Like Funding Societies, OurCrowd, a global investing platform based in Jerusalem, leaned into PR for its initial growth. But more recently, in-person events have made the biggest impact, says CEO Jon Medved.
In 2016, the OurCrowd team decided to host a small conference — “a way for the tribe to gather,” says Medved, referring to the startups and investors on its platform. There were 800 attendees. Over time, it grew in size as well as impact. The last time the OurCrowd Global Investor Summit was held in person, in January 2020, there were 23,000 registrants. Attendees come from around the world, and the speakers are serious heavy-hitters, such as Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. At the next one, on February 15, 2023, he’s expecting at least 30,000.
In the beginning, costs were low, as attendees paid their own way to be at the event. As its size grew, OurCrowd began selling sponsorships to recoup some of the costs. Medved says the investor summit remains worthwhile because it delivers tangible outcomes for the business.
The summit creates a massive amount of goodwill for the brand, Medved says. “It anchors a worldwide community,” he says. But the summit also drives meaningful deal flow, especially among the bigger investors. “Everybody who has written significantly large checks — multimillion-dollar checks — the vast preponderance of them are people who’ve come to the summit,” he says.
One critical element of the marketing program’s success, Medved says, is having a set of KPIs to evaluate performance. OurCrowd seeks to facilitate at least 1,000 meetings at each event, and Medved expects about 10% of them to convert into investments. The face-to-face interaction is essential for the biggest deals.
“We’re delighted every time someone clicks a button and they invest $100,000 or $500,000,” he says. “But if somebody’s writing a $5 million or $10 million check, they’re usually sitting in a room with you.”