On November 16-19, Bounselflew to Helsinki withGoogle for Startupsto participate in the semifinals ofSlush 100, the Slush pitching competition, a student-organized technology event with 4,600 startups and 2,600 investors.
Pilar Prados, CEO and co-founder of Bounsel, was selected as one of Slush’s top 100 companies. However, it was also named as one of the top 20 companies, which allowed it to take the stage to defend Bounsel’s project and qualify for the €1 million prize. This was an investment from 5 large investment funds: Accel, General Catalyst, Lightspeed,NEA and Northzone.
At the pitch, Prados gave a very interesting presentation on Bounsel Flow, the company’s latest launch. For her, this new tool for increasing productivity and efficiency is very close to her heart, because before founding Bounsel she had a long professional experience as a lawyer.
“I used to be a super-stressed lawyer. While working in São Paulo I woke up every day with more than 100 emails to read,” explained Pilar Prados at the beginning of her pitch. Therefore, Bounsel’s CEO knows what she is talking about because as a lawyer she has had first-hand experience of what it is like to constantly copy data from an email and paste it into a document “like a monkey.”
As he explained in Helsinki, with Bounsel Flow the process is no longer tedious, but more human and fun. “It’s a ‘must-have’ for productivity. Bounsel Flow is the fastest, most human and fun tool to complete documents without making mistakes,” added Prados.
Beyond Slush 100
Pilar Prados did not fly alone to Finland, as she was accompanied by Marcos Sanz, CTO and co-founder of Bounsel. Both had very busy schedules during the days of Slush.
On Wednesday, the day they landed, they attended the Founders Day Festival, an exclusive day organized by Lightrock and Google Cloud for the founders of the companies that came to Slush. This activity included very interesting presentations on entrepreneurship by great company founders, such as Garima Kapoor from MinIO or Julian Teicke from wefox.
In the evening, Pilar Prados attended the Slush 100 semifinalist dinner, which allowed her to share experiences with the other Slush 100 semifinalists. In addition, he was able to speak with 2 of the funds participating in the €1 million prize, namely Northzone and Lightspeed. Marcos Sanz attended an exclusive dinner with DoiT and Amazon Web Services.
Thursday was the big day, as, among other activities, Prados took the stage to defend the Bounsel project in the Slush 100 competition.
However, the day began with a Women Foundersbreakfast·(a program comprised exclusively of women startup founders) with VCs organized by Google that included some of the members of the program, such as the CEO of Bounsel, and investors who wanted to contribute to and support projects funded by women.
The reason for this meeting lies in Google’s mission regarding women entrepreneurs: to close the gap between men and women, since only 2% of the investment is directed to startups led by women. For this reason, during the breakfast they discussed how they can contribute to closing the gap, as well as the need to join forces among women.
Both founders also attended a round table on how to take stock of revenue and growth during a startup’s initial phase, and to a mentoring session with Holly Liuan American entrepreneur and co-founder and chief development officer of Kabam, a mobile gaming company. Marcos Sanz also had the opportunity to attend a mentoring session with Edith Harbaugh, CEO and co-founder of LaunchDarkly.
Also, Pilar Prados was invited to make an intervention in a round tablewhich took place at the Startup stage, organized by Endeavor Spain call “Mapping Spain Tech Ecosystem” and moderated by Antonio Iglesias, with whom he had the opportunity to meet a few days earlier in one of the sessions of the day. “Women in entrepreneurship: the unfinished business”. of Fundación Telefónica.
They were based on a report jointly produced by Endeavor Spain and Google for Startups, which also gave the roundtable its name. In this one, they talk about how Spain is a key point for entrepreneurial development and with the Startups Law, which will come into force in January 2023, it will be even more so. As Bounsel’s CEO pointed out, now is the perfect time to start a business in Spain (“the time is now”).
In the afternoon, Google for Startups organized a Happy Hour for the GfS community, which allowed them to share experiences and ideas with other high-impact founders. They also attended an exclusive dinner at Lappi restaurant planned by Metricson, a Spanish law firm, where, together with a group of Spaniards who were in Slush, they were able to enjoy Finnish delicacies. Later, they went to the BACKED party organized by Slush.
The last day, Friday, started with Pilar Prados giving a talk at the Google booth at 10 am. “How to create a successful startup while raising 2 kids without losing the Mediterranean vibe”, the name of the presentation, which was framed within the block ‘The route to success’, revolved around his professional life.
As Bounsel’s CEO told us, in her 10 years as a lawyer she worked in New York and São Paulo and, apparently, she had an idyllic life, but the truth is that something was missing, she needed a purpose. It took him 5 years to take the step to make a radical change in his life, but he finally did it: he returned to Valencia and created Bounsel with Marcos Sanz.
However, despite the fear and uncertainty, for her settling in Valencia was the best decision she could have made. On a professional level, the Valencian business ecosystem has brought him many things, but on a personal level he has returned to his hometown, from which he has missed many things during his years as a expatand has started a family, which has been a great challenge for himBeing a mother of 2 children at the same time she has created and managed a company from scratch.
For Pilar Prados, following her intuition has been fundamental and, for that reason, she invites everyone to do so. “Follow your intuition. Always”, she said at the end of her presentation at the Google booth.
Later, it was time for more mentoring sessions. The two founders attended a private meeting with Shahid Khanthe two of them separated to attend other events: Pilar Prados attended one with Rebeca TristanCustomer Experience Director at Pigment, and Marcos Sanz to one with Yee Lee, VP Growth & Capital Markets at Terraformation.
Finally, to mark the end of the Slush 100 competition, Bounsel’s co-founders attended a cocktail party at Hotel Kämp, organized by General Catalyst and Lightspeed.
In short, it was a day in which a lot of attention was paid to details, such as the fact that there was a dark atmosphere in line with the dark Finnish winter. However, what most caught the attention of Bounsel’s co-founders was that all the events revolved around the founders and the high level of the speakers.
“There was a lot of energy to share and teach. Slush was truly a forum to grow companies, as well as a place to share best practices, but also what doesn’t work so well, so we can build a huge company,” reflected Bounsel’s CEO.
Both Pilar Prados and Marcos Sanz are very grateful to have been able to attend such an amazing event as Slush, but especially to Google for Startups for inviting them.
Many thanks to all the companies in charge of the organization, to Slush, to Google for Startups and to the investment funds that supported us!
Congratulations to the finalists and the winner of Slush 100.