In May 2007, a group of 30 European investors founded Seedcamp as a pan-European London-based accelerator to provide startups with seed money, mentorship, office space and support over a yearlong program. In 2013, they took to the road in their new mini Seedcamp model to find the most promising startups across Europe and grow their portfolio. Yesterday, Seedcamp came to Barcelona for a mini edition pitch day featuring 11 startups and local experts in PR, business development, entrepreneurship, and investment.
Seedcamp co-founder and managing partner Carlos Eduardo Espinal was unable to attend due to the air traffic control strike in France, but intern Ricardo Espinal didn’t miss a beat introducing Seedcamp and guiding the day-long event.
So just how active has SeedCamp been the last 5 years? In numbers: They have received 2000 applications from 70 countries, then 50 experienced investors select the finalists for each new camp. Over 800 startups have received mentoring in 20 European cities by more than 1500 annual mentors coming from 50+ countries. Since 2007, more than 93 companies across 33 countries have received funding from SeedCamp investors.
Today’s mini Seedcamp featured a presentation from Barcelona Activa, 2 Masters Classes, and 11 European startups practicing their pitch and getting feedback from local mentors.
Jaume Baró kicked off the day with updates from Barcelona’s decorated innovative organization, Barcelona Activa. On their mission to make Barcelona the most attractive city to new businesses, Baró announced the upcoming plans for a “one-stop-shop” for growing companies within the new MediaTEC building. He also highlighted the efforts being made by Mobile World Capital to keep the buzz about the Barcelona telecom hub going beyond the last week in February.
Robin Wauters, European editor of The Next Web, also took the stage to give us some advice on how to get the press to cover your startup and Raphael Crouan, former Apple exec, presented on challenging the rules of business development in the crowded tech marketplace.
The stars of the show were the 11 European Startups:
Apartum – the holiday apartment search engine – organizing the chaos on the vacation rental market
Blinc – express yourself with a new way to communicate on your mobile phone
Erle Robitics – making robotics affordable to everybody.
Fitboo – the new way to book a fitness class near you. Making group fitness class availabile to a wider audience and groups of friends.
Groupiest – incubated at Incubio – Build your own vertical community of content – then automatically share to all of your social media platforms
Iceber.gs – Visual Organization for Creative Minds – enterprise version coming soon for group collaboration.
Joiner – how many interesting people do you miss everyday? It’s not hard to meet interesting people with this mobile app that shows you who’s nearby.
QMaps – A great way to explore, share and discover maps. Their vision is to create a platform where a map can come to life by transferring it from a static, non-interactive representation of an area into dynamic and interactive form.
Recently – Your personalized scientific journal – an app for staying up to date with relevant scientific information
TutoTOONS – make learning fun and engaging, allows TEACHERS to make their own educational video games – Formed during Startup Weekend 1.5 weeks ago!
The afternoon session wrapped up with a round robin of mentoring sessions. Each startup spent about 20 minutes visiting 11 advising tables comprised of local professionals with cross-discipline experience to share their thoughts on each project individually. We saw this format with Startupbootcamp last month as entrepreneurs tend to get more action-oriented feedback and aren’t as nervous as immediately after their pitch so they can actually digest the information.
All in all, it was a productive day in the new Mobile World Centre on Plaça Catalunya and as the Barcelona ecosystem grows, we’ll continue to see more international groups like Seedcamp dropping in to get a piece. In the words of Raph Crouan, “never compromise, never settle for less, stay on the edge, and keep thinking ahead – further down the line of where you want to be!”