They came, they pitched, and they conquered! This is the story of the Lean In EU WBA (Women Business Angels) Pitching Battles, which went down at the Starttech Ventures’ HQ in Athens on Thursday.

And the Lean In EU WBA Pitching Battles winner is…

A total of 8 startups battled it out on stage to compete for a ticket to the Pitching Battles Grand Final in Italy this coming December, as well as symbolic cash prizes and mentoring, training and lean startup services from Starttech Ventures. The acceleration period will consist of bi-weekly calls, guidance on how to use Lean Canvas, how to set actionable metrics, how to do build-measure-learn cycles.

The three winners of Pitching Battles Athens

The competition was extremely tough and close to call, but finally our panel of experts came to the following decision on the three winners:


FIRST PLACE: KalaΘos – a web platform which facilitates online collaboration between sellers of fresh produce and traders, focusing on quality and traceability.
PRIZE: a place in the Lean In Pitching Battles Grand Final in Italy + 1,500 euros


SECOND PLACE: VideoOculograph – AI technology platform which enables computer video diagnostics of eye pathologies but also enables non-invasive treatment.
PRIZE: 1,000 euros + acceleration services from Starttech Ventures


THIRD PLACE: B2BWAVE – a cloud B2B ecommerce solution for distributors, wholesalers, and manufacturers.
PRIZE: 500 euros + acceleration services from Starttech Ventures

Women entrepreneurs in the spotlight

The Lean In EU WBA movement is all about putting women entrepreneurs and investors in the limelight. And all involved in the Pitching Battles event were able to enjoy an eye-opening experience. It truly was an action-packed day of pitching, discussions and networking. With a combination of live pitches and video pitches via skype, and a grand jury featuring some of European business angels’ finest female minds, there was plenty to take in.

What did we and the participants learn?

So, what did we and the participants learn from the Pitching Battles Athens leg? They key learning we saw from most, if not all of those involved in pitching their fledgling businesses and ideas is that they discovered a lot about how to make the perfect pitch to investors.

Business model beats product

Above all, this means keeping it short, focused and very sweet. Sweet in that it is essential to make sure you include the key details of your business model. And why it will work and/or is working! In other words, don’t focus on your product, but your reason for creating that product. The why. After that, make sure you include evidence to suggest that it can bring in revenue and scale up.

Another simple but important learning for all participants is that time is never enough. Virtually every pitch went over the strict five-minute time limit. So the key take away for entrepreneurs who are pitching to investors is simple. Make sure you keep it plain and simple, and don’t waste time on in-depth product details.

For us, what really stood out was the work ethic put in by all. Both beforehand in terms of their planning and creation phase of their products, as well as their pitches. Being an entrepreneur and attempting to create a business model from an idea is no mean feat. It takes hard work. Many forget this part, getting overwhelmed with the excitement of simply being an entrepreneur. But as we at Starttech Ventures like to point out, “Entrepreneurship is not the goal, its what you need to do to achieve your goal.

Pitching Battles Epilogue

You can follow the fortunes of the Lean In EU WBA Pitching Battles competition here. We are delighted to be a part of what is an impactful campaign to highlight the rise and rise of women entrepreneurs around Europe and beyond.


Graham Wood Graham Wood

The Starttech Ventures Storyteller. Studied Journalism with Business at the University of Central Lancashire. Has worked in various product marketing management positions for the likes of Nokia, Samsung and Vodafone, as well as in several journalism and media roles since 2000.