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DPW Announces DEMO VIRTUAL & New Open Innovation Program to Connect Startups with Industry

10 June, 2020 | By Matthias Gutzmann

As the first organisation of its kind to focus on bringing startups into the procurement industry, DPW is excited to announce that it’s moving its startup global pitch competition DEMO online in light of recent developments in the coronavirus outbreak.

The competition’s 6 finalists – shortlisted from over 100 applicants – will log in from all corners of the globe to present their ideas to a judging panel of industry leaders and thousands of online viewers, making DEMO VIRTUAL 2020 the world’s largest online pitch competition of the global procurement industry.

The showdown’s Grand Finale will broadcast live on Wednesday, 16 September, at 5 pm CEST and will be available for free to all users who register online. Members of the public will also have a chance to vote for their favorite startups.

“DPW is proud to bring encouragement and support to entrepreneurs and startups during such a difficult time, and to provide them with valuable opportunities to connect with investors and companies. Additionally, we are helping procurement organisations understand which next generation platforms and products will have the greatest ROI and impact on the function’s digital transformation,” said DPW founder Matthias Gutzmann.

During DEMO VIRTUAL, startups will compete for “Best Startup” distinction in three categories:

  1. Source-to-Pay
  2. Networks and Platforms
  3. Enterprise

Who is Eligible to Apply?

DEMO VIRTUAL is open to all startups around the world who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Have a tech-related product and no service
  • Are beyond the ideation stage, having launched with some market traction (e.g. paying customers, downloads, signups, etc.)
  • Have been operating for less than 5 years

There is no fee to apply and participate.

Selection Process

The DPW judging panel will handpick the 12 semifinalists based solely on the strength of their written applications. Semifinalists will not be selected on a first-come, first-served basis, all selections will be made after the application deadline of 7 August.

The general selection criteria are:

Innovation and Industry Disruption (Evidence of innovative advances in product)
Potential & Business Model (How much potential does it have to make a big impact?)
Diversity & Uniqueness (How many companies are competing for the same spot?)
Market Traction (Financial metrics and achievements since inception)
Pitch & Q&A Performance (Clear and concise, handled Q&A well, know their numbers)

Showdown Format & Timeline

12 semifinalists, four in each of the three categories, will be given the chance to virtually present to the semifinal judging panel on Wednesday, 2 September. Each presentation will be 2 minutes long with only a single slide as a visual aide. Questions from the judges will follow each individual presentation. Two days later, on 4 September, we will announce six startups as finalists.

The six finalists, two in each of the three catgeories, will present virtually on Wednesday, 16 September, at 5 pm CEST, this time for a longer 4 minute presentation, where multiple slides are allowed. A direct Q&A with the finalist judging panel will follow each individual presentation. The finalist judging panel will deliberate and announce a single winner later that day.

Win €25,000 worth of prizes!

Besides the distinction of being the DPW DEMO VIRTUAL 2020 Winner, the three (3) winners, one in each category, will receive a free startup package package for next year’s conference, a €12,000 value, and, of course, lots of post-event media buzz. In addition, all finalists and semifinalists will be awarded an industry awareness advertising package as part of DPW’s open innovation program and promoted heavily to the global procurement organisations.

Do you have the next big procurement idea? Show us what you’ve got – wherever you are. And who knows, this might just lead to your big break.

For more information, please visit the DEMO website, or apply here.

DPW Launches New Open Innovation Program to Connect Startups with Procurement Organisations

As part of our mission of to unlock to true power of procurement, DPW teamed up with corporate and tech innovation experts nlmtd and TNW to launch ScoutLab, an open innovation program aimed at connecting startups with procurement organisations.

ScoutLab is designed to scout for and source the most promising emerging technologies and build them into organisations through testing and validation on small-scale pilots with customers in the real world before evaluating large-scale implementation.

“Scouting is a skill and requires a global tech network. Companies spend too much time and money scouting trends and emerging technologies than they do creating ways to run pilot tests related to what they see. Solving those two problems is a big opportunity for procurement to create competitive advantage – or perhaps just survive as an organisation. Our methodology and format designed and iterated based upon real learnings is a proven solution to these problems”, Gutzmann said.

ScoutLab helps organisations overcome three key challenges:

  1. Scouting Innovations for Procurement – We help you find and discover the best procurement startups and digital technologies to innovate your procurement function.
  2. Scouting Innovations for Your Business – We help you find game-changing solutions which address your organisational innovation problems.
  3. Designing Open Innovation Programs – We help you build strategic innovation capabilities into your organisation through testing and validation on small-scale pilots before evaluating large-scale implementation.
Become an Inspiration Partner for DEMO VIRTUAL

To introduce this new service to the DPW community, we invite our corporate partners to join in as one of our Inspiration Partners. You’ll meet 3 curated procurement technology startups that are relevant to your innovation needs.

If you are interested in becoming an Inspiration Partner and/or want to discuss DPW’s open innovation program further, please reach out directly to our founder Matthias Gutzmann at


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