More a-like than different.
Having done both a number of Startup Sauna Warmup days, a number of people have asked me what are the differences.
Strangely, the days are more alike than different.
The basic structure of the day is similar:
* start with a short talk
* teams pitch
* teams receive advice based on their pitch.
* winners are announced
* folks head somewhere, to relax and do some "networking"
In both cases, only a very few of the teams seem to be making notes of the feedback they are getting. Perhaps the teams underestimate the quality and volume of information and new ideas that will be directed towards them?
The differences are in the details.
|one-on-one sessions||group mentoring (3-4)|
|teams rotate||mentors rotate|
|15 minute sessions||45 minute sessions|
|5-8 coaches||60-100 mentors|
|coaches meet most (all) teams||mentors meet 6 teams|
|very few breaks||many breaks|
The Sauna warmups are a much more intense day, right from the start a level of energy is built, and then kept throughout the day.
But there is a constant filter being applied. Not all teams that apply will get selected to pitch at a warmup, then on the day, not every team is selected to go forward to the one-on-one's. Once the one-on-ones are completed, it is then down to the top three, who are given some tasks to get into the programme.
Seedcamp's day felt to be much more about networking (so don't forget your big box of business cards!).
It was a lot of fun and educational to spend time with other mentors and get a feel for what they thought of different teams. With the sessions being quite long, all the teams seemed to *really* want to give demo's of their products, more than ask hard questions, or get feedback based on the mentors specific area of expertise. Although some of that may be down to me forgetting to let the teams know exactly how I thought I could help them.
One very important thing that made the day easier at Seedcamp was that, the Seedcamp team held a workshop the previous evening to check-up on the pitches. From what I saw, this meant the pitch delivery was of a much more even consistency (which makes it easier to figure out what it is the team is trying to accomplish).
A similar thing happened at the Kaunas Warmup, as the local organisers had put on a session to help the teams refine their pitch.
There also seemed to be a difference in the experience level, with the teams at the Sauna warmups having less experience and possibly being at a slightly earlier stage.