This is a Guest post by John Ndege who has joined us as our first EIR (Expert In Residence) for the past few months. We have started experimenting with bringing in some of our mentors and friends on a part time basis to work extensively with our companies, and spread knowledge within the network. John has built a great relationship to many of our startups, and we are keen to further work on this program within Seedcamp.
What I’ve been up to
For the last 7 weeks I’ve been working at Seedcamp as an Expert in Residence. I came with the expectation that I would “learn a lot, meet great people and have fun”. The same hopes everyone has when they start working in a new team. I was also expecting to contribute my knowledge and experience back into the startup ecosystem that had given me so much. With just over a month at Seedcamp and another four weeks to go, I have to redefine what it means to “learn a lot, meet great people and have fun” since my experience at Seedcamp has been beyond fantastic.
So what is an Expert in Residence?
Simply put it is a person who sits in Seedcamp HQ advising portfolio companies in an area in which they are an expert. For me that is marketing, product development and growth based on my four years working at Facebook. Everyday I critique and suggest new ideas that will help Seedcamp companies achieve their goals. I introduce startups to my contacts and help them navigate large companies in the hope that they can strike a partnership. I meet founders everywhere, either in person at the Seedcamp offices or online on Vox.io. I am a sounding board for entreprenuers as they build their businesses. What starts off as informal advice can also lead to a formal position on an advisory board with equity in the company. The role is flexible, giving you the opportunity to work as you see fit. The only steadfast requirement is doing your best to make the people around you successful.
Give and take
What I found out working at Seedcamp is that the more you teach and advise the more you learn yourself. Just by sitting in the Seedcamp offices you become familiar with deal terms and the investor climate. You will discover what makes someone likely to invest and what turns people off. I personally spent hours in pitch training to discover what it takes to get it just right. As someone looking to pursue my own venture in the near future this experience has been invaluable. Through Seedcamp’s events I’ve also had a chance to meet many of Europe’s most well regarded venture capitalists and entrepreneurs giving me a chance to improve my own network and learn from their experiences.
So what’s next? Seedcamp opens a lot of doors. An Expert in Residence could go on to start a company, work in venture capital, do angel investing or join an established technology company. Whatever you choose you will find the amazing Seedcamp team ready to help. The ecosystem is truly your oyster.
If you are already a Seedcamp mentor, please get in touch with us about the opportunities of working with us as an EIR.