As the most connected international seed investor in the world, we are building the best seed platform for internationally minded entrepreneurs. Since launching in 2007, we have come a long way. We have reviewed 5,000 applications and mentored 800 teams through 8,000 mentoring sessions making 48,000 1:1 connections. We have funded just over 1% of these companies (88) across 33 countries who have since gone on to raise $90M in funding.
One thing we always keep is a laser focus on is our entrepreneurs. This means we regularly take the advice we give our own startups: Listen to our customers – the best globally ambitious founders – and adjust our offering to best match their needs. With Seedcamp London, we want to announce our calendar for the year 2013 and tell you more about the way founders can interact with Seedcamp, and how we will help connect local startup ecosystems across Europe and internationally.
The improvements we are announcing today are the result of various experiments we ran over the past year, and of discussions with our local partners across the world. They will make it easier for founders to meet the Seedcamp team, will enable local partners to work more closely with us, and bring us to more places than ever before.
One of the most repeated questions we hear is “when do you come to our city”. Our friends in places like Lisbon, Budapest, Ljubljana, and Tallinn have worked tirelessly to bring Seedcamp home and make our visits a full success. This is why we have decided to come up with a better structure that will allow us to go to more places, and at the same time empower our local partners that do such an amazing job at helping us explore their cities.
Each local Mini Seedcamp will be ran by Seedcamp and a local partner. While the structure is still evolving, these events will always include startups pitching to our team and investors, coupled with straight feedback and advice. We will invite the best startups from these events to investment interviews and fast track them into the Seedcamp program. We will also bring speakers, mentors, and investors to make the events as interactive and interesting as possible, and to continue enforcing the bridges we have built in the last 5 years.
We have already set up a number of these events for this and next year, and will continue to publish dates and more details. Watch out for Mini Seedcamps in Jordan, Tel Aviv, Dublin, Sofia, Krakow, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Zurich, Vienna, Barcelona, Moscow, and Ljubljana – you will find the constantly growing calendar on our homepage – expect to see us in 20 to 30 cities around the world during this year.
London and Berlin have manifested themselves as the leading local startup ecosystems in Europe. Both continue to grow at an amazing pace, and both have local strengths and weaknesses that allow them to coexist perfectly. While Berlin is thriving as the creative capital of a new startup generation with great ambitions, London is manifesting its place as the financial and technology capital for both European firms and US companies looking to expand.
This is why we have decided to focus on these two core hubs in 2013. We will hold four main Seedcamp events interchangeably in London and Berlin. This is where we will invest in new companies, bring together our community of mentors, and hold demo days for active investors looking to invest in Seedcamp teams. We will continue to make Seedcamp events the ultimate get together of the best European entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors.
Seedcamp London is happening as you read this, and the first Seedcamp Berlin 2013 will take place in Mid-May with the help of our friends at BDMI and the Factory in Berlin.
Our US trips have become the fastest paced acceleration experience for European startups. From an educational, networking, but also investment perspective, there are few excursion that are as valuable to fast-growth oriented founders as our trips to the US startup epicenters of San Francisco, Boston, New York, Seattle, and SXSW. Within weeks, startups built partnerships with industry leaders and investment relationships with several of the best firms in the space. Convinced by the success of these trips for our startups, we decided to literally double-down on them.
We will now tour the US twice a year with our recent companies, and enable founders to build connections with leading VCs, tech companies, and other startups. We have already planned out much of our US trip in February and March, and the companies joining out of Seedcamp London will be able to join us on the trip. They will get to visit out partners like Microsoft, Google, Twitter, and Facebook, Pitch in front of Investors like Union Square Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock, and Softech. We will also visit the fastest growing startups in New York, Boston, and the Bay area, to learn from the best and get inspired.
Google Campus has proven to be a real game changer for us and our teams in the nearly 1 year since we set up here. Having office space in London alongside us for 3 months has provided a huge value in day-to-day interactions between teams and us, between the teams themselves, and with all the other events that happen at Campus. We have also formalized our monthly learning days with speakers like Sean Ellis and Eric Ries and numerous local entrepreneurs and investors into a key component of the program. You’ll continue to hear more about these in the coming months.
We are excited about the coming year, and how investing through London and Berlin will enable the teams to bond much more, and will enable a better format of interaction for support, development, and follow on investment.
We will have applications open at all times, for investment interviews in London and Berlin. As always, we are looking for teams from all over Europe and the world, in the mobile and internet space, at a prototype or product stage.
We will also allow teams from Mini Seedcamps to be fast tracked right into the Investment Interviews, without going through the application cycle. The applications for the local events will always be managed through Angellist – we are proud to be the first European partner for the new applications feature.
One key thing that founders have been asking us for is a choice in different funding options for companies wishing to participate at Seedcamp. Different companies can benefit from Seedcamp in different ways, and we have worked on various structures to accommodate those differences in the past.
We want to officially announce three ways that founders can participate in our program – all of these are tried and tested methods we employed in the last years and have proven to be very beneficial for founders.
The first, our ‘classic’ offer, is €50,000 for 8-10% ordinary shares of your company. We believe this amount helps founders reach the most amount of momentum fastest. It allows the team to focus on a first iteration of their product, and sets a good basis for fundraising towards the end of the Seedcamp program.
A second variant is designed for companies that have some funding and will add to that Seedcamp’s investment. This level is at €25,000 for 5% of ordinary shares and includes all of the other benefits of being a Seedcamp company. We’ve seen companies raise small angel rounds before Seedcamp, and this offering works well to accommodate these founders in the program.
The last option is for companies that are already generating cash and/or have received more substantial funding, where participating in Seedcamp with an investment isn’t possible. For 3% of ordinary shares, founders get to fully participate in the Seedcamp program. As part of this, we offer the companies a stipend of €5,000 to help cover the direct costs of participating in our program (travel costs to events, etc).
At Seedcamp Week last year we promised a different Seedcamp experience in 2013. We think the broader and deeper calendar and greater funding options for entrepreneurs provide just this. We are thankful to all our founders, partners, and investors for their feedback in helping us build an amazing Seedcamp 2013.
Today we are hosting the Seedcamp London Demo Day; the five winners from Seedcamp London yesterday are presenting along with ten previous Seedcamp winners. Our gratitude goes to Thomson Reuters for hosting us in their office.
Meet the teams presenting, here:
BDMI, Bertelsmann Representation, Unter Den Linden 1, 10117 Berlin
|12.30-13.30||Lunch and Registration|
|13:30-14:00||Welcome by Seedcamp|
|14:50-15:20||Coffee and networking|
|15:20-15:40||US RoadTrip update|
|16:20-16:50||Coffee and networking|
|16:50-17:20||Masterclass by Carlos|
|18:00-19:00||Drinks and Food|
We’re kicking 2013 off with a big bang! Next Wednesday and Thursday we are back in London for the first Seedcamp event of the year and it’s twice as big as before. Applications closed at a new all time high, hundreds of startups from across the globe eager to be part of the Seedcamp Family.
We have over 70 of our best UK and international mentors signed up to attend and mentor the teams on Wednesday. The winners of the event will join current Seedcamp companies on the Thursday at Demo Day where they will have the opportunity to present to a room full of investors.
One of the key points of mentoring is the identification of techniques and approaches that can help improve the day to day of building products, shipping code, and building a business. With that in mind, we are proud to have Devin Hunt of Dex.io and Lyst share his insights in a Masterclass on “Sketching Better Products”.
Please meet the teams that will be taking part in Seedcamp London and take a look at the great companies they are building:
Our gratitude goes to our event partner, Thomson Reuters, for their support and for hosting us in their office on Demo Day. We would also like to thank our event sponsor, SoftLayer, who are sponsoring the drinks on Wednesday and of course not forgetting our yearly sponsors; Google, Microsoft BizSpark, Qualcomm Ventures and Paypal.
Be sure to follow our blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts to follow the event on the day!
Like in the movie ‘The Matrix‘, don’t we all wish we could just download ‘kung fu’ into our heads just when we needed it?
Our Seedcamp Academy days, do just that.
Whilst there is a benefit to the more traditional forms of academic instruction, namely, ‘the traditional three month startup program’, we believe that by learning the right skills at the right time, we maximize the likelihood that a founder is learning skills he or she can apply and remember when it is needed.
Seedcamp Academy days happen throughout the year. They are open to all of our companies, even the ones we invested in back in 2007. Once family, always family. The format, held over three to four days, is usually to cover topics that have surfaced to the top as needed by most of the startups at that point in time in a workshop-type style. Topics in the past have ranged from how to manage an M&A process to UI/UX. Other topics we have covered include pricing your product, lean development, analytics for startups, corporate governance, and legals to name a few; all led by specialists in the field and including well known thought leaders such as Ryan Carson from TreeHouse and Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup.
As I’m writing this we are just kicking off this month’s Seedcamp Academy Days.
First up is Andy Budd, CEO of Clearleft, a leading UX and Design firm, covering what to keep in mind when designing your product. After, we are looking forward to covering actionable metrics, marketing & biz dev, objectives & key results, and concluding with pitch training.
And the best part of it all? It’s having the great comments and real-world experience added to the discussion by our attending founders, many of whom, are notable experts of their own, and can help their fellow Seedcamp companies with personal experiences and how they solved their own challenges.
Last March we held the 2nd edition of our Seedhack hackathon where we brought together top-notch hackers with big players from the financial services industry to create innovative solutions in FinTech. The results of Seedhack FinTech surpassed our expectations and motivated us to keep on going. We’re excited to announce that we’re back with the third Seedhack on the 8th, 9th and 10th of February and again we’re ready for disruption!
This time the hacking will focus on fashion and online retail as we are seeing a lot of innovation in this area and are sure the teams will start building some great companies over the weekend. The Seedcamp Family already includes disruptive teams in these areas such as EDITD, BRANDiD, Nuji, Poq Studio, Sayduck and ERPLY who will be sharing their knowledge and experience at the event.
We’re bringing together many more big and innovative players from the fashion and online retail industries to speak, provide their APIs and help hone ideas to jumpstart the projects so keep an eye out for further announcements coming soon.
As you might have read on TechCrunch recently, hackathons are a great testing ground to get ready for pitching VCs. Seedhack’s goal is building new companies so a great place test your ideas and turn them into viable companies over a weekend.
The idea behind Seedhack is to create new companies. As such, we are looking for people to come up with ideas over the weekend, rather than pitching an existing company’s idea. All roles are needed to build a successful company so we’re not just looking for developers but also for designers, marketeers, product managers and biz dev folks to enable the startups to be formed.
The whole event is free and open to anyone interested in hacking fashion and online retail. We do however need to make sure that we have the correct ratio of skills so you can complete this form to express your interest in attending. We’d love to have everyone attend but unfortunately space is very limited so sign ups will be accommodated on a first-come-first-served basis. If we can’t accommodate you, we’ll let you know over email as we approach the date.
Seedhack will run from the evening of Friday the 8th until Sunday the 10th of February at Google Campus in London and will be a whirlwind weekend of brainstorming, hacking and product creation. We’ll be bringing together hackers, companies and API experts with the aim of solving real world problems to create real companies. The schedule of events will be further clarified at a later date, however the rough outline is as follows:
Are you a brilliant hacker with a penchant for showing off your skills, but no ideas? Maybe you’re from a company with a real industry problem that has hit a wall? Or perhaps you’re a business person interested in fashion or online retail? If you answered yes to any of the above, then you need to register here for Seedhack and start thinking of ideas!
Any existing companies interested in being involved as mentors, sponsors or providing their API can get in touch with us here.
We had a great event Tuesday afternoon at the SEIS Workshop at Google Campus. Over 80 entrepreneurs, investors and service providers showed up to learn more about the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) from some of the top people responsible for the scheme, including HMRC and 10 Downing Street.
The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is designed to help small, early-stage companies to raise equity finance by offering a range of tax reliefs to individual investors who purchase new shares in those companies.
The workshop was targeted at those who were familiar with SEIS and sought to answer some of the more technical questions on the scheme and to raise awareness of a number of the tools that have been developed by HMRC, 10 Downing Street and Seedcamp to try to make both SEIS and EIS more user-friendly. We’d like to thank our great speakers and panel:
There was a lot of information crammed into the two hour workshop. Our key takeaways from the afternoon were:
Online resources from HRMC are available for SEIS and EIS and Kathryn’s presentation during th event can be found here.
Another great tool is the HMRC Advance Assurance Facility. By filling out the form with the relevant information, this facility allows startups to get the HMRC’s opinion on whether or not the company or shares would likely qualify to for SEIS. This is a great way for a company to gain confidence in SEIS and to help encourage potential investors to join in.
The Seedsummit Legal Docs are additional resources we encourage startups and investors to consider. With the help of HMRC and Brown Rudnick LLP we’ve developed a termsheet template that is HMRC approved as SEIS/EIS compliant. We’ll be launching this version 2 of the Seedsummit docs very soon. Stay tuned!
Finally, a big thank you to all the panel members and to everyone who joined us!
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