Demo days definitely amplify a brand, but not the one you’d think

Hello and welcome back to Equity, a podcast about the business of startups, where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines.

This is our Wednesday show, where we niche down to a single topic, think about a question and unpack the rest. This week, in light of Y Combinator’s biannual Demo Day, Natasha and Alex asked about the utility of the parade of pitches. Our big question:

Are demo days outdated?

The question comes after Natasha’s latest Startups Weekly column, where she looked into the trend of everyone constantly trying to re-invent startup accelerators. We’ve seen everything from in-person events to virtual pitch-a-thons to record efforts and more. Name it, it’s been tried.

Today’s show is a continuation of that conversation, specifically digging into how demo days served founders in the past, and how they amplify in the present. A good number of factors jolted things up, including the proliferation of accelerators, a boom in pre-seed funding and the pandemic forcing programming to go remote. We also ask who demo days are really for.

Listen in to hear what we landed on, disagreed with and picked for founders to focus on today.

Equity drops every Monday at 7 a.m. PT and Wednesday and Friday at 6 a.m. PT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.