This Wednesday we held our short-list interview day at the sleek modern facilities of eOffice London, interviewing just over 40 teams from 8:30 in the morning to 7:30 in the evening. With the exception of a few coffee breaks and a quick lunch our selection panel saw great presentation after great presentation, and over the course of the day must have followed up with hundreds of questions. Before we knew it 11 hours had flown by in a snap – the result of some pretty dynamic and interesting material. We saw teams focusing on travel planning, semantic analysis, 3D design, eye tracking, dating, social media tracking, rescue operations, ad networks, social gaming, video APIs, low-barrier blogging, and embedded chat.
Then came the hard part.
Meeting our short-list teams was the beginning of the three-week culmination that ends with our main event on September 19th. It’s a chance for us to get to know better some of the teams we’ve been reading about, hearing about, and in some cases even meeting at our events across Europe throughout the year. That’s undeniably a good thing – but there’s a downside. Taking that group of 40 and narrowing it down to the 20 invited to Seedcamp Week 2008 means that half of the teams we’ve gotten to see and know all too briefly won’t be able to come. I have to say it was personally difficult to attempt professional detachment when writing back to those who won’t be joining us the week after next. Luckily it’s a very promising group, and they should have a bright future ahead of them even without our further involvement.
Despite the tough choices we did eventually come to a decision, and will announce our group of 22 finalists this Tuesday. It promises to be a very innovative set, with a diversity of tackled problems and approaches thereto as large as their geographic origins. Seedcamp Week is already looking to be every bit as exciting as last year.
Special thanks go out to all our stellar judges – representatives from Accel Partners, Amadeus Capital Partners, Atlas Venture, Balderton Capital, DFJ Esprit, Eagle Ventures, Eden Ventures, Index Ventures, NESTA, Partech International, and Wellington Partners – and eOffice for the perfect event space to host the day.
I took a shamefully meager number of pictures, but you can at least get a taste of the day with our short-list day set over on Flickr. If you were there and have any of your own to contribute, just tag them with SC08_shortlistday.