SeedCamp will be returning to Tel Aviv on 6th May, to see more startups from the heart of the Israeli tech ecosystem. With the support of our partners the.co.ils and our supercool venue, The Afeka College of Engineering, it should be the best Mini Seedcamp Tel Aviv yet!
Mini Seedcamp Tel Aviv will see 20 of the region’s best seed stage tech start-ups meet with around 50 experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and developers from the region and all over Europe to participate in a day of intense mentoring, panel discussions and presentations. Check out a great summary of last years event which was featured in Tech Aviv here!
Last year mentors included Gigi Levi, CEO of 888.com, Gilad Japhet, CEO of MyHeritage, Tal Barnoach, Chair of Beinsync, Avichay Nissenbaum, CEO of Yedda and over 50+ other mentors. This year we are looking forward to welcoming another all star group of mentors – so watch this space.
Since Seedcamp Week, Tel Aviv based finalists YubiTech have rapidly progressed and recently securing funding from Granot Ventures. We hope to accelerate the success of more teams from the region through the connections built during the Mini Seedcamp.
Applications are not restricted to Israel so we strongly urge teams from the surrounding region and all over Europe to apply.
If you think you have what it takes – start your application today, telling us a little bit about your project and why you are ready for the next stage. Application deadline is midnight 22nd April 2010. For full details, updates and how to apply go to the mini site.
Help us promote this event by talking about us in your blogs, tweets and stay connected to keep up to date with all the latest information coming soon!
Note: Fundraising is only one part of building a successful business. I don’t like to belabour this topic but given the amount of despondence amongst European startups, it’s relevant timing to offer a positive example
Over the last couple of years, particularly in the recent downturn, I have been hearing the lament from European entrepreneurs that there is not enough capital in Europe, that US investors don’t invest in European startups, that European VCs aren’t investing in early stage, and should they just bite the bullet and move to the Valley. This outlook certainly isn’t helped by talks and posts from the Valley super advocates like Mike Maples recently at the Future of FundingFuture of Funding conference and Paul Graham at FOWA a couple years back. They point out very valid pluses for the Valley but realistically it doesn’t provide a course of action for all of us keen to build startups in Europe, Asia, Africa, or elsewhere.
It’s easy to whinge and engage in self-pity but frankly the facts prove otherwise. There are an increasing number of examples that prove things are picking up very quickly outside the Valley. Sure, the examples are fewer and it’s difficult work, but this should be the starting point from which we continue to buld. Otherwise, all we end up doing is feeding the vicious cycle that leads to more lamenting.
Much more productive is the approach firms such as USV, Founders Collective, and Betaworks have taken with their commitment to making NYC more like the Valley rather than trying to compete or outdo the Valley.
We’ve always taken a similar view in building up Seedcamp. When we established Seedcamp, a short 2.5 years ago, we put in place a model that tries to break borders while leveraging the best of technology and cultural developments that overcome the European fragmentation.
Here’s what we have seen work well:
1) Draw out and mix talent – The networked model with pan European events that culminate through some bigger events at central hubs like London, Paris, Berlin is crucial in identifying far flung talent and bringing the best entrepreneurs together 2) Mentorship early – Encouraging (oh and sometimes pushing) close working relationships with mentors very early on has led to building much stronger businesses much earlier on and in some cases major strategy shifts without wasting too much time and money 3) Work often in the US – We actively encourage startups to spend quality time in the US, learning about the startup mindset there and of course to establish the all important customer, partner, and investor relationships. This means frequent, long trips to the US and engendering a feeling in the entrepreneurs to want to do this
The reasons all of this works so much better now than 10 or 20 years ago are several but a few I think really important are 1) Fewer cultural barriers – Startup culture is very similar whether you are in Poznan, London, Helsinki, Barcelona, NYC, Boston, or the Valley. We only have American TV and the likes of Techcrunch, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb to thank for this 2) Technological advances – whether it’s networking, skype, workflow sharing, teleconferencing, etc it’s literally and digitally brought everyone closer 3) Ease of travel – as much as traveling sucks these days, the actual ease, cost, and legal feasibility of travel continues to bring us closer together
So, with all of that, we are definitely seeing a change in the past few years, accelerating in the last 1 year: 1) US Angels, Entrepreneurs, and VCs are paying very close attention to startups that Seedcamp brings to see them in the Valley, NYC, and soon Boston. In the case of ERPLY, they are funding them very quickly as well 2) The US folks are coming over to Europe whether it’s Geeks on a Plane, Seedsummit, LeWeb, etc 3) Given you need to show traction to get VC attention, its easy to show this whether in Europe or the US 4) Much more cross-border flow. US and European investors are working and investing together across borders. Both groups are encouraging their startups to work across borders 5) Zemanta, ERPLY, Skimlinks, Zendesk all raised money from entrepreneurs, angels, and VCs from both sides of the Atlantic. And those are just the startups I know well. Here’s a bit more from Saul on the topic
Final words on a course of action…. Stop complaining and start figuring out how to leverage these massively useful changes and your uniqueness to achieve what you want. Because it is happening with loads of companies that have done just that. They don’t complain they just keep generating progress and momentum.
Whatever the motivation, it was really good today to see the UK government putting in place some entrepreneur and start-up friendly items in the budget.
Some of the things which may catch founders and start-ups eyes:
– Extending 10% capital gains tax from £1m to £2m, giving founders more incentive to develop businesses with significant outcomes – Extending 40% tax relief on CAPEX from £50k to £100k, helping small businesses invest more affordably in critical equipment – Raising by 15% the procurement target that must go to SMEs, driving an additional £15bn in spend, providing critical demand and revenue to start ups – Building an Institute of Web Science around Tim Berners-Lee to push the commercialization of the semantic web and build on the great progress around data.gov
With over €3bn in committed early-stage venture capital in London looking for great startups across Europe to back, its good to see the UK government trying to create a more entrepreneur and start-up friendly environment.Whoever wins the election I’m sure will have no choice but to continue and build on this.
Seedcamp’s first venture to Spain has been a big success, bringing together the forces supporting new startups from the region such as Seedrocket, iWeekend, BBVA, Tetuan Valley and angels like Jesus Monleón (Trovit), Luis Martin Cabiedes (Cabiedes Partners) and Christopher Pommerening (Active Venture Partners).
Of cause the most important take aways for the teams are the Seedcamp accreditation, an instant network of mentors, and access to potential sources of capital. However everyone loves being a winner… so top 5 teams by popular vote were:
BlooSee – Social network for sea lovers Offset Options – Marketplace for carbon offsetting Siine – A new keyboard optimised for short social messages Teambox – Twitter like project collaboration Uvinum – Find and share wine knowledge
Thanks to all mentors and teams for taking part. We were really impressed by the quality of the startups and passion of the mentors.
The lively panel discussion was moderated by Saul Klein (Index Ventures and Seedcamp), and featured; Fred Destin – Atlas Venture, Carlos Espinal – Doughty Hanson, Christoper Pommerening – Active Venture Partners, and Fausto Boni – 360 Degree Capital Partners.
It took a broad angel view of European startups and investment. Topics ranged from how to scale a business beyond a single country, what VCs look for in an investment, and how to work with your investor.
A summary of the best comments can be found by looking through twitter. Here are some gems:
Christopher P. AVP: When we’re looking at an investment we check if the entrepreneur has an international outlook for his biz #seedcamp #vc
Global expansion is dangerous if you don’t know what you do in your home country to start with #seedcamp
Mini Seedcamp Barcelona Panel Discussion @cape “You need to understand your investors business model as well as your own”
Thanks to all our mentors, teams, sponsors and supporters for helping make Mini Seedcamp Barcelona happen. In particular Daniel Reilly for hosting us at IESE. IESE for providing an excellent venue. Seedrocket, Tetuan Valley, Okuri, Trovit, Vlex, Maestros Del Web, Imprese eStartup, iWeekend, BBVA Open Talent, Caixa Capital Risc, Sun Startup Essentials, and the UKTI Global Entrepreneur Programme.
With just under two weeks left to apply for Mini Seedcamp Paris being held on 15th April 2010, this popular city hub with it’s wealth of talented startups, is attracting some top-notch local and European industry mentors, including:
Alain Caffi Venture, Capitalist VENTECH
Chipper Boulas, Boulas Adventures
Daniel Kahn, Kahn & Associates
Fabrice Epelboin, ReadWriteWeb France
Francois Tison, 360 Capital Partners
Guillaume Decugis, Goojet
Limvirak Chea, Google
Philippe Herbert, Banexi Ventures
Remy Amouroux, Teorem
Rodolphe Menegaux, Xange Private Equity
Sonia Rameau, SRNet Consulting
William Quiviger, Mozilla
Xavier Lazarus, Elaia Partners
At Seedcamp, we are always striving to balance the different geographies and backgrounds across the EMEA 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 recently posted on what a startup can expect from a mentoring session from one of our Seedcamp Week finalists. This is the chance of a lifetime to bring the 1st time entrepreneur together with experienced and distinguished company builders from the tech industry and the world’s top entrepreneurial movers and shakers. As we are mainly choosing teams to attend Seedcamp Week this year through our Mini Seedcamps, we are encouraging all talented startups with innovative and world-changing ideas, who feel ready for the challenge, to apply to Mini Seedcamp Paris – whether you hail from the region or beyond.
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 Mini Seedcamp Paris! Applications close at midnight on 1st April.
Seedcamp is very happy to announce the top 20 teams going through to our first ever Mini Seedcamp Barcelona, being held on 23rd March at the wonderful premises of IESE Business School.
With every Mini Seedcamp we are seeing more and more quality startups applying with clear and innovative ideas. Noted trends from applications for Mini Seedcamp Barcelona saw a few teams focusing on workflow and collaboration, with new ways of using the internet to help teams work harder and smarter, along with a few niche social networks.
With a record number of teams applying to Mini Seedcamp Barcelona from all over Europe, Mini Seedcamp Barcelona will see talent from not only Spain, but Denmark, Poland and Romania.
And the lucky Top 20 are:
ActionFlow – Oeiras, Portugal Aifos Solutions – Barcelona, Spain BlooSee – Barcelona, Spain Digital Recognition – Copenhagen, Denmark fastDove – Barcelona, Spain Femtoo – Madrid, Spain Fiabee – Barcelona, Spain Jobsket – Coruña, Spain Just Action – Madrid, Spain Offset Options – Barcelona, Spain Quibry – Bucharest, Romania R1NG.pl – Warsaw, Poland Rankswers – Barcelona, Spain Robot Media – Barcelona, Spain SCAP – Barcelona, Spain Siine – Barcelona, Spain Teambox – Barcelona, Spain Touchcreate – Vigo, Spain Ubiquii, SOMA Barcelona – Barcelona, Spain Uvinum – Barcelona, Spain
The teams will have a chance to show off their talent and engage with distinguished mentors and learn from over 50 top European industry movers and shakers including VC’s, Investors and product specialists in HR, PR, Product and Marketing.
We look forward to meeting the teams face to face and wish them the best of luck in Barcelona!
We always like to hear experiences and advice from previous Seedcamp teams. In this guest post, Jakob – a member of Seedcamp Week Finalist Adtaily, writes about how to mentor or be mentored at a Seedcamp. Essential reading for any prospective Seedcamp teams or mentors.
How does a Seedcamp mentoring session work?
Seedcamp is an early stage investment fund organising regional events in Europe called Mini-Seedcamps where the best local internet start-ups meet the best European mentors and investors. Apart from valuable panels, the essence of Mini-Seedcamps are the mentoring sessions where experienced entrepreneurs or experts, called mentors meet young co-founders and their teams.
I had the pleasure of attending a Seedcamp in two roles. Firstly as a team member (co-founder) of AdTaily – finalist of Seedcamp 2008 in London, acquired 10 months later by a leading Central European media group. And then I attended as a mentor, sharing my experience at the Mini-Seedcamp 2009 in Warsaw and the Mini-Seedcamp 2010 in Prague. Having that dual perspective I have tried to list useful ‘do’s for anyone who plans to attend Seedcamp’s mentoring session.
What is a mentoring session?
A mentoring session is usually an hour-long time slot where mentors meet start-up founders and team members. Due to logistic reasons, four to five mentors are paired with two teams (three to four people in each) at the same time in one room. Teams very often decide to split their time into two or split mentor groups so that two mentors discuss one project at a time.
Attending a session as a mentor
Your role as a mentor is to try to understand the core business of the team you have been paired with and to give them your best possible feedback and share your experience.
Mentoring session hints:
Your role as a team member is to get as much feedback on your project as possible. This is an extraordinary opportunity to ask and listen to experienced entrepreneurs, experts and investors – for free : ) – they are all yours for not more than an hour.
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