PageDo has just come out of the other end of mini Seedcamp London as one of the 5 winning startups (as voted for the by mentors and entrepreneurs attending), and boy what an amazing experience that was!
In total, over 200 startups from across Europe applied to take part in this year’s mini Seedcamp event on London. Only 21 companies were chosen to participate, so competition was very tough. We couldn’t quite believe it when we found out we had been accepted for this year’s event.
For those of you not too familiar with Seedcamp, here’s how the Seedcamp team explain the concept:
“Mini Seedcamp London is a one day event aiming to connect the 20 21 best web-tech, mobile and software talent with some of the leading entrepreneurs, developers, and experts from the European tech ecosystem.”
Seedcamp started off with a short breakfast networking session in the morning, followed by a short introductory talk by Reshma Sohoni (Seedcamp CEO) who gave an enthusiastic run down of what to expect from the day. Then over the next 2 hours, each of the 21 startups were invited onto the stage to present their company, business model and vision – in under 5 minutes. No questions were allowed – not even from Mike Butcher (Techcrunch Europe) – until the end. PageDo (remember – the simplest way to build effective landing pages!) pitched about 90 minutes in, and we were pleased with the audience response and reaction to various slides.
The presentations followed with about six 30-minute mentoring sessions with each startup. These worked on a rotational basis – each company was given a fixed position in the building to set up camp, then groups of between four and eight mentors each moved from one startup to another at prescribed times. Each mentoring session consisted of the startup giving a quick recap of their product and strategy, before the mentors getting their hands dirty and challenging and questioning every aspect of the business model, custom acquisition model, growth strategy, traction, vision and commitment to the long term success. It was very hard to be on the receiving end of so many intense, challenging questions, but definitely a very worthwhile and productive exercise.
Seedcamp was an incredible experience and i’d challenge any startup who said that they came out the other end worse off. Sure, the mentoring sessions were tough. Sure, our business model was stretched and pulled apart, and our product poked around and beaten. But boy was it helpful! Where else can you get so much honest advice and intense constructive criticism from over 80 world-class mentors, successful entrepreneurs, angels, super angels, and VCs in just one day? That experience can’t be bought, and i’m not sure any of the US seed incubators could compete on what Seedcamp managed to achieve in just a single day.
I whole heartedly recommend that any entrepreneur with a strong desire to succeed and accelerate product/market development should apply to their local mini Seedcamp event.
Big thanks to Reshma, Saul and Philip for their inspiration, and perspiration that made the day unrepeatable. And a very big thank you to all of the mentors that took time out of their busy schedules to mentor PageDo.
Congratulations to the other 4 winning startups of mini Seedcamp London: