Pitching OpenSignalMaps at the TEC Conference

By Sina Khanifar, co-founder at OpenSignalMaps

Pitching is one of the best ways to get exposure and feedback for a startup, and if you're a founder in Silicon Valley there's no shortage of pitching opportunities at the hundreds of events that occur here each month. It's the sheer volume of events and tech-hectic buzz that make the valley an entrepreneurial mecca, but pitching too often and attending too many events can become a dangerous distraction, sucking away time from the more important job of building an awesome product.

This means that founders have to be selective, choosing the opportunities will get them the best exposure to investors and honest, constructive feedback. With VC luminaries like Pitch Johnson, Tim Draper, Saeed Amidi, and Daniel Zimmerman as speakers and judges, the TEC conference is undoubtedly one of the best events out there. The emphasis on international startups, who are often pitching in the valley for the first time, draws a crowd that's eager and interested, and the quality of both the pitching companies and the feedback from the panel is of the highest order.

The incredible roster of VCs and founders who attend the TEC Conference is testament to how deeply connected Stas and Anna are in the valley. But what's even more impressive is the lengths that Stas and Anna will go to help the startups who attend TEC. I've pitched at numerous events, but this was the first time that one of the organizers took the time to review the presentation before the event and offer feedback. And since Stas now knew and understood exactly what OpenSignalMaps does, he was able to make some great introductions at the event itself.

Eminent speakers, judges, and attendees are rare enough as it is, but organizers that actually care about the companies that pitch are what make TEC that rarest of all things: a pitching opportunity that more than justifies taking a break from improving your startup's product. 

What They Say About Us

"The wonderful thing about entrepreneurs is that their passion for starting new companies transcends languages and geographic boundaries."

Ron Conway, Founder and Managing Partner of the Angel Investors LP funds, early stage investor in Google and PayPal

"Networking is very important for start-ups. The challenge for them is often not money: it is mentoring and finding people who can give good advice from experience."

Esther Dyson, Founder, EDventure Holdings

"This conference is clearly a labor of love for a group of dedicated professionals who care deeply about the Eastern European entrepreneurs. From the value-packed educational panels, to the star-studded key note speakers' line up, to an amazing quantity of venture capitalists – this is a not to be missed event for any high tech entrepreneur,"

Richard Guha, President of the Marketing Executives Network and Managing Partner at MaxBrandEquity

"As Stanford MBA students, we were exposed to a lot of VC firms both from the Valley and abroad. It is at Stanford that we met Anna Dvornikova, an absolutely amazing business leader and (by our big luck) our friend, who was the center of the Russian Silicon Valley professional community, and was doing a huge work to connect Russia and the Valley. Anna helped us a lot with kick-starting Wikimart, put us to our first-ever conference, introduced us to most of Russian VCs. And all that happened in a very short time span! It was the beginning of a six-month journey that despite the particularly tough times resulted in an extraordinarily group of investors backing our start-up."

Maxim Faldin and Kamil Kurmakayev,
co-CEOs, Wikimart