I was inspired to write this blog post after I was asked this question by a seasoned and respected business veteran during packing up our exhibition stand at the end of day 2. It was a great question and today I thought I would share my personal experiences and thoughts.
As the founder of RippleXn, a rapidly evolving SaaS startup, I have always embraced new opportunities for growth and learning. However, the experience of being part of the inaugural Cambridge Tech Week, exhibiting for 2 days in the bustling Innovation Alley over at Hinxton Hall, was unlike anything I've ever done before.
It was a whirlwind of early starts, late nights, countless interactions, and deep-dive conversations, which has left me emotionally charged, a bit exhausted, but fundamentally more excited than ever about our journey.
In the lead-up to the event, we worked tirelessly to quickly create real-world assets, including stunning displays and a rolling movie that encapsulates our very latest value proposition. I can't help but feel a sense of pride seeing our digital product come to life in the physical world. And while the early mornings and late nights were grueling, they were also filled with anticipation and a kind of adrenaline rush that comes from stepping into the unknown.
One thing that struck me was the diversity of the audience we were able to interact with. The exhibition was focus don the future of tech, this meant the audience was a combination of academics, industry peers, sophisticated SaaS buyers, and investors from both angel and institutional backgrounds.
The Innovation Alley competition offered a unique platform to test our messaging and positioning, almost like a real-world A/B split testing scenario. I was gratified by the affirmation we received from all quarters. And when a non-customer challenged and asked the hardest question, “why?” we had to think! Overall, the breadth of understanding and appreciation for our product was genuinely heartening.
Engaging in hundreds of small interactions and dozens of major conversations, I found myself continuously refining our narrative, tailoring the way we present our features and benefits according to the audience's perspective. It was a crash course in marketing, sales, and product development explaination all at once. Seeing the real-time reactions of people watching our demo screen video, their questions and suggestions, was invaluable. It offered a new perspective on our product and helped me evolve my tour-language and understand how people understand what we are saying..
And yet, as exhilarating as the experience was, I must admit that I'm glad it's over. It was a beautiful kind of chaos, and it's refreshing to return to the relative calm of our day-to-day operations. Still, I'm confident that RippleXn will be back for the next Cambridge Tech Week.
As I reflect on the event, I feel a renewed sense of energy and drive. While the journey of building a startup is often an uphill battle, receiving praise and real-world validation for our achievements was a powerful reminder of why we do what we do. The experience reminded me that sometimes, it's essential to step out of the thick of it, to see how far we've come and where we need to go.
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Here's a glimpse of the journey, our rolling movie that we showcased at the event.
Cambridge Tech Week 2023 was an emotional rollercoaster, a learning experience, and an incredible opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and organizations. I am grateful to have been part of it, and I look forward to many more such experiences as RippleXn continues to grow and evolve.
Here's to the future, the journey, and the grind that makes all of it worthwhile!
Here are some pictures of (the very few pics) I took early in the morning after setting up our first ever exhibition stand.