You may wonder why the title of this post turns Seedcamp into a verb. I did it for a good reason. Seedcamp is not a product, a one-time experience, a conference, or a bunch of startups gathering for a week in London. If it were only these things it would deserve to be a boring old noun. But Seedcamp is a platform. It’s a launching point for really understanding your business and meeting the people and ideas that will help you grow (or maybe even help you know when to quit).
I recently returned from spending a week in San Francisco and Silicon Valley alongside my fellow European Seedcamp Finalists (check out the write-ups by Don Dodge and VentureBeat ). The guys over at Shout’em gave a nice day by day summary of events, so I’ll just jump to my conclusions.
Seedcamp put Joobili in front of some incredibly smart entrepreneurs and VCs, 95% of whom are altruistically focused on helping startups reach their potential (the other 5% come to meet fellow VCs or look for a job). Mentoring is cool, but mentoring alone would not be worth the transatlantic flight. Remember, Seedcamp is a platform. It is validation that some smart people from Seedcamp thought Joobili was interesting, and therefore other smart people should take a closer look at us. That’s it! But that’s also enough.
With the Seedcamp endorsement in hand, Joobili was able to get meetings with Founders and CEOs of 9 travel websites including some really dynamic entrepreneurs like Gregg Brockway from TripIt, Mike Cassidy from Ruba, Josh from NileGuide…the list goes on. The result was a lot of good advice specific to online travel, a few partnerships and some potential deals. The willingness to share sensitive information and open up personal networks is why The Valley will continue to have an innovation edge on the rest of the world.
Some of the meetings were facilitated by mentors we met in London, others were through our own network. The point is that, like most things in life, Seedcamp is what you make of it. It is a foot in the door, a good excuse to send an intro email, but ultimately it’s up to you to make it happen.
Speaking of making it happen…applications for Mini Seedcamp Prague have just opened. I encourage startups needing validation (read everyone), especially those from CEE to apply.