It was an amazing day, so I wanted to share with you the experience of a seedcamp mentor (remy amouroux did the same on his blog and it’s great). I have been invited for the second time to be a mentor at the mini-seedcamp in Paris. Seedcamp is an incredible meeting if you are into innovation and have an interesting company. In one day one is able to meet so many great minds that it took me a few hours after the end of the event to process all the conversation I had during the day.
To make it easier i will use will try to sum up encouters as they have happened over the course of the event.
On monday, we had a diner with the seedcamp crew with Stéphanie Bouchet, Ezra Butler and Alex Hoye at julien (thanks reshma for that great dinner). Great chat, interesting discussion about google, freeway of information and wine. Lot of fun also talking about the seedcamp in Israel (but mainly the trip around) and the interview Ezra did of reshma…. you have to look at it.
On tuesday, we all gathered at Microsoft office in paris.
20 teams presented in the morning, mainly french teams but also two foreigns ones. So if you feel like you can participate in a seedcamp elsewhere in europe (full list here). To discover the 20 teams I advice to check the Journaldunet article in french that reviews the 20.
What to think of the various 5 mins pitches ?
– Large differences bewteen the companies. but one common point the all took more time than the 5 minutes ;-D
– The funny pitch still works pretty well, even if i am not a huge fan of them. The great line was “Software is like sex: it’s better when it’s free”. Emanuel Gal – Branient
– French suck at presentation at least the most part of them
– Some team did not prepare enough at it’s a shame when you picth 20 VCs at the same time and great connectors.
– If I compare it to last year, the level was great but less world changing than in 2008. It’s probably an effect of the environement
– 3 companies where already making money (and not far from break even), in crisis time boostrapping by selling services could be a good idea event if it makes the selling to VCs more difficult.
Mentoring Session :
I was partnering in this mentoring session with two VCs (Alain from Sofinova & from Elaia) , one entreprenor Tim Has (ex-symbaloo), Amir Butt (who deals with a gazelle program in danemark) and Mark Esiri from Venrex. The reaction of the other mentor are very interesting because it challenges your own views on the project… and I must say that i went wrong path several times especially when it was not in the internet consumer field.
I will not detail what we talked about but what i can say is that between the various company we’ve covered every subject of entrepreunorship from marketing to monetization or sales, buzz to raising money… and much more.
Evenning at Cap Digital:
Great way to finish the day, some nice champagne and a great chat with several people of cap digital. The best of the evenning was probably that i was able to chat again with people from Kwaga whith whom I had bit quite hard during the day…. so we chatted for half an hour and end up agreing on several points, I finally managed to bring out new ideas from my critiscm and I like to tell myself that it was helpfull and they seems to be agree with that. Futur will tell, but I like when we really challenge companies and they do the same in return.
On Wednesday, OpenCoffee special seedcamp. Great venue, lot of companies from the day before actually made it to elgi and we were happy that did so, because exchanging about our product is also an existing reason of the opencoffee (which is also a creation of Saul Klein who initiated the seedcamp).
So what do you get out of seedcamp ?
First, if you are a mentor, you also get a lot out of it. You get insights to markets that you probably ignore or even do not exist yet ;-D You get a new angle on your own work (works perfectly for me who still has some challenge to overcome with ulike)
Then if you are a team, you will get incredible feedbacks on how to build your product, how to go to market and make money out of it. One says that that’s the execution who counts…. it’s great way to improve yours for free.
And finally if you win you will get a chance to present to the seedcamp investors and even get money directly from the seedcamp and have acces to a very very valuable network. You should ask the guys from Stupeflix or Zemanta they will all tell you the same thing : it’s a one time experience for a startup.