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Inside Seedcamp as the Summer Intern

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This is a guest post by Ahmad Bakhiet, who spent the summer with us as an intern. Besides helping out on various daily tasks, Ahmad was instrumental in preparing for Seedcamp Week 2012, and assisted both the Seedcamp team and our startups relentlessly.

Read about his experience below and follow him @ahmadbakhiet.

Yes, we’re hiring for interns to join us in fall and winter. 

Since joining the Seedcamp team, a lot of people have asked me, “What it’s like ‘inside’”. So, here are some of my thoughts:

Applying

Working at Europe’s leading seed-stage investment and mentoring program is not for the faint hearted. If you’re shortlisted from the hundreds of applications, you’ll be interviewed by each member of the team; it’s a thorough selection process, but totally worth it, and serves as an indication of the importance the team places on the people they trust and work with.

A Superstar Team

I’ve had the opportunity to work with several exceptional performing teams, but never one that consistently achieves so much, with so few people. For instance, unlike the standard accelerator model of one or two intakes per year at a fixed location, the Seedcamp team make the effort to set up events and seek out and invest in the best startups by traveling across Europe and beyond – every month. When not doing the investment events, they’re holding the legendary Seedcamp Week, weekend hackathons known as Seedhacks, or going on their annual four-week tour of the US with Seedcamp startups. This is all achieved by a permanent team of…four.

To be part of such an ambitious and fast paced team is nothing less than inspiring.

What you’ll learn

You’re thrown in the deep end from day 1, and involved in everything from selecting potential portfolio companies to watching them grow into global businesses. You’ll learn about how funding works, what it takes to secure it and how to deal with the legal aspects.

Critically, you will get a first hand perspective on the selection process. I was fortunate enough to see the applications and provide my judgement to help the team decide on who to invite for our next Seedcamp event. You’ll get insider information on what’s new in tech and the trend of new startups, as well as what works and what doesn’t in venture investment applications.

You’ll be involved in the onboarding of new companies and witness live training of startups being coached on delivering the perfect pitch. Listening to Carlos Espinal drill the startups at the end of their presentations is like a mini-MBA.

Being based at Google Campus means you’re surrounded by several of our portfolio companies, so you’ll get to see how some of Europe’s best startups grow and reach major milestones everyday. In the last month alone I have seen; four new companies joining Seedcamp, TraitPerception being rated as one of ‘East London’s 20 hottest tech startups’, Antavo closing their beta and winning new business from over 100 countries, Sayduck launching their public application and being invited to present at tech conferences, RentMineOnline being acquired – and that’s to name but a few.

While at Campus you’re also at the very centre of Europe’s entrepreneurial hub. Just recently, Eric Schmidt visited to talk to the community about  running a successful internet startup.  Throughout your time you’ll meet our incredible mentors, investors and industry experts as well as have access to them thereafter. You will constantly have the opportunity to socialise, exchange ideas and learn every day. You’re immersed in the environment; it’s always busy and you’re always learning. You’ll work startup hours, but you’re getting paid to do something you love!

Internship track record

It’s no surprise, given the nature of the Seedcamp Internship experience, what those before me have gone on to do. David Fauchier is now at PayPal, Fred Stevens-Smith is now launching his startup after raising funding and joining the latest Y Combinator batch, Sander Saar has gone on to continue freelancing for global media companies, Jakob Marovt went on to join two of our portfolio companies in Product & Marketing roles, Michael Orland secured an Operations Director role at Songkick and Andrew Shannon is now an Investment Manager at a large private investor. So whether you want to work at a startup, launch your own or even go into the venture capital industry, you can be sure that that when you say you’re from Seedcamp it holds a lot of merit.

Why you should apply, right now

Even though Seedcamp is Europe’s first seed-stage accelerator, at only five years old it’s still in its growth stage. Nonetheless, the company has achieved an incredible amount during that time and is yet to peak. Now with the European startup scene growing exponentially, Seedcamp is poised to be a major leader in that growth. It’s set to raise its biggest fund ever and expand it’s portfolio to include 100 of Europe’s best startups within the next 12 months.

You can be sure you’ll get a ton of responsibility, and in five to ten years once Seedcamp has changed the entire European startup scene you can say you were once part of it. If you’re serious about entrepreneurship you should already be applying now.

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