We broke the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the Longest business pitch marathon!
We are making history for the extraordinary intellectual Macedonian startup community.
Breaking a world record is not only about owning the title, but moreover it’s about the creation of bonds and connections with people through the excitement of the achievement. We witnessed many wonderful stories, courageous ideas and superhuman effort from those who stayed awake throughout the entire event.
30 hours and 2 min, 200+ participants, 70 ideas, 10 judges and 5 investors brought together the startup community and showed us how to talk about business. This is an extremely ambitious and exciting format of an event that conveys the determination and encouragement that entrepreneurs have, as well as being the first event of this nature where everyone can present their idea and get an investment in the initial stage of their startup. The 5 best ideas were each rewarded with an investment of 25,000 euros, while 5 others are still in the process of being considered.
Behind the organization
Behind the organization of this event is the company Networker, which itself was started with only an innovative business idea. Networker’s experience is precisely in developing new and ingenious business ideas through the 50+ Google Design Sprint workshops conducted so far and brainstorming of over 1000 business ideas.
Besides Networker there were a few other supporters of this event, which include: Skopje Brewery, Monday Digital Agency, Widnet Solutions, AIESEC, Junus Center at Faculty of Economics- Skopje, Macedonian Business Angels, Pikon Opus Investment, and many other enthusiasts.
The purpose of the event
Although a large part of this event was the actual breaking of the world record, the event itself was much more. It was the first investment venture in our country, Macedonia, where 5 different companies invested in a very early stage of a business idea phase. The purpose of such investment is to support several good ideas from the large number of applicants and synergy in the efforts of entrepreneurs and investors that would quickly reach foreign investment markets.
The reason behind the event itself was the experience that Networker has had with the obvious gap between the investment capital in our country and good business ideas with the capacity to reach foreign markets. That is why our investors chose to invest in businesses that already have some results from their operations, to lower their level of risk.
On the other hand, the most successful Macedonian startups did not receive any domestic capital at the beginning of their journey when they most needed it, instead they accessed foreign investment funds. This was not beneficial for anyone, Macedonian investors lost business opportunities and some startups even failed. The lucky few startups that did manage to become successful were because they had IT experience to build a demo, but at a significantly slower rate than it would have been with support.
The Longest business pitch marathon’s aim was to bring these two sides together. More specifically, it was organized to create an environment where a large number of business ideas could be presented from which the best will be selected to be invested in. But at the same time reducing the investors risk.
In addition, those who did not receive the investment were encouraged to think through a business prism and through direct networking with successful entrepreneurs, they learnt what it actually takes to become successful the next time.
What happened last weekend at the Longest Pitch Marathon record attempt can best be conveyed to us by the impressions of the judges and organizations that have been the main witnesses of this momentous event.
„I believed that as a country we have a dynamic community of entrepreneurs who are proactive and ready for great challenges. But to believe sometimes means to dream. I am extremely grateful for the response to business ideas and the overall presence at the event of 200+ people who made my dream a vision, not a fantasy!“
CEO of Networker
Organiser of the event
„This event talks about the huge potential of the Macedonian startup community, but even more about the great ability of organizations to bring such an event from across the world to our country. I am immensely glad that Monday joined as a partner organization and that I was part of the main judges sharing the energy with 200+ visionaries.“
Co-owner of digital agency Monday
Part of the main judges
„This was an amazing world-class experience! As one of the main judges, I would say that it was more than worthwhile to concentrate for exactly 30 hours and 2 minutes without a break in order to listen, ask questions, give feedback, as well as evaluate the most innovative ideas from Macedonian startups. I am especially grateful to Networker, WIDNET Solutions and Monday for being excellent partners in organizing this event, and thanks also to Business Accelerator UKIM, SN Finance and Marko Milenkovic, who together with Networker and WIDNET Solutions became angel investors in the top 5 ideas. We succeeded!“
Part of the main judges
„What this event has achieved and what is certainly its greatest value is shifting the ingrained way of thinking of the local man from “well said, but never done” to “well done is better than well said”. The success of the event obliges us to continue in the direction of doing the impossible – the possible.“
Part of the main judges and investor
„I am overjoyed to have been a judge and part of breaking the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD title for the Longest business pitch marathon! This is a huge success for the Macedonian startup community! Huge number of ideas, enthusiastic teams and several real businesses that received funding – this was a product of Sanja and the whole team and managed to prepare and implement it in a few months!
Thanks for making this happen!
Reference to Vlatche: Wow, people we made it… “
Co-owner of Howitzer
Accelerator UKIM pointed out that this is a great opportunity to join forces with complementary investors from the ecosystem for startups and innovations in order to mobilize 150,000 euros and invest 25,000 euros for each of the 5 most advanced startup ideas and further support their growth with continuous mentoring support, market access and access to subsequent investments.
„An excellent opportunity to meet 60 highly motivated teams who presented innovative and alternative solutions to various business and social problems.“
Executive Director and Co-Founder of the UKIM Accelerator
„It was a great honor and privilege to participate in such an initiative as an investor and judge and to choose the best 10 ideas that will be commercialized. Congratulations to all the teams that have contributed to the development of entrepreneurial spirit in the country, and most of all to the winners whom we look forward to supporting in fulfilling their market potential.“
Financial Director of Accelerator UKIM
„Great event! I was proud and privileged to be a part of it.“
Project Manager, Crimson Capital / Crimson Development Foundation
„It was a great challenge and honor to see the many creative solutions and ideas of the startups and also to endure the 30-hour GUINNESS WORLD RECORD attempt for presenting all the ideas to the participants.
Such victories should be repeated.“
Business Angels Macedonia
„This is how I would explain the feeling that prevailed from the preparations to the finish of this amazing event that will remain written in the startup history of the pioneers in the field of modern business in our Macedonia. Highly profiled events, world events… .I still collect impressions and that incredible energy that will hold us for a long time. I was honored to be in this group of people who have a strong vision for the future.“