For the last three years, I had the pleasure of being a mentor in Seedcamp, probably the largest and most established startup incubator in Europe. From a startup perspective, the network and level of engagement you will receive from seasoned executives from top corporations, is unparalleled.
For the second year in a row, Mini Seedcamp comes to Tel Aviv on February 16 2011, at the Afeka College of Engineering. Internet technology start ups in Israel should apply *for free* on this link: Apply to Seedcamp Tel Aviv. Last month in London, I got a chance to sit with five startups from the UK, Italy, Finland and Estonia – each with a very different business. While they had a prototype and a cool idea (in most cases), they had gaps in product, business development, sales, distribution, strategy and sometimes were ‘too close’ to their own venture to see the forest from the trees.
Israeli startups also have a good track record at Seedcamp. Last year, Ineze and Sparkeo, two early stage Israeli startups we’ve covered on VC Cafe in the past, won mini Seedcamp Tel Aviv and were invited to the final Seedcamp week in London. They were both elected as winners by mentors and investors and subsequently received a seed investment round.
Another benefit for applying to Seedcamp this year, is the ability to work with Saul Klein directly, who is spending a year in Tel Aviv to scout the local start up scene for Index Ventures. Saul is an experienced entrepreneur with an incredible network and an investor in some of Europe’s top startups. It doesn’t hurt that he’s Jewish and a 15 mins away drive from you.
From the entire pool of applicants, 20 startups will be chosen to participate in the event. The day itself consists of; 5 minute presentations by the teams; a panel discussions; and four 1:1 mentoring sessions. The format is designed to maximise interaction between the teams and mentors, and has proved popular with mentors at previous Seedcamps.
Here’s a summary of what the Seedcamp team is looking for:
The usual rules apply – we are looking for technically focused teams with great ideas and big ambitions, with a stellar team and a product to show off. After seeing an incredible number of applications for our last Mini Seedcamp in London, we can’t wait to see what Tel Aviv has in store. If you want more information, check out the dedicated page for Seedcamp Tel Aviv. As a team, be prepared to spend a high-powered day with some amazing mentors from the European and Israeli tech scene, providing important introductions and insight that will accelerate your business ‘by months, if not more than a year’, as we heard from a recent Seedcamp participant.
To all the ‘garage’ entrepreneurs out there – make sure you apply to seedcamp before the deadline on Feb 3rd. If you need a hand preparing your application, send your questions to eze at vccafe [dot] com.