Seedcamp is proud to have been selected as a Network Partner for the Microsoft BizSpark Program.
In summary Bizspark allows start-up very low cost access (USD $100) to Microsoft’s development software and server tools. See below for the full spiel.
Eligibility requirements are minimal: If you’re a privately held company, building a software-based product or service (even using open source code), in business for fewer than three years, and with less than USD$1M in annual revenue, you’re in!
To join BizSpark, you must be sponsored by a BizSpark Network Partner, such as Seedcamp. You’ll find more program details here www.microsoftstartupzone.com. When you’re ready to sign up, contact us (alasdair[at]seedcamp.com) and get your enrollment code.
Once you have your enrollment code, joining BizSpark is fast and easy. No payment or credit card information is required, and there are no upfront costs. (Microsoft will assess a USD$100 program offering fee at the end of participation in the program, or the end of three years, whichever comes first.)
Get your Startup fired up! Visit the Microsoft Startup Zone to learn more!
Silicon Valley, as everyone knows, is home to many of the innovative companies like Intel, Google, Sun, Yahoo and countless others that were all born and raised here.There must be something in the water (or the mineral deposits) which encourages free thinking, innovation and daring.
We firmly believe that in seeding European teams that are building global companies, we should also integrate them in a global mentor network. As such we organized a Seedcamp excursion to this mecca of innovation and introduce the Seedcamp teams to some of the pioneers.
Seedcamp in the Valley
Eleven of the Seedcamp winners and finalists met with over 50 mentors at Microsoft’s Mountain View complex. The format consisted of panel discussions and our signature mentoring sessions.
The first panel focused on founders with Peter Pham, Leonard Speiser, Eric Ries, and Jo Beninato, all speaking with Dave McClure as moderator.
The second Angels and VC panel featured Saul Klein, Ariel Poler, Chris Sacca, Jeff Clavier and was moderated by Michael Arrington. This led to an entertaining discussion fuelled by Michael challenging the panellists who certainly had differing opinions.
Topics of contention included:
See what attendees thought through our Friend Feed.
Many thanks to The Microsoft Conference Centre, our kind hosts. And Orrick who treated us to some post event drinks and food at their offices.
Investor Day was hosted by our friends at Polaris Ventures and TextMarks at the nautically themed and yet excellent, Dogpatch labs in Pier 38.
At Facebook we met with the guys in charge of Facebook connect and internationalisation.
A somewhat impromptu meeting with Twitter led to the teams chatting with the founders Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Jeff Veen.
Yahoo lined up some key figures from the teams in charge of the APIs and the Developers Network, you can see videos of the teams here.
At Google teams met the Adwords, Android, YouTube and Analytics for some technical nitty gritty.
The Mozilla Labs also met with the companies, and wrote this awesome blog post!
Down on the Techcrunch ranch teams presented what they are working on and uberVU got TCed! The TC team also shared valuable advice on dealing with the media, product launch, and being very conscious about the timing of everything in order to get the most return for any PR/Media outreach.
In summary the teams met 70-80 experts from Silicon Valley who will be an integral part of their global network and help these companies grow and succeed. Huge thanks to Dave McClure, master of 10,000 hats, and our host for the week.
With Seedcamp back from making the rounds in Silicon Valley last week, Reshma Sohoni, CEO of Seedcamp, will be amongst other distinguished industry leaders speaking on a panel focusing on Gathering Resources at Cambridge University’s popular Enterprise Tuesday event this evening.
Enterprise Tuesday aims to introduce participants to the world of business, as well as to encourage and inspire individuals to pursue their entrepreneurial ambition. It is a free evening programme open to all Cambridge University staff and students, other universities and members of the local high tech business community. For more information on the event, check out www.cfel.jbs.cam.ac.uk/programmes/enterprise/index.html.
At last Friday’s Seedcamp ‘Demo Day’, the Seedcamp 7 showed off what they’ve been working on for the past six weeks. We saw some great progress and equally interesting comments from the mentors who came along for this web show-and-tell.
A quick progress update
• The main progress has been on the companies’ products, which now show an increased focus on their customers’ demands.
• We saw encouraging sign up and retention analytics.
• And some companies already have clients wanting to implement and pay!
Comments from the Advisors
The mentors who came to Demo Day gave our start-ups some indispensable feedback for taking their ventures forward. But much of their advice applied not only to our Seedcamp 7, but is also valuable to anyone running a tech company at the moment.
Seedcamp week, back in September, coincided with the collapse of Lehman’s Brothers and the start of a massive shake-up of the world’s financial system. Inevitably, the financing of tech companies has been affected and surviving the downturn has been the focus of much of our mentors’ advice. This is what they had to say about how to stay ahead of the game…
We are now in a buyers’ market and start-up valuations are likely to fall. This is because investors’ reckon it’s going to take longer for them to get their return.
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