So we’ve announced that 20 teams have been selected to come to London next week for Seedcamp Week 2007. You can see some of the coverage at Techcrunch and the FT.
These 20 teams are definitely all winners, but we’ve had 268 teams from over 40 countries who are in the process of starting business – so it was really tough for the selection panel to choose only 20 teams to come through to this stage.
The class of 2007 is a diverse group, including teams from Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Germany, Dubai, Sweden, France, Russia and several from the UK.
The Seedcamp team and all our mentors are really looking forward to an intense program next week, meeting the companies and spending some quality time giving feedback and getting to understand their businesses better.
But we want to make sure we don’t lose focus on Seedcamp’s long term vision is about really empowering Europe’s young entrepreneurs. This is not something which will happen overnight, we have a lot going for us in Europe these days but there are still significant structural issues to challenge and years of institutional inertia to combat.
Most of all we must challenge the fact that we have a culture that tends to censure rather than celebrate risk and is afraid of making mistakes.
Seedcamp is also a startup and it’s only a few months old. We have great support, but we know we’ll make lots of mistakes along the way. This is why we’ve made sure that we and our partners are thinking about this as a long-term project, not just about 20 teams for one week in London and then 5 winners for 3 months. Seedcamp is about creating a great environment for entrepreneurs, not just about picking winners, so it’s as much about the teams who applied this year and didn’t get selected as the teams that did.
One of the things which has given me the biggest kick in the last week since we announced the class of 2007 have been emails from people who didn’t get through but felt Seedcamp’s process:
This is a real entrepreneurial spirit and I have no doubt that these teams will come back stronger than ever. It can be very lonely being an entrepreneur and some of the best advice you’ll ever get is from another one, so its thrilling to see people really supporting one another.
The spread of Opencoffee to over 70 cities has shown me that community really matters to young startups, so we want to continue to provide a forum, community, feedback and resources for all the teams who applied this year. In the coming month we’ll be making it easy for all the teams that applied to promote themselves on the Seedcamp website and holding office hours to give people feedback on their plans.
So thanks again to everyone who applied, good luck with your businesses and keep challenging the status quo and making new mistakes.
So much has happened with Seedcamp in the last month, thanks to you all for your energy, enthusiasm and support.
Last Sunday night we accepted the last applications for Seedcamp Week 2007 – we were thrilled to have received 268 applications from over 40 countries. Seedcamp seems to have tapped a nerve from Uruguay to the Ukraine and we’re excited to work with you all in the near future to figure out how we can best harness and continue the positive momentum.
This week is selection week. Our esteemed selection panel has been putting in serious energy into analyzing the applications and slimming that list down to a final set of interviews. By the end of the week we will have final list of 20 selected companies who’ll be coming to London to spend the week of Sept 3-7 with us.
One of the things we’ve always said about Seedcamp, is that’s its not just about the cash. Success is also about have the right context, making the right connections and gaining the right coverage.
Providing the right context
We’ve been inspired by the informal formats of unconferences and unevents like Barcamp and Opencoffee to try and create a style which is not just about people who’ve done it talking at people in an audience.
We want to provide conversation not speeches, so we have a mix of sessions where Seedcampers will hear directly from some real experts but then importantly be able to spend 1:1 time with those experts to get direct feedback on their businesses.
Seedcamp is an evolving project and this is only our first year, so we welcome any ideas and feedback you have on what topics are the most interesting to you. Please join the forums and let us know.
Making the right connections
Building a great business is partly about accessing the best and brightest talent – it can often be about knowing who to ask when you are stuck with really important questions.
We’ve said that being a part of Seedcamp should allow you to build a rolodex in a week it would take years to build otherwise.
So, to help teams making the best connections, we have lined up expert mentors across product design & development, marketing & pr, raising money, finding exits, negotiating big partnership, handling legals and accounting, team building. Hopefully, a lot of what teams need to sharpen their pitch and develop to be a successful business.
Joining our already impressive cast of characters during Seedcamp Week and beyond, some of the folks now include:
Gaining the right coverage
Rising above the noise is critical in building your business.
To help Seedcamp teams do this, we’ve already partnered with Techcrunch, FT.com and the NextWeb Conference. We’re now thrilled to announce three new partnerships with:
What’s next for Seedcamp….
These are still early days for us. We’re at the beginning of a long-term project which is focussed on building a better entrepreneurial environment in Europe for talented entrepreneurs who want to think big.
We’ve been thrilled by the response so far and the level of engagement from our fellow travelers on our blog, on our forums and on our ever growing public Facebook group. But most of all we’ve been thrilled to have as our fellow travelers everyone who has applied to Seedcamp and everyone who has become a supporter so far.
We have some exciting ideas for what’s next and we really want to hear from you all about what you think we can do to best serve and encourage great talent in Europe.
But right now we’re just so excited to move towards the next Act and meet the selected teams for Seedcamp Week 2007 and all the mentors in London from September 3-7th.
There has been an overwhelming amount of activity on the forums and in my inbox as you have awaited the shortlist of telephone interview slots. Congratulations to all the teams that have been shortlisted.
For everyone, I want to say that although there are only 20 teams able to participate in Seedcamp Week, we believe that the community being built here should benefit all of you in developing and refining your businesses. Please take every advantage of it.
Some of you have already emailed about getting feedback. We will be holding open office hours during the weeks following Seedcamp Week to give you feedback on your plans. I will blog closer to the time how to sign-up for a time and date!
Additionally, to continue to support your teams:
Again, we hope this application process was a useful experience and that you think of this as a beginning of building your first or next great business!
Again, thank you to everyone from all corners of the world for the hard work in submitting your applications. There were a lot of folks awake into the wee hours of Sunday night!
Now, as you eagerly await the announcement of the 20 selected teams, I want to draw your attention to the Program for Seedcamp Week. Please have a close look through the topics we will be covering during the week. High on the agenda is to provide as much 1:1 interaction with the mentors as possible. Continue to watch this area as we put more and more details up (the all important who, what, where, and when)
As always, we highly value your thoughts and opinions. So, if you have thoughts on things you would find valuable during the week, please share your suggestions in the forum topic. We aim to incorporate as much as possible!
Thanks to everyone who applied. We’ve been really overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and energy behind all of your applications. So firstly, I wanted to say thank you all so much.
If we’ve proved only one thing so far, it’s that there is massive untapped energy in Europe (and beyond) for creating great businesses. This year is just the beginning – so keep it up 🙂
In terms of the numbers – we’ve received over 260 completed applications and now our panel of judges will be working hard to whittle this list down to 20 teams that we’ll be inviting to join us and a network of killer mentors in London from September 3rd-7th.
We’ve had applications from at least 40 countries around the world, including: Uruguay, Finland, Russia, Austria, Cyprus, Romania, UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Singapore, Turkey, Spain, Poland, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Israel, Croatia, Malaysia, Hungary, Serbia, Lithuania, Switzerland, Ecuador, India, Latvia, Netherlands, Germany, South Africa, Norway, Belgium, China, Argentina, Bulgaria, the UK and even the good old USA.
Wow. If we’d didn’t accept that the web is no longer a US, English speaking medium – we should now. Thanks so much to the Opencoffee hosts in over 60 cities round the world and our Facebook group for spreading the word – entrepreneurship is alive and well, even outside Silicon Valley 🙂
Please keep talking to us and letting us know what you’d like to see at Seedcamp week and remember this is just the first year — we have lots of plans for what we’d like to do next year and going forward, so we’d like to know how we can improve Seedcamp and Opencoffee.
In the meantime, keep making videos and writing songs — we love them — and thanks again for all your hard work applying. We look forward to meeting some of you soon and be as helpful to eveyone in starting their new ventures as possible.
Thanks to everyone for applying for the first Seedcamp – we’re really delighted at the response.
The guys at Upshot have made a great video about applying to Seedcamp, see if you can do better 🙂
Thank you to everyone who submitted your applications over the several weeks to meet tonight’s deadline.
Please email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have had any problems with your submissions and we will tie up the loose ends.
As of now, the applications are officially closed for the 2007 Seedcamp!
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