Day one of Seedcamp kicked off with each team presenting briefly to a packed house of fellow teams and entrepreneurs. While some understandable nervousness was apparent as they spoke to the room of over 150, each team made it through unscathed. Our appetites were certainly whetted for the longer pitches on Thursday.
Next up Danny Rimer of Index Ventures moderated a Founders Panel featuring Kevin Cornils (formerly of Buy.at), Petteri Koponen (Jaiku/Google), Michael Birch (formerly Bebo), Martin Stiskel (Last.fm), and Christophe Maire (Plazes/Nokia), together representing some of the biggest European exits in recent memory. With a diverse set of backgrounds (and even the numbers of companies they’ve started and run) their comments were sometimes dissonant, but they answered as a chorus to some important questions, making a clear impression on the teams present.
Following the panel session and an all-too-brief lunch Marten Mickos (of MySQL and now its parent company Sun) waxed managerial, sharing invaluable advice on handling mega-growth and global expansion – not to mention the importance of giving employees space and trust.
The afternoon was taken up by the core of Seedcamp Week: small-group mentoring between our finalists and advisors. This being “Founders’ Day” those in attendance advising the teams consisted mostly of fellow entrepreneurs, which as an umbrella term encompasses an enormous amount of potential experience. To that point several of the teams remarked that the different – and often contradictory – advice they received served as fodder for new avenues of thought well beyond their existing spheres of consideration.
All in all a great start to Seedcamp Week. Our teams’ exhaustion (and that of the Seedcamp team as well) is clearly more than balanced by their anticipation of day two.