Diary Of An Entrepreneur: Nick Hatter

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Here’s a guest post from CEO of GiftGaming Nick Hatter, who scribbled down the build up and results of his experience at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe. Our recent podcast with Nick is available here, and our podcasts with advice on seeking investment can be found here.
Monday 20th October
I shoot wide awake. Realise it’s only 5am. I briefly contemplate life and death, and whether giftgaming is something I would consider a good use of my life. I decide it is, and crack on with the day. Need to make sure the website is up to date for our big launch.
I start emailing the word we’re on the TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield.
Arrive to Old Billingsgate. Start networking. I try not to think about my pitch to 2,000 people.
(Unsure about how to pitch to Investors? Click here)
I practise my pitch with my advisor. I’m beginning to sweat. It’s OK, it’s just a pitch right? We go over the demo a few times.
I strategically drink a bottle of beer to calm my nerves.
This is it. My big moment. Need to make it count. I nervously flex my arms.
I give the biggest pitch of my life. Am I yeling too loud? What does the audience think so far? Ah screw it, better to be too loud than too quiet.
4 mins left. Time to show the demo. I pray to the programming gods that our demo doesn’t crash.
The demo doesn’t crash. Phew!
OK, that didn’t seem too bad… right? Right? Well the judges said it was good.
Have dinner next to the CMO of JustEat. He gives me some honest feedback. We agree to meet at some point to have an informal chat and he gives me his email address. I then talk to a random woman on our table; she says she’s looking to invest £1 million into a company. Wow. Wish I had that amount spare!
Get the results of the Startup Battlefield. Swallow a bit of sadness as I realise giftgaming didn’t make the finals after all the preparation I did.
Photo from ITProPortal’s coverage of TechCrunch Disrupt.
Tuesday 21st October
Wake up and swear realising I overslept — remembering I told my advisor I’d be there at 8am. Nevermind, I needed that sleep. I felt exhausted.
My friend from Australia calls. I shouldn’t take it, but I do — I need to get the disappointment of not winning off my chest.
I get lost in London temporarily. I manage to catch 3 wrong trains. Eugh. Wake up Hatter!
Receive a minor bollocking from my team for being late… I apologise profusely.
An advertising agency contact recognises me and says “great pitch yesterday!” — he gives me his business card. Suggests I come in to give a pitch in London. A warm lead; I have redeemed myself!
Several members of the press come over and ask for interviews. Cool.
Realise that in some ways, I have won, because we got two great leads from the event, as well as a great article published on TechCrunch: techcrunch.com/2014/10/20/giftgaming/
Also realise that most startups would’ve killed to be in the situation we were in.
I go to the closing drinks. I meet a very nice lady. We discuss PR and relationships.
I meet up with my friend from La-La. We have a good old chat and catchup.
I get some curry on the way home. It tastes great.

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