High5 to Sarah Pedroza, Co-Managing Director at Hello Tomorrow for sharing such valuable insights with us about this year's event!
Hello Tomorrow Global Summit is one of the most anticipated DeepTech events in Europe. What makes this event stand out from the others?
We are the only event which gathers men and women from all over the world who are using deep tech (the new technological revolution) as a tool to solve the most complex challenges humanity is facing. Bringing together people to actually build new solutions is a pretty exciting experience.
When it comes to content, our program stands at the intersection of massive planetary challenges, technological and scientific breakthroughs, as well as business opportunities. We put the spotlight on researchers and entrepreneurs bringing concrete solutions to life. We cover many different topics from sustainable manufacturing and production, alternative food systems, carbon removal innovation, carbon free aviation to neurotechnologies or DNA therapies.
But the most important part relies on the collaboration and networking our event aims at fostering. We are bringing together a “human-size” audience (3,000 people) of actual doers contributing to accelerating the development of the most successful solutions (researchers, startups, large corporations, investors…). Together they represent the engine of the change we want to see in the future. We’ve also made the choice to avoid remote participation focusing on an in-person event to facilitate encounters and enhance the audience engagement.
How does Hello Tomorrow's investor network facilitate funding opportunities for entrepreneurs?
Through our reports and events dedicated to investors (Financing The Future connecting VC funds and LPs), we structure the deep tech investment community, and channel more money into deep tech investment.
In addition to that, we also help the entrepreneurs directly through several channels. For instance, giving them visibility with the deep tech pioneer label is very helpful for new entrepreneurs willing to meet investors. We also organize speed dating events with VCs such as the Investor Day which turn out to be very popular. The dynamic is simple: We coach them and introduce them directly to relevant VCs or CVCs in our acceleration programs. In order to help them find their “perfect match”, we share the profiles of startups raising funds in our Investor newsletter. This way, we provide them with a platform aimed towards their main necessity: finding the capital necessary to continue their powerful projects.
A very important aspect to point out based on the feedback from our startup community, is that the investors from our network are able to understand what deep tech is about. This way we are able to create one-to-one relationships which enable entrepreneurs to smooth-talk with our investors and bypass the process of meeting random ones who might just ask them for KPIs adapted to digital platforms, but not to deep tech startups.
Furthermore, we are constantly sharing advice and information via our newsletter, conferences, and webinars. These channels are the ones we normally use to keep in direct touch with our community and engage this relationship between entrepreneurs and investors.
In terms of diversity and inclusion, do you think the DeepTech industry has enough diversity? If not, how does that affect the DeepTech innovation space?
The answer is clear: No. And the road to get there is still quite long... Diversity goes beyond geographies and gender, but even if you look only at these two criteria we can see we are quite far from having a diverse ecosystem.
If we take a look at our startup community and startups applying to our Global Challenge we can clearly see that this year, 47% of the startups that have been selected as our Deep Tech Pioneers have a mixed founding team (in terms of gender). It is a great improvement compared to 5 years ago, when this percentage was only 25%. But the deep tech ecosystem combines the gender gap that you can see in startup founding member teams, as well as the gender gap in STEM as deep tech startups almost always have a scientist/researcher in the leadership Board.
Looking at the geographic diversity through the length of our competition, the startup finalists come primarily from North-America and Europe. Even Though Singapour, Japan, Israel and India are also well represented, we are still making particular efforts to source startups from other countries. This aim also involves the help of their Governments, as their action is necessary to cover their travels for them to be able to attend our events. In addition to that, the local infrastructures, ecosystems and support, are sometimes not at the level that the startups need, which makes it very difficult for entrepreneurs to feel motivated to carry on with their projects.
We all know that diversity matters for many reasons, and having a Deep Tech innovation space that is not as diverse as it should be, is clearly creating a negative effect. It is clear that an undiversified space gives free reign to the growth of inequalities. Another important topic of discussion in this area is the lack of representation in the new solutions brought to the market.
A common example that we are familiar with, is the difficulty to access funding, as it usually is unequally distributed along the gender, ethnic, or geographic lines. It is undeniable that funding still goes directed mainly to white men located in a few hand-picked areas of the world… In Hello Tomorrow, we are aware of this and we know the enormous value founder communities bring when they share their tips, expertise and know-how, but we are also aware of the fact that new founders coming from different backgrounds with different “codes of conduct” might feel like outcasts in the already established funding community. If resources are not equitably distributed we cannot expect the ecosystem of startups to be different...
What do you think attendees will get the most impact from during this year's Global Summit?
I believe our attendees will be surprised to see how mature and impactful new technologies are today!
We want them to leave the venue with more hope and willingness to scale the most promising solutions by funding them when it comes to investors and helping them in their prototyping, testing new clients and/or scaling them when it comes to large corporations.
Besides making attendees feel inspired, our main objective is to be able to accelerate the development of solutions with more impactful collaborations. The quality of the audience and the networking tool to choose and plan your meetings has a crucial role in it.
I hope to see you at the global summit!
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