“All eyes on Canada”
It’s been a dream for three companies to pitch to a conference of 8,000-plus attendees, but only one could end up the winner.
FunnelCake has been chosen as the winner of the first-ever Dreampitch Toronto, held at Salesforce’s World Tour Toronto. Founder and CEO Marko Savic stood in front of a huge audience to pitch the vision for his startup and ended up taking home the $100,000 USD grand prize. His company helps marketing and sales teams work across their full funnel through Salesforce data integration and the ability to keep them on top of leads and sales processes.
The Kitchener-based FunnelCake as well as Toronto’s Grapevine6 and Lane Four all pitched their cases for five minutes then underwent a five-minute Q&A period from a star-studded judging panel featuring the likes of Kirstine Stewart, the president and CRO of TribalScale; Kristina Shen, a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners; Michael Litt, the co-Founder and CEO of Vidyard; and Candice Faktor, the founder of Faktory Ventures.
“It’s a joy to be a judge and it’s really fun to see people sharing their passion and joy about what they are working on,” says Faktor. “But the hard part is there are really great companies, so when you’re choosing the right one it’s very hard because it can be so competitive. Also, it’s about being aware of bias and how different people have different skills. Pitches work for great communicators, but that’s why it can be so important to be a good storyteller.”
All three pitchers proved to be compelling storytellers and each with their own motives. Savic decided to bring the FunnelCake vision to Dreampitch because the company had just published their first case study. It was now that much easier to prove how successful the platform is, with all the necessary information to back it up to the judges.
“This competition was much different because the stakes were much larger,” says Savic. “We sell exclusively to the Salesforce ecosystem, so I had to make sure the pitch I was presenting today was going to speak well to our customers and make a great first impression.”
Dreampitch provides that odd dichotomy of having the participants looking to please both the judges and the audience, considering a huge portion of onlookers could maybe one day be customers for FunnelCake or any of the other pitchers. This notion shifted Savic’s approach to the competition.
“I geared the presentation more towards prospects in the room than the judges,” he explains. “For all of us who pitched, that’s one of the big advantages: everyone in the room got to see the three pitches and there will be a ton of leads for all of us.”
Leyla Seka, the original Dreampitch host and SVP of Salesforce’s AppExchange, took on hosting duties for the Toronto edition and brought the energy needed to captivate the end-of-day conference crowd. Of course, her experience dealing with both small and huge enterprise companies puts her in a pretty great spot to chime in on the startup landscape as well.
“There is something really exciting happening here in Toronto, and I think we’ve known about her at Salesforce,” says Seka. “It’s why we did the $2 billion dollar investment, the $100 million venture fund, and now Dreampitch. I was talking with the judges beforehand and the number of new things coming up on the scene here—all eyes on Canada from our perspective.”
Savic and FunnelCake will use the $100,000 prize to immediately hire two new roles: a sales rep and customer success rep, which will both help to accelerate the company’s growth. From there, Savic will work with the federal government to explore new funding options to grow the team more, and a larger funding round is on the horizon for Q1 of 2019.
Techvibes is the official Media Partner of the Salesforce World Tour Toronto / Dreampitch Competition.