Last week, we had our first Seedcamp Week in Berlin – home to some of our startups, and most certainly one of the most vibrant and fastest growing startup ecosystems in Europe.
We have always had exceptional interest in our Mini Seedcamps in Berlin, which is why we’ve decided to host 2 full Seedcamp weeks in Berlin this year. We are very happy with how the first one turned out, thanks to our partners and friends in Berlin The WYE, BDMI, Factory, our great mentors, our supporters at Osborne Clarke, and all the investors who took part in Demo Day. As always, we’re also more than thankful to our annual sponsors Google, Microsoft BizSpark, Barclays, Qualcomm, PayPal, and Nokia.
Here’s how Seedcamp Week Berlin went, and how we ended up with 4 great new Seedcamp companies.
Applications and Mini Seedcamps
As a result of the new Seedcamp structure with more than 20 Mini Seedcamps around Europe, we had 6 events in various cities throughout April and May. We’re happy about this change – teams we met in Tel Aviv, Stockholm, Belgrade, Istanbul, and Kiev took part in Berlin. Adding individual applications to the overall number, we are now seeing higher quality and depth in applications than ever before. The result was an amazing crowd of 20 teams from 12 countries, working on markets as diverse as transportation, data analysis, and sport fishing. See our post on the announcement of Seedcamp Week Berlin for the full list of teams.
The Big Week
After the usual preparation and presentation training, we spent Mentoring Day at The WYE in Kreuzberg, a cool minimalistic arts and events venue. The teams presented their startups and received much praise – not just on Twitter.
— Benedikt Lehnert (@blehnert) May 14, 2013
After the teams, Seedcamp mentor Andy Budd of Clearleft took the stage for a master class on design in startups. Besides building one of Europe’s most successful design agencies, Andy also has insights into numerous startups – most recently Clearleft was involved in Matter, which sold to Medium. He talked about the importance of design as a core competitive advantage for startups – not just from a visual, but much more a users’ and customers’ perspective. We want to repeat our words of praise to Andy – the master class was not just insightful and engaging, but also a lot of fun and was referenced by many as a highlight of the day.
The afternoon was spent in mentoring sessions with some of the best entrepreneurs, product builders, and operators of the Berlin and European startup scene. As the sessions have become more focused on operations and product since Demo Day is separated from mentoring, this turned out to be an exhausting afternoon for the teams – intense discussion after discussion for the whole rest of the day.
In the evening, we announced 4 new teams that will be joining the Seedcamp Family and are moving to Campus in London soon. We met 3 of these teams at the Mini Seedcamp events leading up to Seedcamp Week Berlin – supporting our expectations that this new structure would allow us to be closer to entrepreneurs than ever before.
4 New Seedcamp Teams
- Countly, Istanbul, Turkey (joining from Mini Seedcamp Istanbul) – Real-time analytics for mobile applications. The Countly team impressed us not just with a beautiful application and an impressive set of customers – their team is also a crew of real go getters with very relevant experience. We are happy to have the first team from Turkey join us.
- FishBrain, Stockholm, Sweden (Mini Seedcamp Stockholm) – FishBrain helps anglers at all levels catch more and bigger fish and brag about it. Besides offering a compelling service for a huge crowd of passionate anglers, the team behind FishBrain has already reeled in some great cooperations and convinced us with their big ambitions to capture a global market.
- SmartWard, London, UK – SmartWard is a ward management app that reduces human error in hospitals. The unique team made up of an NHS doctor and a successful developer/designer came out of Startup Weekend London – a great sign of the startup world spreading into less obvious areas.
- TruckTrack, Belgrade, Serbia (Mini Seedcamp Belgrade) – The first modern SaaS solution for trucking businesses, a huge, underserved industry. With a family in the trucking industry, highly connected founders, and a grand vision, we couldn’t let TruckTrack go back to Belgrade without a free pass to the Seedcamp world.
The evening of Mentoring Day was concluded by a Barbecue at Factory, a massive co working and office complex for Berlin’s startup scene. The team around Jenny, Sasha, and Simon did all to welcome us and our friends to a fun evening. A band made up of startup founders, and the obligatory visit by the police to end the party are proof of a real Berlin experience.
On Wednesday, we invited more than 80 of Berlin and Europe’s best angel and VC investors to join us for our first Demo Day in Berlin. We were hosted by our friends at BDMI who spared no effort to make our day a blast.
8 Seedcamp companies presented their companies, demoed their products and met with investors on a beautiful day in Berlin. The 4 new teams also joined in and got a chunk of the action on their first day in the Family. In alphabetical order, these were the participating teams:
- Countly – Open source, real-time analytics for mobile apps.
- CrowdProcess – Web-based Supercomputing.
- FishBrain – We help anglers worldwide catch more and bigger fish and brag about it.
- Knowable – The social network for makers.
- minubo – Helps online shops to take better, data-driven decisions.
- Planvine – Providers of comprehensive, accurate and hyper-local event data
- Poq Studio – We make it easy for fashion brands to get their own branded mobile apps and websites.
- Rawstream – Secure web access, boost SMB employee productivity. We guarantee a positive ROI in 2 weeks
- SimpleTax – Now anyone can easily achieve tax zen & save money.
- Smartward – Reducing human error in hospitals. A ward management and communication app.
- TruckTrack – Easy, powerful trucking business management.
Carlos shared some of the content that emerged from the program over time and dove deep on the product market fit cycle which helps companies form a compelling offering and product. Philipp gave an insight view of what happened on this springs’ US trip, shared his views on the local differences of different startup hubs, and the current state of mind in the US venture capital scene.
As it befits an investment company with a media background, BDMI hosted us for a great after-Demo-Day party on the roof of their beautiful office – including an up and coming band from the BMG repertoire. Listening to tunes by Lino Modica, we had a great finish with a view:
We want to thank all of the startups who participated, the mentors who put in their valuable time and advice, and our partners at The WYE, BDMI, Factory, and our friends at Osborne Clarke for supporting us in Berlin. This event was a highlight of the Seedcamp year, and we look forward to coming back in fall.