things count.

2. We coined FONK.

Thanks Gabbi.👌

3. Business is to "work with people who believe what you believe".

You know the quote? It's pretty powerful, no matter how many times you hear it. And that's why Co-Founder Rose thought this article – 27 things one person learnt from Simon Sinek – is well worth a read.

Point one: It took Simon over 11 years to become an overnight success...

4. Will the UK manage to fill the gap between seed funding and Series B?

It's a common debate in the office, and this week in particular, it became a bit of a theme.

We read this article from the Financial Times, and enjoyed a heated debate at FastPay's meet up, discussing the crucial matter of how to scale a digital media business. We'd love to hear your thoughts?

5. The llama at Kamarama's legs are too short.

Well, according to Co-Founder Andy anyway, who spent Friday afternoon with the Unilever Foundry judging a panel.


Goopi Takes Home the Prize at Collider's Class of 2016 Demo Day

[spb_video title="Missed it? Here's a quick summary from our audience's point of view." link="" full_width="yes" width="1/1" el_position="first last"] [fullwidth_text alt_background="none" width="1/1" el_position="first last"] The MadTech Event of the year took place March 22nd from 3:30PM at DigitasLBi - one of East London's trendiest agencies and a partner of Collider.

Over 200 people packed in to see the Class of 2016 startups share their knowledge on the latest and greatest in marketing and advertising technology. Collider investors put a total of £700K into the Class of 2016 startups - alongside expert one-to-one coaching and incredible industry connections. All of this culminated in Demo Day - the public launch of their products.

Three of Collider's brand partners, Haymarket, Exterion Media and Unilever, took to the stage with three Collider alumni, Momentum, Seenit, and Find the Ripple, to talk about the experiences of brands working with startups two years on from where the Class of 2016 are. Insightful and actionable discussions set the stage for the Class of 2016 founders.

Here are the Collider Class of 2016 startups.

[/fullwidth_text] [spb_single_image image="14714" image_size="full" frame="noframe" intro_animation="none" full_width="no" lightbox="no" link_target="_self" caption="The Class of 2016 Startups" width="1/1" el_position="first last"] [spb_single_image image="14711" image_size="full" frame="noframe" intro_animation="none" full_width="no" lightbox="no" image_link="" link_target="_self" caption="Craig Walmsley, Co-Founder rtobjects" width="2/3" el_position="first"] [fullwidth_text alt_background="none" width="1/3" el_position="last"]

rtobjects helps brands showcase their products and tell new stories through interactive personal movie experiences in the browser.

[/fullwidth_text] [fullwidth_text alt_background="none" width="1/3" el_position="first"]

Goopi enables mass customisation of video advertising quickly and inexpensively.

[/fullwidth_text] [spb_single_image image="14713" image_size="full" frame="noframe" intro_animation="none" full_width="no" lightbox="no" image_link="" link_target="_blank" caption="Dan Gildoni, Business Development, Goopi" width="2/3" el_position="last"] [spb_single_image image="14707" image_size="full" frame="noframe" intro_animation="none" full_width="no" lightbox="no" image_link="" link_target="_blank" caption="Andres de la O, Co-Founder of Hotstreet" width="2/3" el_position="first"] [fullwidth_text alt_background="none" width="1/3" el_position="last"]

Hotstreet uses highly localised Twitter and Instagram feeds to engage customers and drive traffic to your stores.

[/fullwidth_text] [fullwidth_text alt_background="none" width="1/3" el_position="first"]

Scoop Retail is an in-store digital platform that helps retailers to engage customers, empower staff and increase sales.

[/fullwidth_text] [spb_single_image image="14708" image_size="full" frame="noframe" intro_animation="none" full_width="no" lightbox="no" image_link="" link_target="_blank" caption="Kim Weld-Blundelll Co-Founder Scoop Retail" width="2/3" el_position="last"] [spb_single_image image="14710" image_size="full" frame="noframe" intro_animation="none" full_width="no" lightbox="no" image_link="" link_target="_blank" caption="Sam Huber; Co-Founder, Kout" width="2/3" el_position="first"] [fullwidth_text alt_background="none" width="1/3" el_position="last"]

Kout enables e-commerce websites to sell more products by incentivising customers through games integrated at point of sale, specifically focussing on retargeting and cart abandonment..

[/fullwidth_text] [fullwidth_text alt_background="none" width="1/3" el_position="first"]

Advifi is the first programmatic WiFi ad network.

[/fullwidth_text] [spb_single_image image="14709" image_size="full" frame="noframe" intro_animation="none" full_width="no" lightbox="no" image_link="" link_target="_blank" caption="Dilly Etimova; Co-Founder, Advifi" width="2/3" el_position="last"] [spb_single_image image="14712" image_size="full" frame="noframe" intro_animation="none" full_width="no" lightbox="no" image_link="" link_target="_blank" caption="Ultan Miller; Co-Founder, Release" width="2/3" el_position="first"] [fullwidth_text alt_background="none" width="1/3" el_position="last"]

Release is a plug and play referral marketing solution that turns your customers into brand advocates.

[/fullwidth_text] [spb_single_image image="14715" image_size="full" frame="noframe" intro_animation="none" full_width="no" lightbox="no" link_target="_self" caption="The Class of 2016 Demo Day Winner is Goopi!" width="2/3" el_position="first"] [fullwidth_text alt_background="none" width="1/3" el_position="last"]

Dan and Rose Lewis, Co-Founder of Collider celebrate the Goopi win, taking home the prize from Collider's Demo Day! The audience voted during each startup's presentation regarding how they imagine using the startup's technology within the brand or agency they work for. Ranging from not understanding the product to needing to use it right away, the Collider team weighted and added up the answers, with Goopi coming out on top. Congratulations!


Collider completes £1M Investment into Class of 2015 Startups

Collider, the leading MadTech Accelerator in London, completes their Class of 2015 investment with a second round of £550,000 into six of the most promising marketing and adtech (also known as MadTech) startups from the Collider Class of 2015. After Collider’s Class of 2015 Demo Day at the end of April, these startups were hand-picked by the individual investors to receive up to £100,000 follow-on funding as part of the Collider Accelerator programme. They will now participate in a further 8-month long programme. This is geared towards high growth and preparing the founders to raise a late seed to Series A funding round in 2016. This programme will focus on getting the startups initial traction through commercial trials and deals.

Rose Lewis, Co-Founder of Collider says; “We have found a gap in startup funding which exists between seed and Series A. This is where a significant number of startups fail. This second round of funding will give these amazing MadTech startups the runway they need to gain the necessary traction to raise series A more quickly.”

These six companies have founders from around the world including; Israel, Slovenia, the UK, USA, Australia, Hungary who have all chosen the UK as their company headquarters. The startups solve enduring problems big brands and agencies face on the customer journey including; brick-and-mortar retail analytics, short form video, tracking ‘dark social’ sharing and targeted mobile advertising.

The six selected startups:

[one_third]Brandvee [/one_third] Brandvee is an audience development platform for media brands that finds, tracks and targets the most influential customers who drive conversion.


[one_third]Burst_Logo_Full_Blue[/one_third] Burst makes big data from little videos and have built the world’s first social video analytics platform which helps organisations understand how to spend more effectively on short-form video.


[one_third]pinoneye2[/one_third] Pixoneye  uses people’s photos and videos that they have stored on their mobile devices in order to extract very clever data about them, completely anonymously. By understanding the user through their photos we are able to serve the right ad to the right user no matter what app they are using!



[one_third]Utskrift[/one_third] Real Life Analytics enables targeted advertising on any digital screen. Using patented visual recognition technology we can enable every screen to recognise who is in front of it and serve them exactly the right targeted content in milliseconds.


[one_third]storesense2[/one_third] Storesense interprets customer journeys in traditional brick-and-mortar stores using passive Wi-Fi. Our advanced proprietary algorithms drive actionable retail advice – from low traffic zone warnings and optimal in-store advertising position suggestions to the best locations for resting areas.


[one_third]syncspot-red-logo[/one_third] SyncSpot harnesses the power of entertainment to move people by offering exclusive content that can only be accessed once a customer is at a specific location.

How can MadTech brands & agencies stay ahead?

** This article first appeared in The Drum **

Two weeks ago, we held the Collider Class of 2015 Demo Day. Almost 200 people came to see a showcase of the best global marketing and adtech startups in central London, and give the audience an overview of where the industry is heading. Nine startups, six minutes each, four panellists, three co-founders and one UK trending hashtag. We worked tirelessly to make sure the right people were in the room to have effective synergy.

We brought together people from all of London’s biggest and best brands and agencies. From Aegis, Camelot, dunnhumby, Haymarket, Havas Media, Ogilvy & Mather Group UK, and many more, these individuals were some of the first in their organisations to be fully immersed in innovation. They were not only passive observers, but active engagers. They also inadvertently participated in two powerful, culture shifts:

They were being exposed to some of the best relevant tech to their industries The theme of our Demo Day was to ‘inspire confidence’. We wanted people to feel comfortable in thinking outside the box, not be afraid to ask questions and imagine ways in which they could integrate new tech and working styles into their companies. People had to be ready to think critically about what they were seeing, but not make critical judgements. We encouraged thinking about how these startups could fit into long-term strategy – about the returns in years’ time as opposed to months. And because the audience was so responsive, brands and agencies approached our startups and set up meetings straight away.

They were in a space with their competition, learning with them and getting to know them One of the things Collider is trying to incorporate into the culture of the marketing and advertising industry is the idea of collaboration. One of the forms this comes in is working with a third party, like us, to provide outside expertise. And sometimes that means coming face to face with your competition. We currently have three different agencies signed up as partners. Everyone is constantly learning from their competition – either in formal talks or informal coffee chats. It is great to see agencies coming together in ways they wouldn’t have three years ago. This is a measurable change in the industry mindset.

I am a big advocate of serendipity – taking the chance that you will be able to find answers to your problems in unexpected places. Half the battle is knowing where to look, even if you don’t know what to look for.

We are building one solution to this – by bringing the right people together at the right time and giving each party the tools to have effective conversations. It’s called MadTech.