I’m heading to the 2018 HR Technology Conference & Exhibition because I’m excited about the pitchfest.
Generally speaking, pitchfests are a popular way for founders to present their new technology to captive audiences. You stand on stage for three minutes and tell people why your product will change the world.
It’s such a fun experience to watch. Sometimes the founders are PhDs from ivy league schools who feel more comfortable behind a laptop than on the stage. Other times, English is a second (or fourth) language for the speaker, and they face a one-two punch of being nervous because they’re standing on stage and, also, communicating in a foreign style.
Then some judges act like members of Shark Tank. Once the founder’s presentation is over, they ask questions about the new piece of technology. Some of the questions are nice, some are aggressive, and sometimes the judges will interject their opinions and tell the founder why she’ll fail. That’s always awkward because you’ve got someone who is an entrepreneur being lectured by someone who isn’t. Bring snacks.
My favorite thing about a pitchfest is looking at company names. This year, thirty companies are presenting at HR Tech. Their names are:
AskHR, a division of Audseb
Colleago Pty Ltd
Some of the names are awesome, some sound like pharmaceutical companies, and some are just weird. But it’s 2018 and hard to create a signature name and value proposition and find a matching domain.
My old tech company, GlitchPath, had a perfect name. In fact, an investor told me that it was the best thing about our platform. If only I could build something better to help people find a pathway out of their glitches, I’d have an excellent little technology company in three years and exit with $10MM.
Good luck to all the companies participating in the pitchfest at HR Tech. If anybody needs my advice on how to communicate on stage or endure the conference, I’m here for you. The best thing to happen to the HR technology scene — and the entire industry, to be honest — is the burgeoning start-up market. I’m rooting for you all, and I would love to host the winner of the competition on my podcast.