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From Little Seeds….

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Below is a recap of the last few months from Mark Sorsa-Leslie, one of the Seedcamp participants in September 2007. I think he captures the spirit of Seedcamp, which is to find great entrepreneurs. He is working on Reavia and also taking his experience and knowledge to further another good business.

Seedcamp was such a great experience for me. I think the chance to meet so many great people and get an education money cannot buy was brilliant. I learned some vital things about how to build the business, position and promote a service to a target market. There are some things that will stay with me, such as Martin Varsavsky saying “I never wanted to save. I just wanted to make money faster than I could spend it” or Scott Gallacher from BSkyB saying “Marketing is the thing you do when you cannot have a conversation.”

Most of all I realised that having a product that you like is not enough…it has to connect with other people immediately…and finding a way to connect is part luck, part design and part sheer determination – it is tough to make that connection. If you can’t get others excited about what you do, you need to do something different.

So what has been happening in the land of a thousand lakes for Team Reavia? Well, we have completed a couple of sales and are busy delivering for our new customers. The sales cycle has been a little longer than we hoped, but the customers are really happy with the product – so I guess thats what counts. I think that Seedcamp helped us (Wole and myself) to understand that we had slightly different ideas about how the business should develop…for now it seems that Wole was right…so I eat humble pie and keep smiling 🙂

However, there has been a change of role for me. Shortly after Seedcamp I got talking with the Chairman of HammerKit in Helsinki, Finland. We used HammerKit to build Reavia, and I guess I started using my Seedcamp education to paint a picture of what (IMHO) HammerKit could be doing. He was impressed enough to ask me to join them as Managing Director, so I moved in November to lead this small company of 5 people that specialise in fast web application creation! The technology is amazing and it lets you do things in hours and minutes…and you do not need to be a rock-star programmer to make it happen. Just click components together – pretty easy!

I have now set about positioning HammerKit to grow and that means sharing the potential of this business with some of our mentors and beginning to move out from Finland. I met with Reshma in London and got talking about the idea that HammerKit could help to build prototypes for potential Seedcampers…after all you need to have something to show and why should great ideas be killed for lack of a prototype? It sounds like something we could help with…

Also, we just built a really cool service for a client called Eyezer. Its a mobile-to-mobile content distribution network (mobcasting network) that automatically optimises the content and delivers it to any mobile phone…and I mean any mobile phone. It is YouTube meets Flickr for mobiles.

If any of you out there want to hook up and talk about what we are doing then just contact me at mark@hammerkit.com. It was great to hear from Reshma that so many teams are really powering ahead.

Thanks again to Seedcamp…it has been a life-changing experience…and together with becoming a dad for the first time on 14th December (baby boy, Sakari, 3.7kg and 56cm) 2007 was the best year of my life!

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