START Summit is perhaps Europe’s most important meeting place for talent and entrepreneurs. Recently, Equippo participated in the Startup Competition at START 15– and won!
Road to START
If you’ve been following our progress, you know that Equippo.com was launched in November 2014 to make global heavy equipment sales easier for buyers and sellers alike.
Fast forward a few months, and we start talking about scale. For founders Michael Rohmeder and Philipp Knobel, a lean startup model was always important. “Philipp explained the agile philosophy to me, and I immediately fell in love with the concept of finishing small releases,” says CEO Michael Rohmeder.
In the time since launching, Equippo has expanded into markets and languages as demand and support allowed, scaling operations to match organic growth. “Keeping things lean and pushing a MVP to market quickly was a logical fit with this approach, but also the only way for us to achieve our goals with the limited resources we had,” says Rohmeder.
With a well-oiled MVP to market and plan in place to scale further, Equippo decided to enter a few startup competitions– just to see what would happen.
Zuger JungUnternehmer Preis
At the beginning of April 2015, Equippo participated in the Zuger JungUnternehmer Preis startup pitching competition in Zug, Switzerland. This local entrepreneurship competition was a first for Equippo, which took third place after Michael Rohmeder pitched the company’s concept and structure to a small audience. Equippo took home a 1000 CHF prize and even experience to put to use in the next competition.
Equippo at START Summit 15
Funny enough, Equippo almost didn’t win START Summit. CEO Michael Rohmeder was so engrossed in the conference speakers, he almost forgot to go to the pitching competition!
After sprinting to the startup/entreprenuer speed dating pitch round, Equippo was on its way into the final round. The top 5 startups then presented to a live audience and an expert panel. In the end, the audience and panel voted Equippo the winner!
The prizes for this competition included 10000 CHF (see photo above), an invitation to Berlin and Axel Springer/ Plug+Play, consultancy services, and various service subscriptions.
An intrinsic prize was the opportunity to introduce Equippo to the European startup community, spread our mission, continue the buzz we’ve been creating post-launch.
What this means for Equippo
Not so interested in the European startup scene? Let’s cut right to the chase and tell you what winning this competition means for Equippo.
Surface level, 10000 CHF means that Equippo gets to have a party! The Equippo team is as international as its business model; there are team members spread across four continents and six countries. Equippo will use the prize money to bring everyone together for planning, team building, and strategy.
Big picture, Equippo’s win has increased the company’s visibility with top European VCs and startup experts. It has also increased brand awareness across the DACH region. More than anything, winning START 15 shows strong support for the Equippo business model and organization, support from some of Europe’s leading business minds.