It has been an amazing couple of years starting up Seedcamp. We are excited by what lies ahead and want to announce some key Seedcamp dates in 2010 for start-ups, mentors and investors across Europe.
A Little Bit of Background
When we started Seedcamp 2007 we planned to address the growing need for micro-seed funding in early stage start-ups across Europe by holding a Seedcamp Week every year in London for 3 years and investing in a total of 15 companies in that period.
But what we discovered was that to do justice to the opportunity in our region we needed to create more of a network and go deeply into local markets. We will never recreate Silicon Valley – and nor should we try – instead we need to make a strength of our region’s cultural diversity and geographical distribution.
Mini Seedcamp’s role in our distributed model
We found that to tap into the talent in the time zones from London to Tel Aviv, we needed to have a different, more distributed model which aimed to bring start ups together in a sustainable distributed network with all the key elements of a healthy different strands of ecosystem: entrepreneurs, investors, great product, marketing and technology advisors, academia and corporates.
Core to this model are Mini Seedcamps, which we started as an experiment in 2008 in Paris, London, Berlin and Kiev and then expanded to a fully fledged program in 2009 with 7 Mini Seedcamps in Tel Aviv, Paris, Warsaw, London, Helsinborg, Ljubljana and Berlin.
Going to the next-level
We like to practice what we preach and like any lean start-up, we keep trying to evolve Seedcamp by incorporating feedback from teams, advisors and investors along the way and we hope to make the next generation of Seedcamp, starting in 2010 even better and give Mini Seedcamps an even more important role.
We are planning to hold 8 Mini Seedcamps in 2010 and expanding our geographical coverage (Spain is new) and doubling-down on the traditionally under-served regions of the Balkans and Eastern Europe, where we have seen such great start-ups like Erply, Codility, Zemanta, Ubervu and Brainient emerge since Seedcamp started.
We will potentially have other partners organizing events jointly. More news to come on that front!
Dates for 2010
So without further ado – here are next years’ Mini Seecamp dates:
>> Zagreb – 11th February
>> Prague – 2nd March
>> Barcelona – 23rd March
>> Paris – 15th April
>> Tel Aviv – 6th May
>> Copenhagen – 27th May
>> Berlin – 16th June
>> London – 20th July
Can only local teams apply to a Mini Seedcamp?
No, each Mini Seedcamp is open to anyone. In fact we encourage teams to apply from across the region. Last year we saw a Romanian team in Paris, an Israeli team in Sweden and an Estonian company in London. We are blessed with short flights and great low cost airlines in Europe, so take advantage and come along to which every event you want – in fact some teams successfully applied to more than one last year and learnt a lot along the way.
What happens if you are a top team at Mini Seedcamp?
The top teams from each Mini Seedcamp in 2010 will go directly into a final selection process in July of up to 40 teams for investment – in some rare cases we may invest in teams directly after a Mini Seedcamp.
At the end of the final selection process in July we will choose the top teams to invest in. Historically we have invested in 5-8 companies per year but from 2010 we will aim to invest in more.
What happens if you’re selected for an investment?
Following selection in July, the teams Seedcamp invests in will be able to benefit from an intensive three month support program, where we work closely with teams to develop their business and ideas. At the end of this period the teams take part in our annual Seedcamp Week.
Why are Mini Seedcamps valuable to teams and us?
Other than the awesome mentoring and validation teams get at the Mini Seedcamps, we’ve seen that 60% of teams who come through to Seedcamp Week came from a Mini Seedcamp and 50% of teams we invest in we met at a Mini Seedcamp. We’ve found that the feedback teams receive and the milestones that are established help to drive real team progression plus it really helps to get to know people better – the results speak for themselves.
Looking forward to next year
Each year the strength of the Seedcamp teams and their ideas continue to impress us and we look forward to seeing what next years’ talent will bring. We have increased the number of hubs across the region with a view to attracting great teams not only from Europe, but also Africa, the Middle East and Asia and the US to give them the opportunity to apply. Applications for each region will go live 4-6 weeks before each Mini Seedcamp.
More Seedcamp resources available
We’ve recently revamped our Resources page with our daily video blogs from previous Seedcamp Weeks, along with insightful and often entertaining panel sessions and masterclasses from some of the most prestigious entrepreneurs, VC’s, investors and developers in the community. We strongly encourage you to view and share these, as they provide good content as you’re thinking through your startup growth and also help you understand what being a part of Seedcamp means.
So, if you’re a web-tech start-up with a strong team, a great idea and the passion and drive needed to take it to the next level, then please join our Twitter, Facebook and blog to keep updated on when it’s all happening near you! And be sure to apply to the Mini Seedcamp timing that best fits you.