Recently, I volunteered at Montreal's International Startup Festival for the third year in a row. This particular festival looks to bring early stage startups together from across the world to help develop their pitch and launch them into the marketplace. Included in the festival, are a number of prizes ranging from general awareness to $100k convertible note investments. But, in order to get these prizes, startups have to hustle around the tent village to make their pitch to the various prize judges.
My volunteer assignment was to look after one of these prize tents, and once again, I was happily put in charge of the infamous Grandmas. The Grandma judges tent is made up of sweet, caring older women, anyone of whom I would be happy to call my grandmother. But, despite this affable appearance these grandmother's are not to be taken lightly.
While they may not be up-to-date on the latest technology and jargon, they are savvy ex-business women, and they know what they are talking about. This particular group of grandmother's is best known for their pick in 2012 when they awarded their prize to Onavo, a company that went on to be acquired by Facebook for over $100 million.
The Grandma's prize always garners a lot of attention at the festival as it is one of the most "pure" pitch prizes you can win. To claim this prize, you have to break your idea down to its fundamental parts, and pitch it to a group that will not be up-to-date on the latest jargon and technological advances. A challenge for any company, regardless of where they are in their lifecycle.
Albert Einstein knew this challenge, as he was once quoted saying, "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." An idea that we take to heart at Solink, as we deal with tech-heavy terms, acronyms and jargon on a daily basis. One of the terms that comes up around our office most often is "Big Data.", and we thought, that in honour of the Grandmas, we would attempt to explain it in a way that even the elderly could understand.