The Journey from Pitch@Palace 1.0: BLOCKS wearable technology platform

BLOCKS is the world’s first open hardware and software platform for wearable devices. It consists of modular sensor components that can be linked together in a wrist worn strap, allowing each smartwatch-like device to be customized to each user’s unique requirements, whether they are large enterprises, cutting edge startups, DIY enthusiasts, and everyone in between.

It was right at the beginning of our company’s journey when we had participated in Pitch@Palace 1.0. As a startup run by a team of young, first-time founders, we had an idea for a disruptive product for the consumer electronics market that we were passionate about and for which we had the skills to execute. However, what we were lacking was experience in presenting our idea to others, and the network of contacts that could one day help us bring our idea to the world.

Pitch@Palace was instrumental in helping us fill in those gaps. It gave us the opportunity to hone our pitch for our product through invaluable coaching sessions and consequently streamline our business model for our company. It introduced us to our first major partner company, one of the largest banks in the UK, enabling conversations and discussions that would be continually improved upon in future meetings with other potential partners.
However, most notably, it opened up the doors to a whole range of additional events, including a major competition with Intel, where we received a grant for being one of the Top 10 startups that had applied. This in turn led to a series of events that resulted in a very successful crowdfunding campaign, through which we received $1.6 million in pledges. To this day, our connection with the Pitch@Palace team remains incredibly beneficial to our company’s progression, with numerous events being held that bolster our position and expand our network further, including one most recently in the UAE.

It is now almost four years since Pitch@Palace 1.0, and we are finally launching our product at the largest consumer electronics show in the world, CES 2018, in Las Vegas, a feat we would not have been able to achieve without it. Our tip to future applicants would be to network as much as possible, and to understand exactly what they need and who they need to meet in order to make sufficient progress in their business. This extends to after it’s over – always embrace any opportunity to participate in future events, as you never know who you might be able to meet!