The entrepreneurial buzz in Europe seems to be at an all time high: we are happy to see applications to our events steadily rising and the quality of mentors just keeps getting better. What comes first – great mentors or exciting startups? Whatever the answer is, we’re seeing lots of both at the moment, which is super exciting.
Slovenia is one of the statistically overrepresented countries in our portfolio – despite having only about 2 million inhabitants, we see a large number of applications for almost all Seedcamp events coming from there. By adding vox.io as a second Slovenian portfolio company in January, we also made sure our now partially New York based superstars from Zemanta don’t feel too lonely, either.
This is why we are excited to announce today that our next Mini Seedcamp (after our June Event in New York) will be in Ljubljana again, where we had a great time back in 2009. We expect applications from all over central Europe and the Balkans, so if you are working on a cool mobile or web application with a great business to be built, apply to be a part of Seedcamp Ljubljana. It is also one of the last chances to take part in Seedcamp Week in September, as there is no direct application process for our flagship event.
As always, we are more than happy to see fresh faces and new talent from all over the region, and encourage teams to apply even from further away. We’ve seen some great teams in our recent events from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, and also places like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia, and Serbia. Of course, our portfolio companies from Romania (Brainient and Ubervu) are working hard to keep our name on the streets, so we hope to attract some teams from further east as well.
I keep meaning to write a post and share insight on the FAQ of Seedcamp results. It is difficult to distill 3.5 years of hard work and hundreds of relationships built, but we have been keeping quiet too long. We’ve done surveys, analyzed the status of the 500+ mentored companies across the 34 Seedcamp events, and have a lot of data on our 40 Seedcamp companies (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011). Today should be a good start to opening up much of the intelligence already known to our investors.
In short, we’ve succeeded very well on a large part of our mission. We wanted to help establish Europe as a great place to start-up a world-beating business. Europe has become so attractive that we see a swell of local incubators, government focus on entrepreneurship, nearly an event a day, and more venture capital available for startups. Europe is on its way to being a much better place to start-up than in 2007.
As to the question of whether Seedcamp has succeeded, we’ll let you be the judge. In a part of the world considered to be behind the US by at least a decade, a place where it’s notoriously difficult to raise money from risk averse investors, and where there isn’t much M&A love… we challenge this conventional wisdom!
Here are some numbers and facts about Seedcamp companies and their success in the marketplace.
How many companies are we talking about, anyways?
How are the Seedcamp companies funded?
So how is it going on the operational side for these companies?
Seedcamp is all about it’s network – are there some numbers on this?
We are very proud of the hard work our companies have put in into building their businesses and are impressed by their drive and ambitions. Some have stayed in their countries, many have moved to London, and 3 have moved to the US, helping their Seedcamp family build more bridges across the Atlantic. We think we’re doing really well in Europe getting seed stage businesses, off the ground and helping them on the fast growth trajectory. Especially as the number of companies we back is still small, growing from the small number of 6 in 2007 to 13 in 2010 and between 15-20 expected in 2011.
We are excited that Seedcamp continues to attract an increasingly awesome set of founders. We are excited to share our results and help explain what we’ve been up to the last 4 years. We only hope more of the best entrepreneurs globally find Seedcamp a brilliant platform through which to grow their world-beating businesses.
We thank the 25+ Seedcamp investors who have backed Seedcamp and further invest into Seedcamp companies. We thank the Seedcamp sponsors that enable us to hold 11 annual events because without them going to every city wouldn’t be possible. We thank the Founder Sponsors that give the companies the extra edge. We thank the 1200+ mentors that come over and over again to meet the companies at an event and in many cases build their own relationships with these companies for the long-term. We thank the tireless and incredibly small team at Seedcamp for the 24-7-365 labor of love that is the start-up called Seedcamp.
Mostly, we thank the entire ecosystem for making Europe an incredible place to start-up.
We are extremely excited to present the Founders Sponsors at Seedcamp. As much as we strive to find the hottest startups across Europe and beyond, we work just has hard to support them also. We want to take this opportunity to send out a heartfelt thank you to all of our incredibly kind and generous sponsors for working with us on this journey. Over the years we’ve created a tremendous pool of mentors who are as enthusiastic as ourselves about meeting the future superstars early on during their startup journey. A huge amount of value is added this way during Mini Seedcamps and Seedcamp Week, where mentors and startups spend the days together learning and sharing experiences.
But events are just one step in opening the door to relationships. Many of the mentors want to take their mentorship further. In the course of building a mentor network, Seedcamp is fortunate enough to have built strong relationships with companies big and small, individuals, startups, or corporates who appreciate how tough it is starting out. Besides getting Seedcamp’s investment of €50K and support from the team, it still costs a lot (from a startup’s sense of a lot 🙂 to spend on tools and expertise that will help them grow fast.
Together we’ve created a sponsorship structure to ensure everybody can support and contribute time, expertise and services to some of world’s most promising entrepreneurs. On the flip side the sponsors benefit as well because they get our winners every year trialling their services, products, expertise which builds potential referrals, clients, users, customers for our sponsors.
Our Founder Sponsors are contributing over £50k of free or hugely discounted services and products throughout the year for each Seedcamp winner. These range from free business cards and office space through to efficient ways of producing board packs, to accessing accessing HR, legal and marketing experts for longer worksessions. Please check out our Founder Sponsor page to see the full list.
Perhaps we haven’t shouted about this enough as our Founder Sponsors have been extending great offers to our companies since we started out. Each and every one of them is helping us in our mission to accelerate the development and growth of the start-up ecosystem. As our Twitter followers will be aware, for the past month or so we have been been introducing our fantastic Founder Sponsors one by one. Advent calendar style, each day there’s been another surprise!
As we are gearing up for New York, we are time and time again impressed by the great mentors in our network. Seedcamp is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to speak to people they would otherwise not be able to meet, and we are working hard to get the right people on board.
|The view from Google’s NY offices|
The most consistent feedback we get from companies after the Mini Seedcamp events revolves around the number of great people the teams get to meet and interact with during the day. At each event, about 60 to 80 of our more than 1,000 mentors from around the world are present to see the companies pitch and to give them feedback and advice on their businesses.
Our goal is to not have them pitch their products duringthe mentoring sessions, instead we aim to get everybody to open up about their biggest issues in the business enabling the experienced mentors to contribute in finding a solution. The outcomes are great, and we repeatedly hear praise about this structure – both from teams and mentors, who immensely enjoy the discussions.
To give you a little sneak peek of who is coming to ourNew York City event on June 14, here is a selection of the mentors that are coming.
Some of our own “graduated” portfolio, and New York’s great entrepreneurs:
Some of the leading investors on the East and West Coast:
We are also bringing top mentors from Europe with us:
other mentors include experts from some of the best tech companies:
Are you building a supercool new web service that makes life easier? Are downloads for your mobile app going through the roof? Are developers chasing you to use your cool new tools? That’s a pretty good signyou should apply to Seedcamp New York to meet all these great people – to connect, get feedback, and attract investment.
Find out more about our process and see what our new portfolio companies are up to. Mini Seedcamp New York is coming up on June 14, and the deadline for applications is on the 24th of May – two weeks left to get your application in!
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