As many have read and heard, we are heading to Singapore next week to kick off our first Seedcamp event in Asia. We have received applications from all over South East Asia and beyond – many more than we initially expected.
On Tuesday, the 5th of October, we will meet all 20 teams at the Singapore Management University for a day of mentoring, discussions, and networking with the best local (and happily many international) investors, entrepreneurs and start up experts. Here is the list of teams we selected – a great diversity in terms of origin and focus, just as we like it!
Of course, we would not get all this done without the help of great local partners like IDA and Expara. We are excited to see what the day brings and will of course keep you updated!
This is a guest post by Andrew Hunter, General Manager and “SEO Guy” at the local review site Qype. He offered to share his knowledge on SEO tactics, as he was approached by many teams at Seedcamp Week:
I was overwhelmed by the number of SEO questions I received in the mentoring sessions at SC2010, so in addition to the fantastic SEO section on the Seedcamp wiki, I thought I’d put together a list of 5 SEO tools that I mentioned in some of the sessions and that I would actively encourage all start ups to
SEO for Firefox If you’re looking for an easy to use tool which helps you understand why you rank the way you do (and more importantly, why your competitors are outranking you), download this. SEO for Firefox pulls in a heap of information giving you a holistic view of thecompetitive landscape of a market directly in the search results. I use this tool all the timeto study the number of links pointing at my competitors, the age of domains, page rank etc. etc.
Rank Tracker This is the fastest and easiest way to track your searchengine positions overtime for a bunch of different keywords. The free version should be sufficient for most start ups (I track 1,000+ keyword positions on a weekly basis and still get it for free!)
Linkscape/Open Site ExplorerLinkscape is an index of the web, built by crawling tens of billions of pages and building metrics from that data. Search engines are reluctantto share this data, but these guys have managed to hack it. I use this tool about once a week to gauge my own SEO performance/score and study my competitors. Take the top level “page authority” and “domain authority” scores with a pinch of salt, these are just inferred scores and it’s likely that most young sites will be sub 20 out of 100.
Juicy Link Finder This tool helps you find sites to build links on to improve your own rankings. It’s really simple – just punch in the keyword you want to rank for, and the software will return 200+ suggestions for sites that should be linking to you but aren’t. What’s the catch? It’s $25 per month to use this tool, so i would only recommend it to start ups looking to seriously double down on SEO efforts.
Google Webmaster Central This is the mecca of SEO information. It comes directly from Google (so you’re only going to get “white hat” recommendations) and includes over 20,000 videos and articles on search engine optimization. The Q&A videos from Matt Cutts (Head ofSearch Quality at Google) are excellent and should be weekly viewing for entrepreneurs looking to learn more about SEO. If you have a question about your site, don’t pay an agency £2k to give you the answer because it’s probably already been answered here 🙂
Andrew Hunter is the General Manager and “SEO Guy” at local review site Qype. Prior to Qype, Andrew was Marketing Director at Gumtree.com and worked on Search Marketing for the majority of companies within eBay inc. Andrew is an active angel investor and a regular contributor to travel blog Trip Hunter.
Seedcamp Week 2010 was a whirlwind, as always. After four years we still are not used to the amount of activity, excitement, passion, inspiration, and camaraderie that gets packed in a few short days at UCL. Thanks again for having us!
We want to congratulate all of the companies that participated in this year’s event. And none of this would have been possible without the support of our amazing network… mentors from all over the world, sponsors like Google, PayPal, UKTI, Atlas Venture, Eden Ventures, Orrick, TechHub, BaseKit, Codility, ERPLY, and Mobclix who donated their products and services, and a hard working Seedcamp team (which recently expanded by two!). It’s also nice to see Seedcamp and the entrepreneur ecosystem getting some attention in the media.
The hardest part about Seedcamp Week is trying to narrow down the great group of companies to just a handful of winners – 12 to be exact. This year’s group includes a social shopping site that changes the way people interact with real-world products, a company that creatively combines online advertising and gaming, and a place where consumers can compare the best car finance options.
The full list is below – if you didn’t have a chance to meet these companies at Seedcamp Week, please spend a little time getting to know them now. We are excited about this year’s crop of winners, and look forward to seeing what the future holds for them. Most of all, we’re excited about the sheer amount of enthusiasm that we see among entrepreneurs we come in contact with – that’s what gets us out of bed in the morning.
Now is no time to slow down because there’s still a lot of work to be done. We are already focused on the next Mini Seedcamp events and hope to see you sometime during our travels. And for anyone in the Singapore area, we just extended the deadline to submit your application for that Mini Seedcamp event, so if you’re interested you now have until Tuesday.
And the winners are…
Albia – (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegowina) An automated platform for software testing
EDITD (London, England) – providing fashion industry intelligence in real-time
Finance A Car (London, England) – reinventing car shopping and changing car ownership
Garmz (Vienna, Austria) – helping aspiring designers start their own fashion label
GIS Cloud (Zagreb, Croatia) – geo information systems through the broswer
Nuji (London, England) – helping you share your favorite products and find new ones
Profitero (Dublin, Ireland) – competitor analysis for retail companies
Sparkeo (Tel Aviv, Israel) – helping experts monetize their video content
Trebax (London, England) – offering a creative approach mobile advertising and game development
Uberblic Labs (Berlin, Germany) – a service offering data integration
Wordy (Copenhagen, Demark) – providing automated copy editing services, making anyone a professional publisher
Like many startups, Seedcamp started out with a big idea: to help to lay a long-term foundation for first-time European entrepreneurs to get access to the knowledge, network, validation and access to capital they would need to build a big business.
But in truth, we had very little idea of exactly how Seedcamp was going to play out and we’ve evolved substantially over the years.
In 2010 alone, Reshma and her lean, mean fighting machine have:
met and mentored nearly 200 teams at 9 Mini Seedcamps from Zagreb to Johannesburg,
taken Seedcamp 09 winners on a whistle-stop US tour of the tech hot-spots of New York and the Valley,
spent 2 days in London with 45 Mini Seedcamp winners,
hosted 23 teams from 19 cities and 16 countries and over 400 mentors at London’s Seedcamp Week
And we still have Mini Seedcamp events in Singapore and Mumbai to come in 2010.
Reshma has done an amazing job building a truly international network of entrepreneurs, mentors and investors. In a little over three years, she’s taken a concept and turned Seedcamp into a living breathing organization. Since 2007, we have:
host more than 25 events across the globe,
handled over 2,500 team applications,
mentored more than 540 teams,
made 22 investments
I’m really proud of what Reshma, Alasdair and Steph have achieved but we want to do more with our network – more teams mentored, more locations visited and investments made.
Looking forward to working with the winners of Seedcamp 2010 and beyond, its time for Reshma to get some serious firepower and support to take Seedcamp to the next level, keep pushing the envelope and continue to improve the experience we can offer our network.
So I’m thrilled to be introducing two new stars in the Seedcamp team – Carlos Espinal and Philipp Moehring.
If you’re one of the 400 or 500 people who have been part of Seedcamp Week, you will have met, had an email from or come into contact with our Associate Philipp. He’s only been with us since June but has hit the ground running – providing the glue holding our operations together and moonlighting with some great video commentary. He will work with all of our companies on the portfolio management side to provide the value Seedcamp brings.
Carlos will be joining us from Doughty Hanson. He will be a Partner to work alongside Reshma, helping her to develop the organization, deepen our international network and offer the best possible support and development to Seedcamp entrepreneurs.
Carlos is a great blend of serious engineer and talented early-stage investor – he’s also not a bad cyclist. He will be a great compliment to Reshma and help us expand not just our capacity but also our horizons and language skills.
There is nothing more exciting in an organization than seeing it grow – having seen what Reshma was able to achieve flying solo, I can’t wait to see what her partnership with Carlos will deliver. You can find Carlos on Twitter and his full bio.
Please help me welcome Phil and Carlos to the team – and feel free to reach out and say hello.
The third and final mentoring day at Seedcamp Week 2010 is coming to an end, and teams and mentors alike are pretty exhausted from an action packed and busy day. It all started in the morning with short presentations of all the teams introducing themselves. Afterwards, the interest was piqued by a very honest and open panel on how large companies work with startups – business development folks from Getty Images (Michael Dreyer), MTV (Andy Chen), AOL Ventures (Mike Brown), and eBay (Jeff Wong) discussed with moderator Daniel Heaf (BBC) and former Seedcamp Winner Andraz Tori (Zemanta). We heard frank talk and good advice – follow some of our tweets to see more.
After the first mentoring sessions – mostly focused on the challenges and opportunities of raising bis rounds and working with big customers – we went into a second panel, this time revolving around the realities of building and working with a board of investors. Fred Destin from Atlas Venture led a refreshingly honest discussion between different types of investors – dubbed as the ‘panel of the dark side’. Charles Grimsdale (Eden Ventures), Aydin Senkut (Felicis Ventures), Christoph Janz (Angel Investor), and Stefan Glaenzer (White Bear Yard) discussed the merits of board composition and oversight, founder vesting, and some horror stories. Not only the long Q&A session but also the very active Twitter backchannel showed the attention this topic received.
The afternoon was again packed with mentoring sessions, resulting in lively discussions that extended far into the coffee breaks. The highlight of the day for many was the ever entertaining presentation style of Dave Mcclure, showing his “Startup Viagra” deck on how to pitch a VC:
Of course, we also have a short video showing a summary of the day. Tomorrow we will be locked in with the startups all day, listening to the refined pitches to decide on the winners for Seedcamp Week 2010 – looking to make some big announcements on Friday.
Day two of Seedcamp Week is always very busy and packed full of marketing, tech and product gurus from startups and corporates alike. With two panel discussions, a masterclass, and 7 mentoring sessions, our teams are laden with invaluable advice to help get their product off the ground. With mentors from eBay, Dopplr, Skype, Google, Microsoft, Xing and LoveFilm to name but a few, all of Twitter was ablaze with key quotes and takeaways to help all startups.
Today, the product panel focused on issues ranging from the initial decisions on product design, feedback vs big ideas, to building development and design teams. The marketing panel offered interesting insights to different approaches to international markets, the possibilities that companies have with small and large budgets, and the importance of community management and evangelism. Ryan Carson shared insights to some of the metrics he uses to track the success of his webapps, a master class that was very well received.
To keep up and see what everybody is saying – and to learn some great pointers – check out Tim Bradshaw’s (FT) Twitter account, as he got a lot of great quotes from the panel sessions. Mark Butcher’s piece on Seedcamp today is also very interesting, pointing out some larger trends we are seeing across the board – a very strong focus on B2B businesses.
Tomorrow is all about ‘How to Scale’ with some major VC’s and Investors in attendance. The teams are looking forward to get insights on funding strategies, M&A and cooperation with big companies – and so are we!
We kicked off our biggest ever Seedcamp Week 2010 today with massive buzz and a record number of 23 teams – ready to show the 100+ mentors the best they’ve got. The morning saw razor sharp pitches from teams that cover 16 regions throughout EMEA and who definitely have their game on. We saw all the trends described by the Guardian and Telegraph – product-, monetisation-, and fashion-focused startups make up parts of this year’s batch.
After the pitches, we had the pleasure of listening to a masterclass from Jos White of Notion Capital who famously sold MessageLabs to Symantec for $700 million back in 2008. His engaging and frank talk with his brother and business partner Ben White enlightened us on their journey from starting in a barn in Cirencester, to making a multi million dollar exit and the trials and tribulations that came along the way. Tim Bradshaw also wrote about the talk on the Financial Times Blog.
A few key take aways from their talk are summarised in Jos’ slides:
Our first day was all about Founders and the teams were mentored throughout the afternoon by the likes of Iain Dodsworth from Tweetdeck, Nathalie Gaveau from Priceminister, Simon Murdoch, and of course also Jos and Ben White.
Check out the video of the day to get a feeling of the energy and people at Seedcamp week this year:
We’ll also be making a splash in the press this week, with a record number of media attendance this year including the FT, Reuters, TechCrunch, Wired UK, the Telegraph and more – so join our twitter and blog and keep updated on everything Seedcamp Week 2010.
Tomorrow is Product and Marketing Day…bring it on!