Carlos leading a workshop for the startups at blueprint

We recently announced an exciting partnership with Hong Kong’s new blueprint accelerator and workspace. The space will provide Asia’s b2b startups with a network of mentors, investors and partners, and additionally provide an excellent landing pad for Seedcamp startups looking to enter the Asian market.

Seedcamp Partner Carlos visited the new space in January to help officially open blueprint’s doors to their first accelerator cohort as well as conduct workshops for the startups. The 11 promising startups were also able to pitch to him and receive feedback.

It proved a great opportunity to see Asia’s burgeoning startup ecosystem first-hand – so having returned to the UK, Carlos summarises in his podcast; why he thinks Honk Kong is the gateway to Asia, his thoughts on the local investment scene, and why he thinks Hong Kong makes a great place for startups to grow their business.

To find out more about Seedcamp’s partnership with blueprint, read our announcement here.

Richard Reed

Here you’ll see an overview of everything you need to know to prepare for Seedcamp Week London. If you have any additional questions please let us know at group email address that you’ll be invited to. Make sure to go through this thoroughly as it covers every aspect of the event and how to get the most out of it.


Seedcamp Week is extremely busy – events will run from the 2nd to 5th February and participating teams must attend all events:


Event announcements

Please keep your participation in Seedcamp Week quiet until 11am on Tuesday 3rd February.

We’ll publish a blog post in the morning of the 3rd announcing all participating teams. Please widely distribute this post to gain the best possible exposure for the event and your company – and help the others.

We’ll contact you when it’s live so you can be first to announce the good news!

Your team

Each team is welcome to bring a maximum of two members to Seedcamp Week. The person limit is due to the tight venue space, and in our experience mentoring is optimal with two people from each startup. Feel free to rotate one person, but make sure that at least one of you is there for all four days.

Investment decisions, joining the Seedcamp Family

Investment decisions will be made during the week – not just in the investment interviews, but also based on feedback from our team, mentors, and investors.

Don’t worry too much about it – just be your natural self and show us how great your company is and how passionate you are about it. You will have an amazing week regardless of the outcome.

After Seedcamp Week (Onboarding)

Winners of Seedcamp Week London will be required to join us at HQ (Campus London) the week commencing 16th February to participate in Onboarding. Please check you have no important commitments during the week, as you’ll need to free up this week for Onboarding if you win.

Prep Call

We will host a Seedcamp Week preparation call during the noon/afternoon of Thursday 29th January for all the selected teams. During the call we’ll walk you through the complete schedule and all materials you should prepare. Don’t worry, we will answer all of your questions. We’ll send you the meeting invite shortly.

Read about the experiences from past teams

To ensure you fully benefit from the day we’ve listed a few more blogs from past Seedcamp Week startups, below:

What to cover in your presentation

Presenting your company can be a stressful experience if you’re not prepared. We will be practicing and reviewing your presentations during Seedprep on Thursday 29th, but in the mean time we suggest you:

You have strictly 3 minutes to present your company. This is your chance to introduce yourselves to the mentors and let them know why you are there. DON’T use it like an investment pitch (i.e. ask for money). A beneficial tactic can be to concisely summarise what your company does in the very beginning of your presentation. We also recommend including:

  1. What you’ve built and what problem it solves
  2. Who you are and why you can build this business better than anyone else (Read our blog article on the perfect Team slide)
  3. Who your competitors are
  4. How you get your product to the masses
  5. How you’ll eventually make some money

A great question you may want to answer to set the tone for your mentoring session: What do you want to get out of the day? Keep the number of slides manageable and practice, practice, practice!

We will give you feedback during the training session, but don’t rely on this session alone to work on your presentation. Most of our venues have Internet available to demo your product, however, experience shows that it is prudent to have a slide backup, as there may be connectivity issues. Same goes for using sound and video during the presentation – usually a personal presentation is much more effective. Presentations will be in alphabetical order, and of course in English. If you’d like further guidance this is a good demo to watch – it’s not Seedcamp’s so ignore the 90 sec rule but it might give you inspiration.

Mentoring Campus

Getting the most out of mentoring

Your startup team will participate in mentoring sessions on Wednesday and Thursday with experienced entrepreneurs, investors, product experts and developers. You should aim to get as much out of these sessions as possible. Each mentoring session lasts approximately 45 minutes and will contain your team and approximately 3-4 mentors.

Mentoring sessions are meant to give you feedback in an open and honest context, so do not pitch! Research the names and background of mentors you’ll be meeting (you will receive a list shortly) and write down potential questions you want answered. Mentors can get off topic, so asking direct questions and setting topics for individual sessions works best. Teams tend to get most out of the mentoring sessions when they take control of the discussion.

We have grouped mentors so that experts from certain fields are together, so find out what a good topic for the session could be and focus on those issues. For example, you may have a grouping of angels and VCs who you could ask for feedback on your fundraising strategy. With marketing experts, consider discussing your go-to-market strategy. In addition to open sessions where mentors choose their desired teams, breaks and the evening event provide opportunities for deeper interaction. Make sure you leverage every opportunity to interact with mentors. Form a concise description of your business and consider conveying your goals for the day during your presentation.

Take notes & follow up

Remembering the details of an initial conversation can make a huge difference when reconnecting with mentors in the future. Always exchange business cards and be sure to take notes. Some teams choose to have one member especially accountable for taking detailed notes while the other member leads the discussion. It may also be valuable to recap each discussion with your team member after the session.

Post-event, if you connected with a mentor be sure to follow up! This is the key to forming mentor relationships. Make sure you connect personally with each mentor you met – it’s easy to drop an email saying how much you enjoyed the session; this keeps the door open for future meetings and queries. Mentors are interested in what you do, so think about giving periodic updates. Mentors may also offer to make introductions they promised during the sessions – reminding them of this could be the best way to get your feet in the door. An easy yet under-utilised tactic is to publicly thank mentors for their time on Twitter.

Business Cards

You will meet a lot of new people so ensure you have a stack of business cards available; Moo is a local company that offers great quality business cards.


Finalise your product, prototype, presentation, and get ready for Seedcamp Week London!

Since August we’ve brought on four new team members to help support our startups and widen our bandwidth. As we march on into 2015 we grow again, bringing two more super talented recruits into the Seedcamp family!

Miguel is our new Tech Lead. He’s going to be working on maintaining and improving all the things you don’t see – the servers, the CMS, the application platform, and other tech-related things that we probably don’t understand.

Ioana has actually been with us since last September, having initially joined as an intern. She’s been doing a super job and stepped up to become our new Office & Events Manager in November! As well as looking after our team and startups in the office, she’ll be coordinating all Seedcamp events throughout the year.

We asked some questions to help you get to know them…


Ioana Craescu, Office Manager

Introduce yourself in a 30-word elevator pitch

My background is quite mixed: visual communications, journalism and event management. I use them all in what I do. I normally expect things to turn out well, because hard work always pays off.

What are you most looking forward to in your role at Seedcamp?

I am delighted to accept the challenge of nurturing the high quality level of the Seedcamp experience, reflected in the events we run to connect top founders, mentors and investors and in the success stories of our teams.

When not working, what are you most likely to be doing?

Browsing for things to decorate my house, listening to jazz and cycling.

Who was your childhood hero?

Zoro (roll the “r”) – I used to have loads of wooden swords and capes.

What’s your specialist subject outside of work?

Graphic design and travel destinations.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a startup?

Test, try and chose, but never release all the features of your product at once – too much won’t necessarily impress, but confuse.

Miguel Pinho, Tech Lead

Introduce yourself in a 30-word elevator pitch

I’m a computer engineer and am passionate about technology & entrepreneurship. I’ve worked with various types of entities and have launched two startup projects!

What are you most looking forward to in your role at Seedcamp?

I am really excited to learn a lot from the team, the startup and mentors as well as helping our startups to achieve their goals faster.

When not working, what are you most likely to be doing?

I might be exploring new locations or enjoying the sunshine whenever possible. Otherwise I’ll probably be reading up on something tech/startup related.

Who was your childhood hero?

Tintin – who’s life was a constant adventure.

What’s your specialist subject outside of work?

Languages – I speak a few and love to discover ones and the attached cultures.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a startup?

“Cash is King” – know how much money have, how quickly you’re spending it and for how long you can keep going.

Meet Greet Feb 2015

We recently had the pleasure of hosting our second Meet & Greet event at Campus London this January. It was great to see so many entrepreneurs keen to learn more about Seedcamp and the many ways we can bring value to startups that choose to apply.

Seedcamp’s own Carlos Espinal (Partner), Tom Wilson (Investment Manager), Dave Haynes (Business Development), and Sia Houchangnia (Portfolio Analyst) were joined by two Seedcamp startups; eMoov‘s COO, Taylor Wescoatt and Now Native‘s co-founder & CEO James Routledge. Together they answered a range of questions fielded from the audience; from what we look for when investing in startups, to more general startup advice. For those who couldn’t make it, we’ve listed some of them below.

Q1. How important is a startup’s team when considering an investment?

A. Very. We spend a lot of time with the teams during Seedcamp Week figuring out how well they understand their market, their users, their competition, and how they went about finding the people they hire. But while all these things matter, the most important thing ultimately, is having the right team in place to execute your ideas. Having a great team is going to greatly improve your chances of investment.

Q2. What’s the most important attribute you look for in a founding team?

A. There are actually three key attributes we look for. Firstly, we’re looking for positive and proactive people; you’re going to get knocked down a lot, so you need to have the attitude that pushes you to pick yourself up time and time again. Secondly, we’re looking for execution-orientated people – people who are more focused on the details of making their idea a reality than just the idea itself. Third, we’re looking for people who are good at building relationships; we put a lot of effort into making introductions within our network, so you’ll need to be able to capitalise on that. We discussed this in detail during our recent reddit AMA.

Q3. How do you know when your startup is ready for Seedcamp?

A. Being exposed to Seedcamp is a big boost – when you join Seedcamp, people’s expectations of you go up a lot. If you’re the right sort of person and your startup is ready to capitalise on that, then that’s great. If not, then you end up having a lot of pressure and expectation that you’re going to struggle fulfilling. It’s difficult to say, “If you don’t meet criteria X then you’re too early.” but if you feel that having a rocket-booster strapped to your back is something you’re going to have trouble coping with, then you’re probably too early.

Q4. What’s the least- and most-developed team or product you’ve invested in?

A. We recently invested in a startup that hadn’t yet figured out what its product was, because the founder was an experienced entrepreneur who had already founded a successful business. So that was down to the individual. We also recently invested in a startup that was generating over a million a year in revenue; for them we provided a source of the best innovation from across all our other startups, and provided the expertise to help them scale their business. To be involved, for us, was a no-brainer. Our investments span a wide range of startups, each at different stages of their development.

Q5. How far along are startups who get invited to Seedcamp Week, typically? Would you discourage very early-stage startups from applying?

A. It varies a lot depending on the average level of all the applications we receive. For example, if the majority of applicants don’t have a prototype but you do, then you’ll likely have a higher chance of being invited. But if the majority of applicants have a prototype then it’s going to be more of a level playing field. Our decision will be based on the unique circumstances and conditions of your company, so we wouldn’t discourage anyone from applying if they feel they’re going to benefit from being part of Seedcamp.

Q6. Have you ever invested in someone who’s still working in a full-time job?

A. We have invested in some teams who are a mix of part-timers; we have founders who have families, who haven’t even graduated yet… we have a broad spectrum. But our follow-on investors want to see full-time commitment, and we want see you get the most out of Seedcamp; so if you’re not regularly available it will be difficult to make the most of our Academy and our network. We encourage founders to become full-timers as quickly as possible after joining Seedcamp.

Q7. If a startup applies without a long-term monetisation strategy, is it a disadvantage?

A.  Ultimately, if you want to be a part of Seedcamp you have to want to build a business; and key to building a business is generating revenue. We don’t expect an exact plan in place for making money, but what is important is to see how you think about the ways your business can generate revenue. So demonstrating long-term monetisation potential of your product is essential.

Q8. Do you favour B2B or B2C startups?

A. 63% of our investments so far have been in B2B, but we don’t actively favour one over the other. You can take a look at our infographic for a broader view of our investments.

Q9. Do you need to be a UK-registered company to receive investment?

A. Even though we invest in companies from all around Europe, we tend to help them relocate to locations that follow-on investors will appreciate – that’s usually the US or the UK. Unless there’s a specific circumstance why a startup should stay in a specific location (receiving a grant on condition of staying in that location, for example), we tend to recommend relocating to one of those countries.

Q10. Can Seedcamp assist in helping startups secure an Entrepreneur’s Visa for an employee?

A. Yes, we’ve done it before. Essentially, we consider whether we want to invest in your team, and if we do and one of you requires the visa then we take that into consideration.

Q11. If you’re building a consumer-facing product, do you need to be based in the US to have the best chance of raising investment?

A. One of the benefits of being part of Seedcamp, compared to other organisations, is that we visit the US twice a year to meet the country’s top investors and tech companies. The US Trip lasts two weeks and each visit we bring a dozen of our startups along to pitch their business and join feedback sessions. It’s one of the ways we level the playing field for our European-based startups; if you join Seedcamp, it doesn’t matter where you’re based – you’re going to have access to the top European and US investors. We discussed this in more detail during our recent reddit AMA; take a look.

Q12. You have a later-stage seed fund now. How does a startup apply for that?

A. The fund allows us to follow-on in the companies we invest in at pre-seed stage. It also allows us to join VCs who want us to be part of a round they’re funding; one example that you may have seen announced recently was Property Partner, which is looking to democratise property investing. The easiest way to get our attention is to approach us through our network, whether that’s a Seedcamp mentor, alumni etc. Contacting us through those channels gives you more credibility than approaching us cold.

If you run a disruptive startup with global ambitions, we want to hear from you! Take the first step towards joining Seedcamp by applying to one of our events.

Seedcamp AMA

Update: We had great fun doing the AMA and are super thrilled with the response. You can view it here.

We’ve invested in and have been supporting over 140 startups across Europe since 2007; providing Capital, Learning, and access to our Network of mentors and investors. So we know a few things about what it takes for a startup to grow into a successful business.

If you’re thinking about applying to Seedcamp or have any other questions you’d like to ask us about startups in general, join in our reddit AMA on Thursday 8th Jan at 1-3pmCarlos, Dave and Tom will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

What’s a Reddit AMA?

AMA stands for ‘Ask Me Anything’. Think of it as an open forum where you can ask us… anything!

We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about…

Remember, if you’re considering applying to Seedcamp Week London, this is your last chance to ask us your questions before applications close on Sunday!

How to participate

  1. Sign up to Reddit
  2. Head over to our AMA
  3. Submit a question

It’s as easy as that! We hope to see you there.