From Tel Aviv to Tallinn

Seedcamp Tel Aviv – 29 March We were in Tel Aviv for the fourth time this year – and the Seedcamp events in Israel just seem to get better every time. We had the highest number of mentors ever at a Seedcamp event in Tel Aviv (matching the record number of applications and the participating teams – 18, eight of which travelled from as far away as Finland).

The morning kicked off with the well-prepared presentations and made everybody look forward to the mentoring sessions. Saul Klein gave a master class on telling stories and engaging the audience via narratives, which was a great journey through not only the history of startups using these techniques for their marketing, but also through the application of storytelling in many other settings like world-leading brands, politics, and of course media. After a tasty lunch the teams scattered to their rooms for mentoring sessions and the mentors lined up to share their feedback and input with them. As usual it was hard to break the groups apart after the intense discussions, especially after allowing mentors to pick some of their favourite teams for the last mentoring sessions.

Thanks – to our sponsors and mentors! We were hosted at Afeka College of Engineering, who were our gracious hosts for the third year running. Alon and Lior and their team show us great Israeli hospitality time and time again – an incredible help when running an event so far from home. Our partners at lool ventures were also crucial, helping with local outreach and mentoring and of course ongoing support for the local teams. We also would like to thank our sponsors at the Microsoft Azure Accelerator in Tel Aviv, of course our mentors in Israel, who have been loyal and gracious with their help and support, and the annual Seedcamp Sponsors Google, Microsoft BizSpark, Paypal, Qualcomm and Facebook are not to be forgotten – making what we do happen.

Seedcamp Tallinn – 18 April

On the heels of our Tel Aviv event and with some of our hottest Seedcamp members originating from Estonia it was only ever a matter of time before we would host Seedcamp Tallinn – and what an event it was! We’ve never received a welcome quite like it, with none less than President Toomas Hendrik Ilves opening the event.

 We were joined by a strong force of local mentors as well as people travelling in from all the Baltic and Nordic regions. Team-wise there was a strong local presence, with eight out of the 20 being Estonian.

Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of TransferWise chaired a great panel on ‘How to make your business international from day 1’ and was joined by Christian Thaler-Wolski of Wellington Partners, Harry Briggs from Balderton Capital and Kris Hiiemaa, CEO of ERPLY. Mentoring was a lively event, with both mentors and teams commenting on how much they got out of the day. Advice was given, connections made and introductions followed. Hopefully these will be lasting relationships adding great value further down the line as the teams keep growing and developing.

Once the ‘official’ day was over everyone hopped on a bus and was taken to the industrial-chic F-Hoone bar for some well-deserved food and drinks. Many of the teams said that the evening networking was a key value-add for them, making further connections in the relaxed atmosphere. We ended the day with a ‘must-have’ local drink – a millimallikas, apparently made famous by Steve Ballmer of Microsoft.

Sponsors and Partners We were so fortunate to have tremendous local support from so many people; we’d like to extend a huge thank-you to our event sponsors – Enterprise Estonia, Skype and ERPLY; also to our event partners – Garage48, Tehnopol and the Estonian IT College. Finally, we’d like to thank all of our local teams who were a great help in introducing us to the right people, and Sander Saar our old intern who showed us many of Tallinn’s great sites besides being a crucial ‘right hand’ for the event.

On that note we are very excited to introduce our four latest investments.

Our Four new investments

  • Antavo: travelling all the way from Hungary, this ambitious team showed an impressive promotion building platform for SMEs to market their offerings on various platforms – a slick product with big potential.
  • Bukit: Sarah lived through the bad experiences of having personal debt and was fed up with the status quo. That’s why she founded Bukit, which allows consumers to settle their debts through a new platform.
  • MightyFingers: absolutely rocking HTML5 gaming engine performance; our first 100-per-cent Latvian team is certainly going places.
  • Sayduck: a fantastic usage of Augmented Reality bridging the gap between online and offline retail experience by helping customers visualize real world items in their environment (Via Sayduck’s app, Carlos is able to hold a virtual table below). This Finnish team impressed us with their dynamic approach to rolling their solution out to market.

We’re more than excited to work with these four teams going forward, a very strong crop from two of the most interesting startup communities on the planet!

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