This is an outdated article from 2014.
As the summer months are fast approaching it’s high time we update you on our plans for Seedcamp Week London taking place 8th – 11th September. Seedcamp Week London is an action packed 4 days were 20 of Europe’s best startups get to meet over 300 of our top tier, ace mentors.
As of today applications no longer open. So, if you’re a startup looking to disrupt the status quo and have bags full of talent, energy and determination, topped up with a huge vision, be sure to apply. Since 2007 we’ve invested in over 120 fantastic startups from across the globe and we’re passionate to hear more about what you’re building and hopefully work together on scaling and growing your startup.
What Is Seedcamp Week Really Like?
Attending a Seedcamp Week is an unique experience: nowhere else will you find the best minds coming together to help you accelerate your business. Here is what some of our founders and past finalist have to say about the whirlwind week:
“Seedcamp Week was a brilliant opportunity to drive the rough explanation of peer to peer money transfer into a compelling pitch of why the world will be different after TransferWise. Inspired by the other founders and speakers, it gave us the needed boost to double down on the early disruptive idea and scale it into the business that has turned over £1 billion today.”
“Seedcamp Week was a turning point in our lives both professionally and personally. Seedcamp gave us our very first funding to pursue BRANDiD when no one else cared. Seedcamp Week taught us how to pitch and build a product that people wanted. On the last day of Seedcamp Week we found our first angel, which led to our first round of funding. A year later, we’re pushing over $100k in sales and growing by 30% every quarter. If it weren’t for that very first chain of events, BRANDiD would not exist today. We owe everything to them.”
“It was a pawsome week where we met with great mentors, were inspired by other start-up companies and made valuable connections with potential investors. The Seedcamp family is absolutely wonderful and is such a big help to any start-up.”
“Wow I’ve made so many friends at the Seedcamp Week London. The best friends ever, they are smart, passionate and inspiring. Thanks to all of them we are now developing our product in the epicenter of the skateboarding world: LA, California. Take your chance, apply to Seedcamp!’
“We are extremely thankful for the chance to participate in the event and definitely recommend this to all start-ups looking for either top of the line feedback or some funding. Full experience here”
What does Seedcamp Week entail? Seedcamp Week consists of 4 days, with each day focusing on a key topic: Founders, Product and Investors. We host 4 Seedcamp Weeks a year and use the event as our platform to decide who will be the next teams to join the Seedcamp Family. This is the last one taking place in London for 2014, so don’t miss your opportunity and apply now.
What does it mean to be part of the Seedcamp Family? For the teams who end up joining the Seedcamp Family, Seedcamp Week is just a starting point. From there on you can expect to enrol in our Seedcamp Academy Programme, designed to help founders reach product market fit and scale faster and smarter. You’ll also have the opportunity to put your startup on the map in the US by participating in our US road trip, get 3 months free office space at the awesome Campus building in the heart of Silicon Roundabout and benefit from our Founders Sponsor Pack worth over £200K. And of course, it means being a part of the Seedcamp Family, joining a 120+ founders strong peer group who share their knowledge and expertise with each other.
Last week we invited 22 teams from 14 countries to join us for our first Seedcamp Week Berlin of the year. There was a mix of familiar and new faces in this group of 22 – we had already met eight of the selected teams through local office hours or Mini Seedcamp Events across Europe, while others we met for the first time last week following their application directly to Seedcamp Week Berlin.
We started the week off at Microsoft Ventures Berlin office for our version of the pre-event huddle, SeedPrep. This is when we meet the teams and help them gear up for the days ahead. Later in the week we then hopped slightly further down the stunning Unter den Linden street to BDMI’s office for the biggest event of the week, mentoring day.
The 22 teams did us proud the morning of mentoring day, delivering sharp, clear and energetic 3-minute presentations. After a lot of networking over lunch, the mentors formed groups and got down to business sharing their advice, network and knowledge with the founders. With over 100 of our fantastic mentors coming together in one room, this is a lot of brainpower for any startup to tap into. Unsurprisingly the startups looked exhausted by the end of the day, but the fun wasn’t over yet! Luckily the rain stopped and we headed over to The Factory for a perfect finish to the day: a BBQ. Over burgers and beers the teams met more of the German start-up scene and celebrated a week of hard work done.
Take a look at the short recap and highlights of the day captured beautifully by our very own film director, Carlos Espinal, using Seedcamp Family team Stupeflix‘s great tool Replay.
After three days of action in Berlin, we’re very proud to welcome the following 7 teams who have joined the Seedcamp Family:
Seedcamp is truly pan European, having already invested in companies from 36 different countries. And we now welcome our first startups from Ireland and Macedonia to the family. Make sure to check out all seven startups and awesome products and services they’re building.
For the founders out there who want their startup to be the next to join the Seedcamp family, applications will open shortly to Seedcamp Week London taking place the second week of September. If you want to be notified once applications are open, make sure to leave us your details here. You can also apply directly via f6s or AngelList for our upcoming Mini Seedcamps in Rome and Hvar.
This is a guest post by Ken Valledy, founder of Tech2Brand (t2b), and Seedcamp mentor. After 10+ years at Anheuser-Busch Inbev working in various marketing roles including UK Brand Director for Beck’s Beer and Consumer Digital Director for Western Europe, Ken broke off to start his own gig in January 2014 with t2b. His business merges his passion of brand marketing and digital innovation. Now, having the perspective of both sides of the table – big brand and entrepreneur – Ken shares some of his insights on working with big brands.
A common question I am asked from start-ups is on the subject of how long things seem to take, from the initial meeting with a Marketing Manager, to actually getting something into the marketplace? Everything seems to take so long?
So what is getting in the way? Well, to be honest, ‘process’ is getting in the way and unfortunately, in most cases this process has to be adhered to. Please find below the 5 ‘P’s that slow down the brand decision making process in big businesses:
Procrastination – Ok, let’s start at the beginning. Even if your meeting went well and the Marketing Manager was very impressed, he or she can still change their mind (this is allowed). They can still have second thoughts and ultimately can become undecided. To add ‘salt to the wound’ other urgent projects can also come into play that relegate your product into the ‘nice to have’ (rarely re-opened) box. So even if the first meeting went well, a ‘change of mind or a change of circumstances’ can mean that your product will ‘fall’ at this first hurdle.
Politics – Even if the Marketing Manager is very keen to work with your product, he/she still has to align their decision with certain colleagues (ie. the Marketing Director, the Innovations Director). There is always someone you need to influence and as a result there is always someone who can propose a good reason why this project shouldn’t go ahead at the moment. The P of Politics is the biggest ‘time sapper’ of them all. It really depends on how determined the respective Marketing Manager is to push your product through the system.
Procurement – now your idea is approved, your costings will now come under scrutiny from the Procurement team. Their role is to ensure that the company gets the best deal from their suppliers. They are not a charity and they are usually a long way from the world of ‘start-ups’ and small businesses. Depending on the size of your budget, dealings with procurement can be anything from a couple of emails to numerous emails and phone calls lasting many weeks!
Purchase Orders – assuming your company is already on the brand’s supplier system (if not add 1-2 weeks for this to happen) a Purchase Order has to be raised before you can technically begin work. This isn’t the most exciting task and is usually left to the end of the day / week – again, this puts time into the process.
Payment Terms – the final ‘P’ to be aware of is ‘Payment Terms’. This is the time the brand will take to pay you from receipt of your invoice. This can go from anything from 20 days to 120 days – this not only puts time on you getting paid but can obviously have a serious impact on your cash flow position – it is worth discussing this with your Marketing Manager sooner rather than later.
So there you have it. This isn’t a post to scare you from working with big brands, it is just a ‘heads up’ to the world of ‘big business’. Most proposals fail at the first ‘P’ (Procrastination) and even if you get past this there is still a few more hurdles to get over before you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Also, please note that ‘Marketing Managers’ get frustrated by the process as well, but they know that it has to be followed for anything to happen. Hopefully, the end result will have been worth the wait, but to get there requires lots of PATIENCE (sorry another P) on both sides!
We’re nearly halfway through 2014 with many miles and events covered so far. We’ve weathered winter and the better part of spring with events in 7 cities for Mini Seedcamps and Office Hours, meeting with over 80 new startups, making our first of two trips to the US to touch base with our US network and investing in 8 new teams following Seedcamp Week London in January.
But spring is not over yet, and the season would not be complete without hopping on the short flight across to one of Germany’s biggest startup hubs: Berlin. It’s time for our first Seedcamp Week Berlin of 2014. This week, 22 selected startups will meet with over 100 of our top tier mentors. This is also where we decide who the next members are to join the Seedcamp Family.
We kicked off the week on Monday with SeedPrep, hosted at Microsoft Ventures, a home base not for only the Seedcamp team while we’re in Berlin, but also any of the startups in the Seedcamp Family that are based in the capital. With views of the Berlin TV tower and the Berliner Dom from Microsoft Venture’s co-working space as a backdrop, we spent the SeedPrep afternoon with these 22 teams readying them for the epic mentoring day that lay ahead.
And today is the day. We look forward to welcoming many of our longstanding top tier mentors for Seedcamp Week Berlin. The startups will meet with over 100 mentors – product gurus, investors, serial entrepreneurs and marketing experts. Flying in from all over Europe, these mentors will join forces for the benefit of propelling some of Europe’s top entrepreneurial talent. The benefits of meeting this incredible network of movers and shakers will long outlast the single day of discussions by starting the foundations of fruitful, longstanding relationships. It’s at events like this that the startups meet future mentors of their team, advisors to the company, potential investors and users. It’s a thrilling experience to bring these parties together and watch the results.
We’re proud to have selected the following startups, originating from 14 different countries and disrupting many different sectors. The quality of applications we received was second to none so check out these fantastic finalists:
A huge thank you goes out to Microsoft Ventures Berlin for hosting us during the first half of this week and our investors BDMI for supporting and hosting the key mentoring day. We’re also grateful to The Factory for inviting us to finish the weeks event with a BBQ at their place and for Facebook for picking up the burgers.
Make sure to stay tuned on (hastag) Seedcamp for the latest updates.
After 2+ weeks on the road, we’re now back from the Spring 2014 Seedcamp US road trip. Souvenirs for the Seedcamp founders that joined on the journey include stacks of business cards, a smattering of stickers for their laptops, fresh perspective and insights into the US market, new friends and advisors, and for many, a well-fed fundraising pipeline.
For those following our travels, we shared our line up for the trip and shared moments live from the road on our tumblr blog. Now that the trip is behind us, here’s a recap of the highlights.
We kicked off in our usual first port of call – New York. When we first started the US trip in 2011, NYC was one of the quieter legs of the trip compared to Boston, SF and the Valley. But it’s no secret that New York is now a startup and capital hub in the US. The strength of this burgeoning ecosystem was clear to us as we hustled the grid for three days, meeting with various facets of the community with a focus on learning and connecting to fuel funding and growth.
Next up was Boston, where we are continually impressed with the deep expertise this city produces. Heading to California over the weekend, we split the second week of the trip between SF and the Valley. The momentum towards SF we felt last fall was even stronger now. It’s an exciting place to be with so many startups, deeply knowledgeable and seasoned experts and investors.
Taking the approach that fundraising can be strikingly similar to dating, we met with a diverse group of investors in each city on the trip. In NY we jumped right in, meeting with 5 venture firms including iA Ventures, Bowery Capital, RRE Ventures, Greycroft and even skateboarding with the team at Valar for our founders to get a sense of the funding scene in NY and just how important the right investment relationship fit is. We rounded out the east coast in Boston with visits with Spark, Flybridge and NextView Ventures, and had a masterclass with Michael J Skok from North Bridge Ventures. Heading west, our teams met with some of the top investors out there – a16z, Greylock, OATV, Index, Felicis, 500 Startups (with more skateboarding!) and more – to get to know each and get an understanding of their approach and ideas on investing.
With each having differing interests and takes on the world, each investor’s feedback on the startups’ pitches and the discussions on the funding ecosystem in each of their geographies in particular and the US in general made for a steep learning curve for our founders on fundraising in the US. It also was an opportunity to truly jumpstart the fundraising mindset for them and get that “first date” out of the way.
In between investor meetings, we stopped by a number of startups who are tackling the growth phase and offered to share their experiences with our teams. Jeremy Le Van and Pierre Valade shared their experiences as European founders building Sunrise in New York, Jason Jacobs of Runkeeper talked through his journey of staying focused and building with your customers at heart and Clement Gires led our teams through the Local Motion story. We also visited some players in the later stages, including Square, MongoDB and Return Path.
We arranged for Angel meetups on each coast to get to know the local angel investor scene better. Pitching in front of a room full of angels and fielding their questions was a great way to connect with the local angel groups. We also held mentor networking events in each of the 4 destinations to catch up with our 100s of friends across the US. More pitching, with a healthy dose of learning and connecting from the local experts, movers and shakers, and rockstar founders.
A Seedcamp US trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the platform and partners. It’s learning and connecting with a hefty helping of inspiration at these visits. A stroll through the Facebook‘s Disneyland-esque street, enjoying the sunshine on Twitter HQ‘s roof garden, watching cat videos on YouTube at YouTube, or a bike ride through the Googleplex are icing on top of cake of these visits. Spending time with Victoria Ransom to hear her story of building Wildfire and selling it to Google, learning the practices Twitter uses internally to make rockstar product, discovering the best ways to leverage YouTube as a startup, and hanging out with Robert Scoble mano-a-startup made these visits highly valuable.
Throughout the ten days of our trip, we made time for six masterclasses by world class gurus. Topics focused on different areas in a company’s life cycle, and formats ranged from socratic method style with Michael J Skok of North Bridge as he shared pointers and pitfalls in building a product into a company, to a hike through the hills of Palo Alto with Konstantin Guericke, co-founder of LinkedIn where insights into building a community were shared along the trail.
While in past trips the burger tally was in the double digits, this time around the food theme was south of the border. We’re not complaining! But not to worry, we did have our share of burgers and BBQ.
All in all, this US trip was an experience rich in learning, mindset shifts and connections. A big thank you to all those along the way who made our trip possible, and for taking the time to share your stories, insights and tricks with our teams.
Our goal each time we hit the road for the US is to help our founders build bridges to the US and to help them garner the necessary tools to make the process as fruitful as possible. And we’ll be back at it again in the fall.
The time has come for us to pack our bags once again and head to the vibrant, startup-rich city of Berlin. With its hipster cafes, bolstering co-working spaces like The Factory and Microsoft Ventures amongst many others, and a myriad of brilliant software engineers, it’s no surprise that this great city attracts some of Europe’s best Entrepreneurial talent.
We’re looking forward to meeting 20 of Europe’s hottest startups from 12-14 May. The startups can expect to meet and spend quality time being mentored by the likes of:
In addition to extensive mentoring, this is one of only four events where we select the next members to join the Seedcamp Family. We are already 100+ strong and our teams have gone on to raise over $170m follow-on funding. The number of our startups with exits is now in the double digits, including the recent acquisition of uberVU by HootSuite.
If you’re a founder with global ambitions and want to be a part of this epic journey, make sure to submit your application to Seedcamp Week Berlin here by 20th April.
What does it mean to be part of the Seedcamp Family?
We are Europe’s most active seed investor and, having worked with 118 startups from 36 countries since 2007, we know the hurdles that founders face well. We’ve designed a program that allows you to focus on building your business whilst providing you with the necessary support, introductions, advice and mentorship as and when needed. This program is called Seedcamp Academy and further details and blogs about our speakers can be found here.
In addition to Seedcamp Academy, our teams benefit from office space at the heartbeat of Silicon Roundabout, the rich resources and connections that being a resident of Campus provide, and a Founder’s Pack worth $150k with offers from Paypal, AWS, Google, and many others.
Bridges to the US
As part of the Seedcamp Academy program, twice a year we set sail for the US to meet over 350+ of our contacts in New York, Boston, San Francisco and The Valley. Building bridges to the US is crucial for global scaling and as a result of these trips, over 1/3 of our startups have raised follow-on investment from US-based investors. Read all about our most recent trip here via tumblr.
What do the startups say?
Don’t just take our word for it, check out a couple of blogs that teams have written – both those who were selected to join the Seedcamp Family as well as those who weren’t – following their experience at Seedcamp Week.
How to Apply?
Make sure to complete your application here before the 20th April 2014.
We hope to see you in Berlin!
The Best in Technology and the Best in Business come together!
As a founder, one of the hardest things to do is to cover the seemingly endless list of strategic and tactical to do items. Sometimes it’s not knowing what you don’t know and struggling with figuring out who to ask or where to look. And other times it is about executing your path but just not being able to do it with the limited time and money most startups have. Recognising this, we at Seedcamp help our companies tackle both needs. One way we help is through our Seedcamp Academy and recently that program just got an injection of additional talent.
Seedcamp is launching a program in conjunction with The London Business School called The LBS Seedcamp Academy Consulting Program (LSCAP). London Business School is one of the leading business schools of the world, and with LSCAP, MBA and Masters in Finance students will be able to apply their learnings by working alongside founders in overcoming key strategic and tactical challenges. Because learning through doing is one of the quickest and most memorable ways to learn a new concept or skill, LSCAP will provide the LBS students a means to solidify what they learn in the classroom by applying it in real life. Students have the ability to also get class credit for the work done through this program.
The LSCAP program will focus on leveraging LBS students’ deep knowledge of marketing and finance and applying it to the challenges early stage startups face on a day to day basis. Participating LBS student Owen Woolcock has this to say about being one of the first students to partake in this program: “The chance to work with some of Seedcamp’s batch of entrepreneurs is a really great opportunity for MBAs like myself. London Business School is historically very strong in banking, finance and consulting: but so much is happening in London, and in particular Tech City; it can be easy to focus on the traditional corporate world and forget the enormous disruption taking place across so many different industries in the startup landscape. Hopefully we can bring some insight and relevant experience to the entrepreneurs, and allow their great ideas to reach as large an audience as possible.”
We all know that building hugely successful tech businesses requires the best of technology and business minds coming together. The Seedcamp-LBS partnership does just that, brings the best of technology from Seedcamp founders with some of the best business minds at LBS. In the coming months we hope to share some of the great work these talented entrepreneurs and managers will be doing together.
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