We’ve been getting quite a few questions about our application statistics, and we’ve been discussing amongst ourselves what to share.
Why the discussion? What we’re attempting with Seedcamp is to a large extent independent of whether we measured a 5% or 50% growth in application volume compared with last year. Yes, it’s an indication that more people have heard of us, but the primary concern, as cliché as it may sound, is on the quality of those applications, not the sheer number coming in. Quality unfortunately is much harder to reduce to tiny, easily-compared chunks, and since we can’t, for obvious reasons, let you see the level of quality of each application for yourselves giving you nothing but aggregate numbers would be imbalanced, misleading, and distracting. Even internally we’re trying to de-emphasize them so we don’t feel we need to set a false bar to surpass next year. Bad targets encourage bad operating habits and sow bad results.
Of course it’s also unfair for everybody who worked so hard on their applications not to know anything about the nature of the field on which they’re playing. So we will say that we had about 100 more applications than last year, with 36 countries and 153 cities from six continents represented (poor showing, Antarctica – so much for “silicon ice-shelf”). All in all we made the rounds to most of the top 15 places on that list over the past year. We also saw numbers from a few cities that, based on last year’s event and our travels since then, we found to be unexpectedly large: Budapest, Dublin, Gothenburg, Helsinki, and Vienna. We know there’s been a lot of great self-organized activity in these places, and the high number of applications is a testament to that enthusiasm.