As part of the ongoing series of contributed blogs from Seedcamp’s 20 finalists, we hear today from Steve Morley at Avenue7 – a fashion and style social network, created for girls between the ages of 12 and 17.
A week has passed since the Seedcamp phenomenon drew to a close for Avenue7.com. In its wake, a torrent of business cards & short-hand scribblings litter the office. With the second draft of the business plan fresh through the shredder, work has begun on condensing Europe’s collective web wisdom into a 4 page account of our business intentions.
The Seedcamp week itself consisted of 3 days of intense mentoring feedback, followed by a day of pitching, then finishing with a wrap-up on the Friday morning. The ripples have yet to subside with a stream of follow-up meetings with mentors taking place over past and coming weeks. Although “Pitches Thursday” was clearly the most pressured day, the intensity and shear quantity of information to digest in the first 3 days was the most exhausting. The most impressive aspect of the week for me was the panel of experts – the quality and experience across all web disciplines was a true European tour de force. A special mention should also be given to the bearded film crew techies who were constantly lurking and waiting to pounce on entrepreneurs separated from the networking cloud. We have been promised a “good angle” and so are very much looking forward to the final cut (and our invitation to the premier.)
Although the sign on the door said ‘European startups’, I think there was a much broader geographic spattering, with Maddy, of Content Syndicate in Dubai and Ed of, rentmineonline.com who is originally from the States (but now living in Amsterdam). I was also really impressed with how open the teams were with their plans; even those teams still at a very early stage, such as Wall Street Docs were happy to share ideas. For me this was one of the major factors in transforming the week from a teaching course style event into more of a community atmosphere – a concept which is close to the heart of Avenue7.
Seedcamp 1.0 was hosted at Imperial College London, who bizarrely assigned operating rooms at completely opposite ends of the campus, although did provide an unlimited supply of conference sandwiches and the infamous morning kick-start – “brownies for breakfast”. As a whole, Seedcamp was an eye-opener to the support network available to help us move things forward. Many friends following entrepreneurial ambitions have baulked our determination to stay in London, as they jump ship to San Francisco. The European network may not rival that of Silicone Valley yet, although events like Seedcamp and the Open-Coffee Club make huge steps in the right direction.