Last week, we had our first Seedcamp Week in Berlin – home to some of our startups, and most certainly one of the most vibrant and fastest growing startup ecosystems in Europe.
We have always had exceptional interest in our Mini Seedcamps in Berlin, which is why we’ve decided to host 2 full Seedcamp weeks in Berlin this year. We are very happy with how the first one turned out, thanks to our partners and friends in Berlin The WYE, BDMI, Factory, our great mentors, our supporters at Osborne Clarke, and all the investors who took part in Demo Day. As always, we’re also more than thankful to our annual sponsors Google, Microsoft BizSpark, Barclays, Qualcomm, PayPal, and Nokia.
Here’s how Seedcamp Week Berlin went, and how we ended up with 4 great new Seedcamp companies.
As a result of the new Seedcamp structure with more than 20 Mini Seedcamps around Europe, we had 6 events in various cities throughout April and May. We’re happy about this change – teams we met in Tel Aviv, Stockholm, Belgrade, Istanbul, and Kiev took part in Berlin. Adding individual applications to the overall number, we are now seeing higher quality and depth in applications than ever before. The result was an amazing crowd of 20 teams from 12 countries, working on markets as diverse as transportation, data analysis, and sport fishing. See our post on the announcement of Seedcamp Week Berlin for the full list of teams.
After the usual preparation and presentation training, we spent Mentoring Day at The WYE in Kreuzberg, a cool minimalistic arts and events venue. The teams presented their startups and received much praise – not just on Twitter.
Had a blast mentoring some great teams at @seedcamp today! Keep up the great work everybody. Thx to @factoryberlin for the amazing BBQ!
— Benedikt Lehnert (@blehnert) May 14, 2013
After the teams, Seedcamp mentor Andy Budd of Clearleft took the stage for a master class on design in startups. Besides building one of Europe’s most successful design agencies, Andy also has insights into numerous startups – most recently Clearleft was involved in Matter, which sold to Medium. He talked about the importance of design as a core competitive advantage for startups – not just from a visual, but much more a users’ and customers’ perspective. We want to repeat our words of praise to Andy – the master class was not just insightful and engaging, but also a lot of fun and was referenced by many as a highlight of the day.
The afternoon was spent in mentoring sessions with some of the best entrepreneurs, product builders, and operators of the Berlin and European startup scene. As the sessions have become more focused on operations and product since Demo Day is separated from mentoring, this turned out to be an exhausting afternoon for the teams – intense discussion after discussion for the whole rest of the day.
In the evening, we announced 4 new teams that will be joining the Seedcamp Family and are moving to Campus in London soon. We met 3 of these teams at the Mini Seedcamp events leading up to Seedcamp Week Berlin – supporting our expectations that this new structure would allow us to be closer to entrepreneurs than ever before.
The evening of Mentoring Day was concluded by a Barbecue at Factory, a massive co working and office complex for Berlin’s startup scene. The team around Jenny, Sasha, and Simon did all to welcome us and our friends to a fun evening. A band made up of startup founders, and the obligatory visit by the police to end the party are proof of a real Berlin experience.
On Wednesday, we invited more than 80 of Berlin and Europe’s best angel and VC investors to join us for our first Demo Day in Berlin. We were hosted by our friends at BDMI who spared no effort to make our day a blast.
8 Seedcamp companies presented their companies, demoed their products and met with investors on a beautiful day in Berlin. The 4 new teams also joined in and got a chunk of the action on their first day in the Family. In alphabetical order, these were the participating teams:
Carlos shared some of the content that emerged from the program over time and dove deep on the product market fit cycle which helps companies form a compelling offering and product. Philipp gave an insight view of what happened on this springs’ US trip, shared his views on the local differences of different startup hubs, and the current state of mind in the US venture capital scene.
As it befits an investment company with a media background, BDMI hosted us for a great after-Demo-Day party on the roof of their beautiful office – including an up and coming band from the BMG repertoire. Listening to tunes by Lino Modica, we had a great finish with a view:
We want to thank all of the startups who participated, the mentors who put in their valuable time and advice, and our partners at The WYE, BDMI, Factory, and our friends at Osborne Clarke for supporting us in Berlin. This event was a highlight of the Seedcamp year, and we look forward to coming back in fall.
Likewise, our annual sponsors at PayPal, Nokia, Barclays, Google, Microsoft Bizspark and Qualcomm were more than supportive for Berlin, and have made our foray to Germany possible.
We are very happy to introduce StrategyEye as one of our most recent additions to the Seedcamp Founders’ Sponsors. Seedcamp company CEOs will gain access to StrategyEye’s Digital Media platform for a full year and StrategyEye will also be regually publishing interviews with Seedcamp CEOs. Below is StrategyEye’s ‘Hot Company Profile’ on, Seedcamp company, Futurelytics.
Big data is big business at the moment. And while Futurelytics concentrates on small-to-medium-sized businesses and emphasises the importance of relevance when it comes to customer analytics, rather than simply the size of data sets, potential customers will perceive its offering as a big data solution. The firm recently won funding at Seedcamp Budapest and CEO Daniel Hastik is now aiming to make an impact by selling to sales and marketing teams in the US.
¤ What differentiates Futurelytics from similar services?
It is a data mining solution. We connect marketing and sales guys, giving them information about customers by tracking data from multiple sources and scoring the customers from the best to the worst based on various parameters. We then group these customers’ information into segments so the guys in marketing and sales can use targeted campaigns. We also pull the data from our platform to marketing automation systems like MailChimp and Marketo.
We take the best practises and visualise the data and work with companies automatically so that the end user doesn’t have to make any major decisions. We tell them what will work and that’s the major difference. For example, we could say ‘in order to get churn customers back to you, you should do this’. Our team has a background in business analytics, so we are looking for meaningful patterns in the data. It doesn’t matter if it is just two rows in Excel, if someone doesn’t understand it then it’s the same if he has five terabytes of data that he doesn’t understand. We give the user what we think is important and what is not. Other companies focus on the size of the data and not the relevancy.
¤ What is your business model?
We make money in three different ways. One is a monthly subscription model for the platform itself, which is USD450 per month. The second revenue stream is our independent app on a CRM marketplace, for example Salesforce’s App Exchange. The third is license fees for what we call ‘powered by Futurelytics’. We are negotiating with certain CRM providers to embed our functionality.
¤ Who are your main competitors?
One would be Custora and the other one would be Cloud9. There are obviously the big players like SPSS from IBM, but that’s not the segment for our customer reach, we don’t go up into the enterprise we stay with small-to-medium sized businesses.
¤ What’s the biggest challenge you currently face?
We are a US-based company, but all the guys are in the Czech Republic at the moment, with one sales guy in the UK. For most businesses to set up in the US you need to be a US citizen so it’s quite difficult for European startups without having a US citizen in the team to actually start a business in the US.
The other challenge is getting the word out, so the marketing and sales, which we have not tracked as well as we do the technical side. We are now looking for people who can help us with that and that’s one of the reasons we joined Seedcamp. Their network, their knowledge and their companies within their investment team solved the same problems we are facing. So we are sharing a lot of information and that has been really helpful.
¤ What do you think is the hottest trend in digital media?
Competition between the stable, TechCrunch-like blog styles against blogs for particular technologies, which shift from the more mainstream to specific technologies. I am finding more information from our competitor’s blog than on GigaOm, for example.
The demand for big data services is booming. The market will be worth USD18.2bn this year before climbing to USD47.8bn in 2017 and analytics applications revenue is forecast to be the fastest-growing segment in the next four years, with revenues expected to increase by nearly 300%. Services such as Futurelytics, which promise to decipher the reams of online information and present actionable strategies from it, offer obvious tangible benefits for companies and salespeople. IBM expects its overall business intelligence revenue alone to come in at USD25bn by 2015, with plenty of dollars available to those that can gain scale quickly.
The main challenge for Futurelytics is standing out in an already overcrowded space. As well as startups such as Custora and Cloud9, big guns like Accenture and IBM are trying their hand at customer analytics. While Hastik maintains that the likes of IBM are after the big enterprise customers, where it is after small businesses, it doesn’t seem a stretch for IBM to scale out to SMEs. Futurelytics needs to make sure it can build out its offering quickly and expand rapidly to new markets.
The other issue is its current focus on the US. Hastik already concedes that it is struggling to expand, with problems setting up its services in the US hampering progress. Plenty of homegrown competition will continue to emerge stateside, while Futurelytics deals with these challenges. The firm also doesn’t disclose financial information, making it hard to ascertain how things are going in markets where it is available. It is important to note that it’s still early days, with the firm only launching in September. And it does already have 25 clients on board, including brands such as Yamaha, Time Warner Cable and Livestrong. As a result, the firm is “just starting” to generate revenue and the next six months will prove crucial for the startup.
AT A GLANCE CEO: Daniel Hastik HQ: Delaware, US Founded: September 2012 Employees: Six Commercial launch: September 2012 Funding to date: EUR50,000 (USD67,000) Investors: Seedcamp
Hello Berlin! Next week we are kicking off our second full-blown Seedcamp Week of the year, this time in the German startup epicentre, Berlin. Applications flooded in from all over and made for a high calibre selection pool. This event also marks the first Seedcamp Week that winning teams from our Mini Seedcamps will participate in the competition to be part of the Seedcamp Family. Seven of the twenty teams that will be joining us in Berlin first met Seedcamp at a Mini Seedcamp in their home country; one from Mini Seedcamp Belgrade, two from Mini Seedcamp Kiev, one from Mini Seedcamp Istanbul, one from Mini Seedcamp Tel Aviv and two from Mini Seedcamp Stockholm.
We will be joined by Entrepreneurs, Product and Marketing Experts and some of the best operators across the German and European startup scene for the Mentoring Day on Tuesday at The Wye. Demo Day will follow on Wednesday at BDMI and will feature winners of the Seedcamp event. The event will also showcase some of our earlier Seedcamp teams who are currently fundraising. We have invited the top investment funds across Europe to attend, including investors from Index Ventures, Point Nine Capital, Balderton Capital, BDMI, Earlybird, DFJ Esprit and T-Venture.
Please meet the teams that will be participating at Seedcamp Week Berlin and check out the great things they are doing:
We are very thankful to our Event Partner in Berlin, BDMI, who make this event possible, and we would also like to thank our venue hosts in Berlin: The Wye, BDMI, and The Factory, who will be hosting a BBQ on Tuesday night. And, last but not least, another big thank you to the Seedcamp Sponsors: Google, Microsoft BizSpark, Nokia, Barclays, Qualcomm Ventures and PayPal Developer.
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