I’m not sure how many emerging entrepreneurs are amongst my readers, but if you are in the midst of starting up the next great disruptive soon-to-be-huge (don’t worry we’ll give you 2-3 years to get to the huge part…) then perhaps you should be considering throwing your hat in the ring to try to win one of the highly prestigious and extremely valuable invites to seedcamp 2008:
Seedcamp is where Europe’s top young founders can come together in one place.
From securing funding to developing the right network, young entrepreneurs in Europe face challenges in building globally competitive technology businesses. Through the provision of seed capital and a world class network of mentors, we want to provide a catalyst for Europe’s next generation of entrepreneurs.
We’re now ready to accept applications for Seedcamp Week 2008, have opened the gates to our online application system, and are anticipating another great pool of entries. For additional information, and to review the questions prior to applying, you may download our 2008 application guide. We’ve also posted milestones on our key dates page. We encourage you to think through each question carefully and also to apply well before the August 10th deadline. You really don’t want to be trying to submit the application at 11:59pm with 100 other people!
As noted before Seedcamp Week is set for September 15-18 2008 in Central London at UCL.
For those of you that are unaware, seedcamp was launched last year to provide a focal point for the start-up community in Europe. Realizing that one of the key strengths of Silicon Valley is the broad and deep ecosystem supporting start-ups and new ventures – human capital, specialist financial capital, legal and other operational support, etc. – and that all these elements existed in Europe but tended to be geographically dispersed and somewhat ‘hard to find’ for an aspiring entrepreneur, Saul Klein came up with the brilliant idea of creating seedcamp. Last year was the first year, and despite an extremely short gestation period and steep learning curve, the week was extremely successful and enriching for all that attended: investors, mentors, suppliers, and of course entrepreneurs. This year I’m sure it will be even better, building off the lessons learned last September and a year of hard work by Saul and CEO Reshma Sohoni and her team. To give you an idea of what goes on and why attending is actually more important than winning (seedcamp invests in a small number of the start-ups judged ‘best in show’), think of it as an extremely intense 5 days of Entrepreneurship University: if you go in with an open mind (and no fear of sleep deprivation) you’ll come out with an education and network worth (dare I say) more than a year at Wharton or LBS. My company, Nauiokas Park LLP, is proud to be a founding investor in seedcamp alongside some of the giants of European venture capital – and as a start-up ourselves, it’s even more fun to participate – one minute giving advice, the next minute taking notes! 😉
Last year saw a predominance of consumer-oriented internet business ideas, I know one of the hopes for this year is to garner a broader and more heterogeneous group of applicants. Speaking selfishly, I’d love to see one or two killer idea in financial services, markets, data and identity fields.
So what are you waiting for? Dust of that business plan, spruce up that website, and hopefully we’ll see you in September! And to whet your appetite, here is just a tiny taste of the profound advice that surrounds you at seedcamp(!):