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The startup diaries: AppyParking #2

Another snapshot of what it's like to be a startup on the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator program. Now with 100% more (fake) parking tickets

Time really doesn’t seem to be slowing down at the Rocket Ship Builders Yard (aka Microsoft Ventures) In fact it feels like we’re increasing to warp speed and I haven’t even had chance to fasten my seatbelts yet.

There seems to be two words that keep on sprouting from everyone’s mouths at the moment. ‘Demo Day, Demo Day, Demo Day.’ It’s basically one of the main reasons why we’re on the accelerator. To stand up in front of huge hall full of tech influencers, journalists and investors and sell our business in true Dragon’s Den style. Yes it’s as daunting and as exciting as it sounds. We’re not only putting of own reputation on the line but we’re representing Microsoft Ventures. No pressure there then.

Luckily we’re not left to our own devices and are being groomed from the bottom up for the big day. First of all my existing pitch deck that I spent months working on was torn up and panel of mentors repositioned the pitch and story. There’s no room to be precious in this place.

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Then we were provided a great acting coach who makes you sing, dance and jump around like a buffoon. Basically all things that I generally do after about five pints, but this process doesn’t give you a hangover. Although I have had a little headache from trying to write and remember all my script and perform at the same time. Thankfully though it’s true what say. ‘Practice really does make perfect.’ So I’ve got about three more weeks of ‘singing’ in the shower.

On top of Demo Day fever, business is all going to plan. The recent investment has meant we’re going full steam ahead on creating a brand new app, a content management system that is going to take the parking world by storm and we’ve had some really good meetings. One in particular involved going to a secret R&D centre of with a rather large car manufacturer. Watch this space.

We were also lucky enough to be given a stall at Europe’s largest app conference called Apps World that took place on the 12th and 13th November in London’s Excel Centre. It gave us an excuse to finally get AppyParking t-shirts printed, along with other random conference paraphernalia. We even had thousands of fake parking tickets printed as a PR stunt to stick on windscreens.

Last week we decided to take the parking tickets out for a test run by hiring some very glamorous AppyParking Guardians to spread the good news of the app. The AppyParking Guardians took to streets of Westminster accompanied by a man in morph suit holding our logo and gave motorists a rather unexpected surprise.

The only thing drivers got upset about was the fact that these wardens weren’t going to be patrolling the streets for longer. There’s a reason why real parking warden don’t wear high heels.

Dan Hubert, co-founder, AppyParking