Already six weeks has passed from Seedcamp Week 2008 and the teams have submerged themselves into growing their business here in London. This could not have been achieved without the help of Seedcamp supporters like Sun Microsystems and their Startup Essentials programme which helps startup companies grow and scale. They have kindly sponsored desks for three months to both UberVU and Basekit at one of their own start-up companies, Huddle, within the trendy Bermondsey area, a perfect set-up to access and mingle with the brightest minds coming out of the UK today.
We are very excited to announce the dates of this year’s mini-Seedcamps!
Tel Aviv – February 2nd 2009
Paris – early March 2009
Warsaw – mid-March 2009
London – mid-April 2009
Berlin – 5th May 2009
Stockholm – 19th May 2009
Kiev – 9th June 2009
The motives of our mini-Seedcamps are the same as those of Seedcamp Week (in summary attending a Seedcamp will give your start-up team enormous validation and access to a world-class network of advisors to help you with every aspect of your business, plus a direct route to seed and venture capital.)
By going on the road we hope to amplify Seedcamp Week’s activities all over Europe’s local geographies.
So keep checking our site for more details on how your team can apply. Or, if you are overwhelmed by the prospect of Seedcamp coming to your town and want to get involved NOW give me a shout Alasdair[AT]Seedcamp.com
Saul was just speaking at the Web 2.0 Conferencein Berlin today on the topic of today’s state of European startups and funding.
I recently sent a note to all the Seedcamp companies urging calm and patience in light of volatile market conditions. Saul gave similar advice and thought I would put it below as well
Main points I’d like to reiterate are: My top 3 tips for doing that 1) Focus, focus, focus and don’t let the volatility distract you. Focus on product development and your vision of the problems you are trying to solve
2) Have a legitimate plan of how you are going to bring in Revenue and how quickly you can get to break-even
3) Continue to work hard. It’s a 24-7 game as we know. Reach out to mentors, advisors, everyone you believe can help. Worst someone can say is No!
Good luck and keep growing!
At the beginning of September, we selected our 23 finalists who made it to Seedcamp week. But we received several hundred applications, so what about the rest? This year, for the first time, we gave teams who didn’t make the cut individual feedback based on the judges’ comments. The goal is to give some constructive points to shape your product/company going forward and to help make sense of the selection process
While digesting and processing the judges’ comments, I noticed some trends. And here they are, along with some suggestions on strengthening your applications be it for Seedcamp or other presentations
“They are entering a very crowded space”
Our judges are experts on web business, so if you are starting a social network, search engine, shopping comparison site etc, they’ll know you’re up against multiple dominant competitors. The best way round this is to demonstrate knowledge of the space: acknowledge your competitors and then tell the judges why you’ll succeed anyway. If you don’t identify your competitors, the judges will – make sure they understand how you can compete and win.
“Is this a big enough market?”
The judges may not be familiar with your target market (academics, gardeners, etc), but need to know that it is large enough to sustain a thriving business. Be honest, and tell the judges how big you think your market really is. And don’t just say that it’s everyone who has a computer..!
“I don’t understand their proposition”
Some applications fell at the first hurdle – the descriptions were incomprehensible to the judges and so it’s pretty impossible to move past that point. To succeed, your proposition needs to clear and to the point. Using demos, prototypes, can all be an effective ways of illustrating your idea.
“Can they really pull this off?”
If the judges don’t believe the team has the ability to execute, even a strong rest of the application is rendered less credible and weak. So, wow the judges with previous project, prototypes you’ve developed, your hacking pedigree and/or a party trick.
“Where is the business?”
Several judges diagnosed some propositions with ‘feature-itis’, don’t forget a cool feature doesn’t make a company! Make sure you know what the pain your product solves is and how you’ll make money from it. Then, just remember to tell the judges as well!
“if you really believe in the idea, prove me wrong”
If your application got knocked back for one of these reasons, don’t give up hope! If you can work your way round the problem in a convincing way then you’re probably onto something. Tell us about it in your next application!
We welcome feedback on our feedback, so comment below, twitter (mentioning Seedcamp), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jonathan Moules, enterprise corespondent from the Financial Times, filed some video reports from the last three days Seedcamp Week which are now available on their site.
I’d embed them directly here but don’t see an easy way to do so unfortunately. I offer a meager screen-grab instead.
Seedcamp wrapped up over 2 weeks ago and we are now in the middle of helping the Seedcamp 7 ramp up their businesses over the next 3 months. A lot is being thrown at them. They’ll have to focus and work extremely hard. We’ll twitter about the key takeaways from the various events, dinners, etc.
On another note, the Sept-Dec time-frame is always busy and this year is no exception. The European tech community has organized several good events to help the start-up ecosystem grow and succeed in the coming times.
FOWA is next week on the 9th and 10th. There are a variety of topics, all of which talk about taking web applications to the next level, from enterprise to cloud computing, and talking about scaling apps. Another good event is Blogcamp CEE 2008 October 17-20th which focuses on new media and online start-ups. For those making the trip to Kyiv, it’s a great chance to explore CEE internet markets. Up to 80 sessions delivered in 5 parallel agenda tracks will provide an exhaustive description of Eastern European online scene. Towards the end of October, the 21st-23rd, we’ll be returning to the Web 2.0 Expo which is the definitive gathering in Europe for anyone interested in Web 2.0 technologies and their increasing prevalence in the lives and work of the broader consumer and enterprises.
And that’s just October. As always, do come say hi to us at FOWA and Web 2.0! Look forward to seeing many of you again.
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