Few weeks ago we made a trip to Seedcamp Budapest 2012 and it was a pretty amazing experience for us and definitely for other teams as well.
We were really excited when Seedcamp invited us to join the event. In such a moment you realize you perhaps did something right. We didn’t know exactly how many startups actually applied but the number must had been big.
We just released our second version of a native Salesforce app (Account Analyzer) and started building our own analytical platform. We decided to use external funding, so it was just about the right time to attend such event, extend our contact base, connect with the right angel investors, VCs, enterpreneurs, etc. We knew that we’ll need something what makes us more visible among others in the crowd. So we had to prepare…
Luckilly Phil Moehring from Seedcamp gave us lots of useful information on how to get ready for the event. Most importantly how to get ready for the pitch – a strict, three-minutes speech, its recommended structure, readings and best practice. They provided also a list of mentors and advised us to learn more about each person in advance, namely about the people to meet.
We did our homework, looked at their linkedin, twitter and other profiles, saw their experience, so then it was obviously much easier to decide who are the important people for us. Most funny time we had practicing the pitch, refining it and then again and again. Time’s running sooo quickly when you need to fit into three minutes…
After few weeks our team finally took off to Budapest eager to meet all the participants, mentors and Seedcamp members face to face…
During the preparation day we had the initial session with Seedcamp. At first we discussed how to prepare ourselves to the big day. We confirmed Daniel to be the speaker. We had to tune the presentation slightly, as well as the speech. Phillip’s advices were really helpful because he can really feel the potential of every idea, product, team, application and other stuff. He really has serious experience in this domain. In a really friendly and constructive atmosphere nobody minded to help each other’s “competitors”.
Getting up early, armed by the sharpened slide-deck, shielded by good mood and still with some condition left from previous night we headed to the “Dragon’s Den”. When we arrived at the impressive lobby of Corvinus university we have got our name-tags, took some coffee and tried not to freak-out from so many mentors and investors around. This was actually our first international experience of that kind – and compared to what we were used to from home – it was very well organized and efficient.
At 10:00 the Pitching started! All 20 companies presented their ideas. In strictly three minutes we had to impress the audience. Luckilly everything went well and Daniel finished in time. After the pitching it was time for lunch. We used this opportunity to discuss with other teams, mentors and investors more closely about who we are, what we do, etc.
There was no siesta after lunch, we had another important job ahead us. We had six mentoring sessions, four exactly planned by Seedcamp and two open sessions, where mentors were free to join any startup they wanted. There were mentors from different fields, some of them entrepreneurs, some investors, or telco and other industry experts. It was sometimes hard and a bit exhausting, but honestly one of the most effective ways to get constructive feedback on all different aspects of our business. As surprisingly many investors came to our table for the last session, we had a not-so-bad feeling…
When the sessions were over, we were with all other startups invited to join the party at KoWerk office to continue to align. We joined gladly and met the rest of the people. Around 10 p.m. teams started receiving e-mails with information whether they made it to the next round or not. There were good news for us! We couldn’t resist to celebrate that with other lucky or interested guys, challenging great Hungarian wine that night.
We got up early (oh dear..) to adjust our pitch with business and financial plan and get ready for final day. We had to prove the group of Seedcamp members and several mentors that we mean our business seriously. We wanted the investment and it wasn’t that easy to get it. During about 20 minutes we presented our product again, with plans for the future and answered corresponding questions.
Then we went to the train back home and waited for the Seedcamp’s decision. The answer came a week later with the information that we WON!!!
We are really happy, because for us it has been a considerable validation of our work. Now we must go on, there is a new load of responsibility in place. We must grow. Grow by being more effective, by getting connected with other relevant people, by getting smarter about doing business internationally, by delivering our customers a good service.
In a few words – attending Seedcamp was a transforming experience and things started to move very quickly.
More Photos and informations:
E Liquidity in KoWerk - Seedcamp in the city!
European VC Ecosystem visiting Budapest