A tradition three years running at the International Startup Festival, the grandma panel is exactly what it sounds like: a panel of grandmothers (yes, you have to really have grandchildren, I asked). The grandmas sit in judgement as startup entrepreneurs make their best pitch. They then choose a winner out of the group of hopefuls. Why grandmas? As a group, they’re less tech savvy than the demographic these tech startups are aiming at, so if they can understand the pitch, chances are the ideal customer will, too. They’re also some of the harshest critics out there (OK, maybe that’s just my grandma¦).
I sat down with two of the grandmas in their official festival tent to ask them what they look for in a winner.