This is a guest post by Ahmad Bakhiet, who spent the summer with us as an intern. Besides helping out on various daily tasks, Ahmad was instrumental in preparing for Seedcamp Week 2012, and assisted both the Seedcamp team and our startups relentlessly.
Read about his experience below and follow him @ahmadbakhiet.
Yes, we’re hiring for interns to join us in fall and winter.
Since joining the Seedcamp team, a lot of people have asked me, “What it’s like ‘inside’”. So, here are some of my thoughts:
Working at Europe’s leading seed-stage investment and mentoring program is not for the faint hearted. If you’re shortlisted from the hundreds of applications, you’ll be interviewed by each member of the team; it’s a thorough selection process, but totally worth it, and serves as an indication of the importance the team places on the people they trust and work with.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with several exceptional performing teams, but never one that consistently achieves so much, with so few people. For instance, unlike the standard accelerator model of one or two intakes per year at a fixed location, the Seedcamp team make the effort to set up events and seek out and invest in the best startups by traveling across Europe and beyond – every month. When not doing the investment events, they’re holding the legendary Seedcamp Week, weekend hackathons known as Seedhacks, or going on their annual four-week tour of the US with Seedcamp startups. This is all achieved by a permanent team of…four.
To be part of such an ambitious and fast paced team is nothing less than inspiring.
You’re thrown in the deep end from day 1, and involved in everything from selecting potential portfolio companies to watching them grow into global businesses. You’ll learn about how funding works, what it takes to secure it and how to deal with the legal aspects.
Critically, you will get a first hand perspective on the selection process. I was fortunate enough to see the applications and provide my judgement to help the team decide on who to invite for our next Seedcamp event. You’ll get insider information on what’s new in tech and the trend of new startups, as well as what works and what doesn’t in venture investment applications.
You’ll be involved in the onboarding of new companies and witness live training of startups being coached on delivering the perfect pitch. Listening to Carlos Espinal drill the startups at the end of their presentations is like a mini-MBA.
Being based at Google Campus means you’re surrounded by several of our portfolio companies, so you’ll get to see how some of Europe’s best startups grow and reach major milestones everyday. In the last month alone I have seen; four new companies joining Seedcamp, TraitPerception being rated as one of ‘East London’s 20 hottest tech startups’, Antavo closing their beta and winning new business from over 100 countries, Sayduck launching their public application and being invited to present at tech conferences, RentMineOnline being acquired – and that’s to name but a few.
While at Campus you’re also at the very centre of Europe’s entrepreneurial hub. Just recently, Eric Schmidt visited to talk to the community about running a successful internet startup. Throughout your time you’ll meet our incredible mentors, investors and industry experts as well as have access to them thereafter. You will constantly have the opportunity to socialise, exchange ideas and learn every day. You’re immersed in the environment; it’s always busy and you’re always learning. You’ll work startup hours, but you’re getting paid to do something you love!
It’s no surprise, given the nature of the Seedcamp Internship experience, what those before me have gone on to do. David Fauchier is now at PayPal, Fred Stevens-Smith is now launching his startup after raising funding and joining the latest Y Combinator batch, Sander Saar has gone on to continue freelancing for global media companies, Jakob Marovt went on to join two of our portfolio companies in Product & Marketing roles, Michael Orland secured an Operations Director role at Songkick and Andrew Shannon is now an Investment Manager at a large private investor. So whether you want to work at a startup, launch your own or even go into the venture capital industry, you can be sure that that when you say you’re from Seedcamp it holds a lot of merit.
Even though Seedcamp is Europe’s first seed-stage accelerator, at only five years old it’s still in its growth stage. Nonetheless, the company has achieved an incredible amount during that time and is yet to peak. Now with the European startup scene growing exponentially, Seedcamp is poised to be a major leader in that growth. It’s set to raise its biggest fund ever and expand it’s portfolio to include 100 of Europe’s best startups within the next 12 months.
You can be sure you’ll get a ton of responsibility, and in five to ten years once Seedcamp has changed the entire European startup scene you can say you were once part of it. If you’re serious about entrepreneurship you should already be applying now.
NOTE: We have closed the applications for our Fall/Winter Internship. Please follow our Twitter or Facebook updates to hear about new opportunities.
Seedcamp is Europe’s leading micro-seed investment fund and mentoring program. Since launching in 2007, our family now includes 70 of Europe’s most promising startups with several acquisitions (Mobclix bought by Velti, RentMineOnline bought by RealPage).
Backed by an awesome team, board, and group of investors, we are incredibly active and run events and invest in startups throughout Europe every month.
Seedcamp has a Europe wide approach to seed investment. Managing our 10 Mini Seedcamps and maintaining our relationships with start-ups and mentors is an essential but demanding part of our core activities. We are looking for one or more self-starting full time interns who can tackle some of projects and also assist the Seedcamp team with operations. We believe the contacts and experience you’ll gain here will be instrumental in starting your own company, getting into venture capital, or staying with us longer term.
The Responsibilities include:
SUPPORTING THE SEEDCAMP TEAM
NOTE: We have closed the applications for our Fall/Winter Internship. Please follow our Twitter or Facebook updates to hear about new opportunities.
Last year, the Startup Week in Vienna was a big hit – multiple days of content, speakers, and an overall awesome experience for startups and investors from all over Europe alike.
Because we like the team, because we like Vienna (after all, a good part of our portfolio hails from there, or close by), and because we like startups, we have partnered with the organisers of this year’s equivalent, the Pioneers Festival. We will inform you about a few cool things coming out of this in the next weeks, but most importantly, we want to turn your eyes to the Startup Challenge they are organising.
The startup challenge is a unique chance to win 25.000 EUR – free of any obligations or strings attached. The final winner will be selected out of 50 participants, who will be picked from all applications to the event. These 50 get invited to the event (2 people per startup), but even applying to the event in itself carries a little sweetener: All applicants will be able to join the Pioneers Festival at the Early Bird rate.
Everybody whose web, tech, or mobile startup is younger than 3 years, and has raised less than 1million in outside capital is eligible. The challenge itself is happening on 29th of October, which is the investors day. All day, there will be private one on one meetings between the selected 50 startups and investors – a great way to meet and interact with hard to get to people.
Apply directly at the application form by the 7th of September or read more on the Pioneers Festival home page.
Seedcamp Events in the past 3 months
3 months. 3 events in Zagreb, New York and London. Thousands of applications from over 65 countries. 60 passionate teams getting mentored. Hundreds of high quality mentors and 4 investments. These are the numbers that make Seedcamp stand out as the leading micro-seed investment and mentoring programme.
A recap of Seedcamp London
As always, a great calibre of entrepreneurs pitched their products to a very diverse pool of mentors – ranging from founders and product and marketing gurus, to institutional VCs and angel investors.
We opened the day with a unique masterclass hosted by Saul Klein and Chris Riley. They both shared their knowledge on the importance of storytelling, and Chris, who was the brain behind the brand strategies of Nike, Apple, and Twitter among many others, also gave insightful advice on how to engage the audience via narratives.
We have received some extraordinary feedback and wanted to share these comments as they truly capture the day:
‘Best Seedcamp I’ve ever been to. The stakes have been raised with the quality of companies and teams. It also had a great set of mentors there, which is just as important for the companies. Logistically, it was the best run Seedcamp I’ve been to, which shows the experience on the team and the energy was much higher than usual. I came away feeling hugely thankful to the Seedcamp team.’ Scott Sage, DFJ Esprit
‘Good atmosphere. Well run day. Quality of teams high. Masterclass of an excellent calibre. Having Chris remind young teams about some of the really important “brand” needs for a business chimed well with my own background and agenda. An excellent day.’ Richard Fearn, The Friday Club London
‘This was my first attendance at Seedcamp as a mentor and I thought it was a fabulous event and a great opportunity for startups to get feedback on their go to market plans and meet relevant contacts. I also thoroughly enjoyed the masterclass.’ Sarah Gunderson, Yammer
We had a record number of applications for these events, so all the teams were immensely proud to be selected. We were very impressed by their shared enthusiasm, drive and ambition – a really positive atmosphere throughout the whole day at each event.
Despite the fierce competition, three teams from Seedcamp London really won us over, as did one from our Zagreb event. In one month time – along with 15 other Seedcamp teams – they will participate in our annual week-long event: Seedcamp Week. This is a priceless opportunity to showcase their growth and build relationships with 400 individual mentors over the course of 5 days.
So, who are the winners?
BRANDiD – Winner of Seedcamp London – London, UK What: BRANDiD is a clothing subscription service that learns what you like: built for men, not fashionistas. Why: This is the kind of consumer company with the real potential to go viral, especially with ‘their engaging approach and depth of understanding of their market’ according to Elliot Conway, VP of Pentland Group.
poq Studio – Winner of Seedcamp Zagreb – London, UK What: poq Studio makes it possible for SME fashion retailers to get their own mobile commerce apps. Why: Vukašin Stojkov added that ‘the straightforwardness of both the business model and the product itself gave me the confidence that they’re capable of greatness’.
Rawstream – Winner of Seedcamp London – Malta What: Rawstream boosts employee productivity and secures your network against internet malware, with ROI measured in days. Why: We were impressed by the disruptive potential of this compelling product, wrapped up in a really simple proposition. ‘A relevant industry experience and a pragmatic approach makes them a truly promising startup’ according to Sanjay Kaler from GFI Software.
TRData – Winner of Seedcamp London – Kiev, Ukraine What: TRData sells professional financial platforms for getting, collecting and analysing data from difficult financial markets. Why: Rachel Evatt from Skyscanner underlined that ‘If TRData’s product is as good as they make out, then they could be placed to rip apart the financial data market, similar to how salesforce.com did to enterprise CRM.’
Thank you to:
Everyone who attended our three events in Zagreb, New York and London respectively. All teams who participated in the events, eager to drive their business forward and were challenged by the mentors’ comments. We would like to thank all the mentors, who gave us their precious time during these summer months to share their expertise in order to help startups map out their future road to success. Last but not least, we would like to extend our thanks to our generous event sponsors, who in every city hosted us like kings: 10Gen, SoftLayer, Yammer, Complete Accounting Solutions, CRANE and the CEED. And, of course, we can’t forget the invaluable contribution of our yearly sponsors Microsoft BizSpark, Qualcomm, Paypal and Google, who support Seedcamp on an ongoing basis.
Along the Danube River, resides a city, a World Heritage Site, with a sizzling startup scene… and with Seedcamp Week around the corner, it is with great excitement that we open applications for Seedcamp Budapest, taking place on the 25th October, today!
Why Budapest? With a strong technical element in most successful local companies, ranging from web analytics to navigation, we could not miss holding an day-long adventure in Hungary’s capital. One of the hottest entrepreneurial cities in Central and Eastern Europe, Budapest is a great location to attract founders from all over the region and beyond. After our first Hungarian team, Antavo, joined us after Seedcamp Tel Aviv, we were impressed by their hunger for success paired with technical prowess. Antavo, and other successful Hungarian startups like Prezi have shown – there’s something we were so far missing out on. As always, we have invited awesome European internet technology mentors, who will be mentoring the 20 participating startups, giving them feedback to improve their chances of success, and networking like crazy.
Event partner We are partnering with the European Entrepreneurship Foundation, a key local player, thanks to Peter Zaboji, a close friend of Seedcamp since the early days.
Why should you apply? If you are a burgeoning tech startup, if you are ready to expand and develop your service or product, if you want to grow internationally, if you are looking for top international mentorship, whether in finance, marketing, biz dev or from VC, you are in the right place. The winners of the event will receive €50k investment for 8-10% equity and will be the first official companies to enter the Seedcamp class of 2013! Will you be the next team to win the Seedcamp Investment, a year-long support, and receive the Founders’ pack of offers from our Seedcamp Founders’ Sponsors? Do you have what it takes? There is only one way to find out and that is by submitting a kick-ass application.
How can you get some of the action? This will be our first trip to Budapest and we’re excited to see what the region has to offer. 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. Take a look at our superstar teams to give you a better feel for the type of companies we like. If you are as excited about our one-day Seedcamp in Budapest as we are, apply and let other founders know about Seedcamp too.
Deadline for applications is 16 September – we look forward to seeing what you are working on!
The sun has finally made an appearance just in time for the Olympics, which kicked off fabulously last week. We’re keeping the excitement going with Seedcamp London taking place on the 7th August.
London being home to our most prestigious network, birthplace of Seedcamp as well as a powerful tech hub resulted in the highest number of applications we’ve ever received. Quality was at an all time high so it was no easy quest filtering the talent down to the final selected teams.
Please meet the 2012 London teams, check out their brilliant products and services:
Saul Klein will be hosting the masterclass along with Chris Riley. They will share their knowledge on the importance of storytelling, giving advices on how to engage the audience via narratives and how startups can use various techniques for marketing but many more purposes. This is a masterclass not to be missed as they are given by two superstars; indeed: over the past decades, Chris took the Nike brand global, spent time launching Windows 95, was part of the core marketing team at Apple reporting to Steve Jobs and is now working on emerging brands like Twitter and Foursquare as well as advising brands from emerging markets like Uniqlo and Samsung.
Once again our gratitude goes out to Google for their endless support in hosting us at Campus, where the Seedcamp team is based as well as well as some of our portfolio companies. We are also fortunate and extremely grateful to have 10gen, SoftLayer, and Yammer as our event sponsors for Seedcamp London. Finally, we would like to thank our yearly sponsors Bizspark, Qualcomm and Paypal for their ongoing support.
If you’re a startup and you missed out on Seedcamp London, applications will open very soon for Seedcamp Budapest. Stay tuned for more information!
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