Berlin is certainly one of the hottest centers for entrepreneurship in Europe right now. And at Seedcamp we have a long history of being part of the Berlin ecosystem. From backing new startups to having Germany based investors in Seedcamp itself our roots run deep in Berlin and Germany. This year we were all the more excited therefore to be hosted by BDMI, one of our key investors. We had the whole building to ourselves, a luxury we generally don’t have and we think all the startups and mentors made full and good use of it.
One of the standout aspects, covered well by Silicon Allee, of this year’s Seedcamp was that teams literally came from all over Europe and particularly from Eastern Europe. There was a real sense of feeling that as welcoming as London is to startups far and wide, Berlin is building itself in the same way. We hope indeed that in meeting the awesome local mentors, startups were inspired to perhaps move to Berlin to kick off their businesses. As usual we had a stellar mentor attendance from Germany, UK, France, Nordics, and beyond. Many of the local mentors commented on being happy to have met so many foreign companies all at 1 event. As well everyone commented on the high quality of the startups and their pitches.
After the lightning fast 3-min presentations were done we had a candid and educational panel with the early investor, lawyer, and founder of Daily Deal. We always aspire to have this intimate and candid of a talk as it benefits the startups in the audience the most and we most certainly weren’t disappointed in this case. We then moved on to the mentoring sessions, which were abuzz, and mentors feedback was especially positive on the final 2 sessions being wildcard sessions. Both teams and mentors found a lot of value out of the day and a lot of follow-up meetings set. The day didn’t end there as we had the live band Pickers playing in the upstairs bar and a bit of food to nourish us after a hard day’s work. The band was awesome and rumour has it the party didn’t end till around midnight! Having the event end-to-end in one place really made Seedcamp Berlin all the more special and fun to put together. We just hope our hosts at BDMI will have us back 🙂
We’ve always been a huge fan of Dave McClure and 500 Startups and formalized our working together at Seedcamp Week last year were we announced our partnership. We already knew each other well having jointly invested in ERPLY, Brainient and LOOKK, since then we’ve teamed up on; Bluefields, Fameron and Rentlord. This has been fantastic for the teams, giving them the opportunity to explore the US market simultaneously with Europe getting the best of both worlds.
At Seedcamp Berlin we took it one step further and jointly invested in two teams at the event itself. This catapults them to a whole new level in very short space of time, they can now benefit from having both Seedcamp’s nextwork, support, and programme plus all the benefits that come with being a 500 Startup team in the US, truly invaluable as Andrew Crump CEO of Bluefields discribes here.
So without further ado the two awesome winners are:
The team realized that the automotive industry is lacking simple cloud-based management system for small and medium automotive repair shops so they decided to build Repairy. A tool that allows fast processing of any incoming requests by phone and email, like registering contacts and vehicles, booking service works, ordering spare parts in one page.
We have been huge fans of New York’s dynamic and thriving tech scene for some time now so it won’t come as a surprise to many that Seedcamp is venturing across the Atlantic again – this time to host Seedcamp New York on 10 July.
Last year’s inaugural event was a huge success; we saw the best of the best startups from Europe apply, all of which wanted to be part of the action across the pond. Seedcamp proved to be a perfect platform for this, offering international teams a day of face time with some of New York’s super mentors who have the knowledge, network and a wealth of experience in starting and growing hot startups. Seedcamp New York is also great for North American Teams wanting to expand into Europe and benefit from our huge network here.
Last Year’s Winners: As a result of the super high quality of teams selected we welcomed four out of the 20 to join the Seedcamp family. Each of them has shared their experience from the day itself and what Seedcamp’s impact has been since:
Patrick Hankinson – Compilr Seedcamp New York was a platform for us to make great key contacts from various angles of our business, we’ve even worked on a product with Google at one point as a result. Post the day itself, Seedcamp has kept us grounded in spite of our tendency to be all over the place. We have also achieved the following:
Alexander Dresen – Zingl Over the past year the Zingl team has made numerous iterations and pivots, most of which were inspired by the feedback we got from the Seedcamp mentors and fellow Seedcampers. Seedcamp is really instrumental in shaking up your ideas/visions so you extract what is really important. Being part of Seedcamp gave us access to a huge network and possibilities we didn’t have before. We just moved to San Francisco and will soon be launching in US.
Sanjeev Chhugani – Bilbus Seedcamp NY was exhausting, exhilarating and inspiring. Meeting entrepreneurs tackling different problems and with completely different perspectives was both refreshing and humbling. We learned how critical messaging is, and how quickly one can lose the audience, whether it’s 1 person or 50. Since becoming a Seedcamp company, we have focused more on product and design, moving from prototype to beta with a new team. Being able to interact with the startup community in Europe and the US gave us the opportunity to bounce ideas off some very talented people and make some excellent connections. Having a cadre of fellow entrepreneurs we can share war stories with is also quite helpful while trying to navigate the early days of traction, investment and eventually, growth. Bilbus is now in beta with a growing commercial lender base, two accounting platforms connected and live invoices and financing requests flowing through the working capital hub.
Dalia Lasaite – Campalyst Seedcamp New York had a huge impact on Campalyst. During this event we received our first investment from Seedcamp and met our seed round investors HENQ. We also received tons of excellent feedback from mentors from advertising, tech, and the social networks themselves – and we continue to work with some of these mentors to date in advisory roles. Seedcamp New York also helped us learn about the New York market, get the first connections there – and ultimately choose New York as a base for our startup.
Fantastic Sponsors: Our sponsors Google have once again offered to host us at their offices and will no doubt follow their usual great hosting style of supplying us with great space, expert mentors, copious amount of food and a great premise for post-event networking. 10gen; Commercial Support, Training, and Services for the NoSQL Database MongoDB are our generous Event Sponsors who help make all of this possible.
Who should Apply: If you are a European technology startup looking to meet the creme de la creme of the New York tech scene as mentors, or an North American based team looking to build bridges to Europe, this is the right event for you – apply now and let us know about your company. We are looking for innovative internet tech, software, media, and mobile focused businesses, great teams with awesome founders, and slick products that add real value.
Next Tuesday, we’ll be gathering with over a hundred of our ‘best of the best’ mentors and 20 truly awesome start-ups for Seedcamp Berlin. Our investors, BDMI, are hosting us at their beautiful Unter Den Linden building in central Berlin.
We have a great panel lined up to speak about the build and sale of DailyDeal. Nicolas Gabrysch of Osborne Clarke together with Fabian Heilemann, co-founder, and Michael Brehm, their first angel investor, will share their thoughts and emotions on the entire life of Dailydeal. They may even be able to divulge some insights into the deal that haven’t been made public yet. We’re very flattered to have them join us.
BDMI is very obviously keen to show everyone a good time, and what a great host they are! They’ve booked the band Pickers for the after-party, so it’s sure to be an epic day and evening.
So, who are the 20 start-ups making waves in the start-up community?
Meet the Teams:
Seedcamp Tel Aviv – 29 March We were in Tel Aviv for the fourth time this year – and the Seedcamp events in Israel just seem to get better every time. We had the highest number of mentors ever at a Seedcamp event in Tel Aviv (matching the record number of applications and the participating teams – 18, eight of which travelled from as far away as Finland).
The morning kicked off with the well-prepared presentations and made everybody look forward to the mentoring sessions. Saul Klein gave a master class on telling stories and engaging the audience via narratives, which was a great journey through not only the history of startups using these techniques for their marketing, but also through the application of storytelling in many other settings like world-leading brands, politics, and of course media. After a tasty lunch the teams scattered to their rooms for mentoring sessions and the mentors lined up to share their feedback and input with them. As usual it was hard to break the groups apart after the intense discussions, especially after allowing mentors to pick some of their favourite teams for the last mentoring sessions.
Thanks – to our sponsors and mentors! We were hosted at Afeka College of Engineering, who were our gracious hosts for the third year running. Alon and Lior and their team show us great Israeli hospitality time and time again – an incredible help when running an event so far from home. Our partners at lool ventures were also crucial, helping with local outreach and mentoring and of course ongoing support for the local teams. We also would like to thank our sponsors at the Microsoft Azure Accelerator in Tel Aviv, of course our mentors in Israel, who have been loyal and gracious with their help and support, and the annual Seedcamp Sponsors Google, Microsoft BizSpark, Paypal, Qualcomm and Facebook are not to be forgotten – making what we do happen.
Seedcamp Tallinn – 18 April
On the heels of our Tel Aviv event and with some of our hottest Seedcamp members originating from Estonia it was only ever a matter of time before we would host Seedcamp Tallinn – and what an event it was! We’ve never received a welcome quite like it, with none less than President Toomas Hendrik Ilves opening the event.
We were joined by a strong force of local mentors as well as people travelling in from all the Baltic and Nordic regions. Team-wise there was a strong local presence, with eight out of the 20 being Estonian.
Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of TransferWise chaired a great panel on ‘How to make your business international from day 1’ and was joined by Christian Thaler-Wolski of Wellington Partners, Harry Briggs from Balderton Capital and Kris Hiiemaa, CEO of ERPLY. Mentoring was a lively event, with both mentors and teams commenting on how much they got out of the day. Advice was given, connections made and introductions followed. Hopefully these will be lasting relationships adding great value further down the line as the teams keep growing and developing.
Once the ‘official’ day was over everyone hopped on a bus and was taken to the industrial-chic F-Hoone bar for some well-deserved food and drinks. Many of the teams said that the evening networking was a key value-add for them, making further connections in the relaxed atmosphere. We ended the day with a ‘must-have’ local drink – a millimallikas, apparently made famous by Steve Ballmer of Microsoft.
Sponsors and Partners We were so fortunate to have tremendous local support from so many people; we’d like to extend a huge thank-you to our event sponsors – Enterprise Estonia, Skype and ERPLY; also to our event partners – Garage48, Tehnopol and the Estonian IT College. Finally, we’d like to thank all of our local teams who were a great help in introducing us to the right people, and Sander Saar our old intern who showed us many of Tallinn’s great sites besides being a crucial ‘right hand’ for the event.
On that note we are very excited to introduce our four latest investments.
Our Four new investments
We’re more than excited to work with these four teams going forward, a very strong crop from two of the most interesting startup communities on the planet!
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