This week we held a Meet & Greet at Campus London to welcome Founders who are keen to learn more about Seedcamp. After our exciting news, we were happy to answer any questions about the new fund, our application process, and Seedcamp Week London.
We had a panel with mentor representation from Ken Valledy and two Seedcamp companies; Traity and LineUp. Together with Reshma and Carlos the panel took questions from the audience and networked in the evening.
For those who were unable to come, here are the top 6 questions we were asked. We also have 3 more similar Meet & Greet events planned in Manchester, Bristol, and London so be sure to sign up if you want to come along.
1. Is there a typical area Seedcamp focuses on, e.g FinTech/B2B/B2C?
Seedcamp’s investment thesis is based on supporting capital efficient businesses. As industries evolve they become more and more cost efficient to serve. Therefore our thesis evolves alongside the startups that rapidly disrupt, expand, and alter industries. Since 2007, we have invested and built expertise across different sectors, including SAAS, Fintech, Marketplaces, Analytics, Mobile, B2B and B2C. Through the years we’ve built a strong foundation around the Network, Learning, and Capital it takes to build industry winners.
Some of the newest areas we see a lot of operating efficiencies are Hardware, Health, and Education. We know we’ll keep adding to these sectors and hopefully you’ll demonstrate to us additional areas that will be disrupted by your startup.
2. Is there a certain amount of traction I need to have before applying?
Numbers can be misleading, especially when they are the sole proxy for demonstrating value. We are far more interested in seeing how you are creating value for your customers and providing a solution to a real problem.
Traction can be measured in many different ways and it can be a great way to prove that your startup has product market fit. However, it’s not the only indicator of a promising startup. Instead, we focus on whether you have a unique, highly differentiated idea created by an incredible team that has ambitions to scale to a billion dollar business. We look for curious and hungry founders who can envision and communicate a path to building world leading businesses.
3. Do I need an MVP/product or can I apply with nothing built?
Functioning prototypes make a difference. If we can see, use, and play with your product then we’re going to understand what it is you’re doing much quicker and we’re going to be able to assess your capability in building a final product your customers will one day love. Strictly speaking, you don’t need an MVP to apply for Seedcamp but proving you have customer interest is crucial.
4. What does the new fund mean for startups?
On Tuesday 15th July we announced our new $30m fund. For startups looking to join Seedcamp it means we can invest in more companies and continue to invest throughout the lifecycle of the company. You can see our standard deal terms here.
5. How are you different to accelerators?
Over the last seven years we’ve focused on building the ultimate platform that provides Network, Learning and Capital for the duration of the company. Once you join the Seedcamp family it’s a lifelong relationship where we will support you from seed to IPO.
As we’ve been doing this since 2007 we are the most experienced and have the highest quality relationships that grow stronger every year. We are unique in Europe in having a US office which provides a bridge for us and our companies. Twice a year we take our startups to San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Boston, New York, Seattle, and more to meet investors and companies. This has alone resulted in 33% of our companies having a US investor and 20% having an office in the US.
Ultimately, this means that unlike accelerators Seedcamp doesn’t end after 3 months or even a year. We’re here for the duration from start to success.
6. How many Seedcamp startups pivot?
We’re keen to support startups on the path of listening to what their customers and the market they are in is telling them. Our view is that they must do two things extremely well. They must be fast growing and they must be commercial (i.e. sell something someone wants). If that requires a pivot, we’re absolutely going to stand behind them for it and help them every step of the way.
In a sense, every startup that joins Seedcamp changes on some level, and there are many different levels of pivoting. We have had some drastic pivots but far more common is that a startup develops with the insight, advice, and mentorship they receive. You can read an interesting blog from Buffer on the ‘quiet pivot’ and from our own Satago on the ‘handbrake turn’.
— Richard Lingard (@indibook) July 15, 2014
Applications are open for Seedcamp Week London until 17th August 2014, so be sure to apply soon.