48 days later and applications for Seedcamp Week 2009 are closed. We believe the startups submitted represent a cross section of what is emerging from EMEA. So what have we found?
Quantity is the most obvious measure, but one we don’t like to shout about as it doesn’t mean much on its own, plus we don’t like to boast. That said we are happy to announce that application numbers are similar to last year’s – downturn, what downturn? Considering TechCrunch’s graph of doom (see below), which shows a fall in startups founded, bottoming out around the new year – we think this is remarkably good news. Additionally, applicants came from over 40 countries highlighting that entrepreneurs are very active all across Europe and that teams want to startup here.
The graph of applications over time resembles the famous hockey stick curve – almost half of the submissions were received on the last day! Last Sunday must have been a busy day for startups over Europe…
There are many other trends we want to extract from the application data, such as; where are the teams from? what tools are they using? and what are their business models? When compared to previous years applications this could cast an interesting light on the state of and trends in European technology startups. Seedcamp’s current Fellow, Mirwais, is working on some of these questions so we hope to regale you with the answers soon.
Finally, this is a really exciting time for us. Seedcamp has now backed 14 companies, and over the past year we have got to know some cool nascent founders from all over Europe. Hence we are excited to be starting the processes which select the next batch of teams we will be working with at Seedcamp Week and beyond.
Another year and another great list of mentors have already signed up for Seedcamp Week 2009. As most of you know, our goal is to bring together up and coming entrepreneurs with experienced company builders from the tech industry and the world’s top investors. We try to achieve a balance of different geographies and different backgrounds and look for mentors who have started or grown their own companies and understand the unique challenges facing entrepreneurs today. We also bring investors in who can provide practical advice, not just on raising VC money, but what to do once you have it.
We’re really happy to announce that the following mentors are on board for Seedcamp Week this September. We’ll be adding more to the list in the next two months, but couldn’t resist sharing a few of these great names with you now.
• Alex Ljung – founder of Soundcloud (Germany)
• Brent Hoberman – founder of Lastminute.com and MyDeco, now partner at PROfounders Capital (UK)
• Charles Grimsdale – founding partner at Eden (UK)
• Danny Rimer – partner at Index Ventures (UK)
• Dave McClure – Founders Fund, Angel investor (US)
• Erol Damelin – founder of Wonga (UK)
• Fred Destin – partner at Atlas Ventures (Switzerland)
• Fred Wilson – Union Square Ventures (US)
• Hjalmar Windblah – founder of Rebtel (UK)
• James Bilefeld – ex CEO Openx, head of Digital at Conde Nast (UK)
• Kristian Segerstrale – founder of Glu Mobile and Playfish (UK)
• Lorenz Bogaert – founder of Netlog (Belgium)
• Lukas Gadowski – founder of Spreadshirt (Germany)
• Sara Murray – founder of buddi and member of the Technology Strategy Board (UK)
• Yossi Vardi – angel investor (Israel)
To get an idea of how many great mentors we’re expecting in September, check out the list of who has joined us in the past.
If you’re an entrepreneur out there with a great idea, want to get advice from some of the best mentors around, and get a real jumpstart for your startup, apply now for Seedcamp Week 2009.
Important Seedcamp dates
• Early August: first round of mentors announced
• August 24: applications close
• September 21 – 25: Seedcamp Week in London
Seedcamp is a program that was started by Saul Klein (of Video Island, Skype, Index Ventures, and The Accelerator Group) and Reshma Sohoni to support the entrepreneurial community in Europe – this includes companies starting in Europe or businesses in the US interested in expanding to the European market. Seedcamp puts the next generation of developers and entrepreneurs in front of a top-tier network of company builders; including seed investors, serial entrepreneurs, product experts, HR specialists, marketers, lawyers, recruiters, journalists and venture capitalists. The main event of the year is Seedcamp Week, held in London, but the program also hosts smaller events throughout Europe and in Silicon Valley. In addition, they provide ongoing mentoring and support for the annual Seedcamp Week winners.
Seedcamp is in its third year and has so far invested in 14 companies including Zemanta, MyBuilder, Kublax, and uberVU. Click here for a full list of previous winners:
As the application process enters its final 3 weeks, we thought it was time for a 2nd post on a few more ideas we’d like to see entrepreneurs tackling.
Advertising performance – Better tracking systems for ad performance, enabling proper attribution of value to the contributions of different ads seen at different points on the customer journey towards purchase. On whichever side of the online ad market you look at, this would be much better than the current last cookie wins solution
Targeting systems – whether it’s behavioral, semantic, heat sensing, or the like… less obtrusive but generally more effective targeting systems for ads. We’ve seen the great success of Targeting 1.0 and with more conversations and data opening up through social media or more open systems, I have to believe these trends can be leveraged across improved targeting systems
Lead generation for high value services – lead generation can often be quite lucrative and can get quickly to significant revenues with little capital requirement. The key here is obvious but important that these are truly high value services and the lead is highly relevant, measurable, and effective
Solutions for SMEs – there are thousands of small businesses across Europe that are underserved now and the unique nature of doing business in each country in Europe makes it particularly attractive for a company to develop localized products they can then expand throughout their region. While we are looking for globally targeted ideas, we’d like to see more entrepreneurs taking on the challenge of localizing to fit the particular market needs
Productivity apps – In these times when old style businesses are trying to improve productivity and reduce costs, we’d like to see more applications addressing their needs. These could be concentrated in a very specific vertical where the methods of doing things are outdated, inefficient or very costly – or more generally aimed. What we need to see more of is not just tech or geek tools but tools that can be used in the real world
Again, these are a few thoughts we’ve been ruminating over here this summer at Seedcamp. But if you are working on some of these areas or other sectors where you see a lot of opportunity emerging, maybe 3 weeks is just enough time to submit that application!
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