In the space of a few weeks I’ve attended two startup pitching events organised by two distinct organisations.

One, at the Sydney headquarters of a global services company and another at a well know co-working space.

I would say the quality of the start-ups pitching was relatively similar, probably because the majority were alumni of either accelerator programs or tech incubators. Out of the two distinct pools I could pick one or two favourite businesses, both with strong teams, building cool products and going after markets with a big need.

What struck me the most was the complete opposite environments at these two events.

On one hand we had a general uncomfortable silence, which I would imagine would’ve been stressful for the teams pitching. In fact even during the planned networking moments, the silence was austere and almost oppressing. On the other hand, there was an incredibly vibrant atmosphere with beers cracking open even during the pitches. I let you guess which one was which.

On a side note, alcohol was present at the two events so no correlation of statistical significance could be found due to this factor.

Without wanting to sound too critical of big corporations embracing an entrepreneurial culture, there are things you can’t easily reproduce.

Most of these big companies are actually doing a good job investing, sponsoring and organising start-up events mainly because they think they can learn a lot from the start-up world (a few also for PR purposes) and actually make a terrific effort to be part of the ecosystem.

But it still remains a big challenge to reproduce an entrepreneurial culture. With no applicable scientific formula it’s nearly impossible to fake.

Featured image by Antonia Sortino