This time last week we were just a few hours from pitching in the Scottish EDGE semi-final. We were practicing fervently. Nervous and excited, we quizzed each other with mock questions, timed our presentation repeatedly and tried not to drink too much coffee.
It went well – we thought. We said the final word of our three minute pitch as the buzzer went off. Perhaps there were one or two points that we wished we’d included during the panel’s questioning – but the seven minutes flew by, and there was nothing we couldn’t answer.
So, when Friday afternoon arrived, along with an email from Steven letting us know we hadn’t made it through to the final, so did a pretty crushing sense of disappointment. As with most things in life, we tend to be far more disappointed when we’ve tried our very best at something and felt we couldn’t have given it more. That is perhaps because there is nothing else to hide behind. It is easy to not try, and use that as an excuse when things don’t work out. In the end though, we’re glad we gave it our all. It’s meant we’ve looked back on our efforts with pride.
We’ve been bombarded with the usual kind words of encouragement and well-meant platitudes. In the moment, this feels cliched. But soon afterwards, the truth behind statements such as, ‘it was a worthwhile and beneficial experience’ become easier to acknowledge.
Now a week has passed by and the semi-final dust has settled. It feels a fitting moment to begin to reflect on what we’ve learnt from the process, and to thank EDGE for the opportunity and their valuable feedback throughout.
Preparing for the semi-final has pushed us to stop burying our heads in the sand when it comes to the more challenging areas of our business; something many startups are probably guilty of. We’ve left with 100% increased clarity around some of our weakest areas.
In preparation for our pitch, we were lucky enough to practice presenting at both Harper Macleod and Johnston Carmichael. A huge thanks to both organisations for their time and feedback – the sessions were invaluable in improving our pitch, and for their general ideas about Hidden Trax as a business going forward.
The considered feedback from EDGE after our application submission, and then again after the semi-final has been another hugely helpful part of our overall takeaway from the process. We’ve felt supported, encouraged and constructively challenged throughout.
In hindsight – we can only be thrilled we embarked on this journey. We’ve ended it as a better business than the one that sent off an application form at the end of August.
EDGE – we’ll be coming for you again in the New Year – and we can’t wait!
Thanks for the opportunities, and for all your support!