Written by Food-X MC Martin Noble
Culmination, graduation, glimpse into the future…Demo Day is all these things and more. Food-X Demo Day is around the corner and our startup teams will be presenting their companies to potential investors, media and food industry leaders. They will also be there to support and cheer each other on. These entrepreneurs will experience a broad range of emotions from excitement to anxiety to relief and more as they approach game day. Many of them are chomping at the bit to take the stage and wow the house at Hudson Mercantile. Others are dealing with the butterflies that most people experience before any public speaking appearance. Finally, there is the sense of relief and accomplishment of having finished the accelerator program, modifying if not pivoting their original business plan, and forming relationships that will extend well beyond the 14 week program.
The Cohort may be ending, but the journey is just beginning for these founders. Demo Day is the culmination of the accelerator program, but it is also a launching pad for these disruptive companies into the next phase of their professional lives. The connections made with industry heavies, investors and other entrepreneurs can play a huge part in where these companies go after Food-X. Demo Day is a rare occasion where they will not only be the centers of attention, but will also be surrounded by a room full of like-minded people. Access to the Food-X network is one of the most valuable things our companies receive, imo. A big part of that network is there in person for Demo Day, so it’s really a great chance to make meaningful connections.
It has been an intense several months, and I’ve personally seen these companies grow leaps and bounds since orientation day. The presentations given at Demo Day are final products that were 14 weeks in the making. Founders deliver, modify, deliver again, and in some cases throw out their original pitches and put together new ones from scratch. It’s been inspiring to see how hard these women and men have worked. Dealing with criticism isn’t always easy, but these entrepreneurs have taken the feedback and come back better and more confident.
Above all, Demo Day is a celebration of the founders who had the entrepreneurial spirit and the proverbial balls to leave the security and stability of 9-5 jobs to go and change the world. Their products, services and technologies are literally changing how and what we eat. I feel like it’s condescending to say I’m proud of these teams, but I am supremely happy for them and excited that they get to share their companies with the world.