Europe-based early-stage startup investment program Seedcamp is announcing a shakeup today that will see it increasing not only its geographical reach but also the types of startups it invests in.
The early-stage investment scene in Europe is a competitive one, with no shortage of accelerators and other programs vying to take a stake in the most promising teams. The competition has seen accelerators innovate to stand out. Eleven‘s multi-stage investment approach and Springboard’s new Internet of Things focus are just two examples. Seedcamp’s announcements today (and there are a lot of them) will help freshen it up in the face of a changing market.
Seedcamp has certainly made an impact over the past six years. It says that since its launch in 2007, it has reviewed 5,000 applications and funded 80 (just over 1%) of these companies from 33 countries, and these startups have gone on to raise a total of $90 million in funding. In addition, Seedcamp says that it has mentored 800 teams through 8,000 sessions making 48,000 one-to-one connections.
Now Seedcamp is making tweaks and changes to its program based on feedback from entrepreneurs and experiments that it has run over the past year.
More events around the world, while Berlin steps up to London status
While Seedcamp has traditionally been thought of as aimed at European startups, it has occasionally run events and invested in companies from as far away as Jordan and Singapore. The ‘Mini-Seedcamp’ format is returning in 2013 after having been suspended a couple of years ago due to what the company describes as confusion about the “messaging” around the events. Now that they’re back, between 20 and 30 events are promised around the world in the coming year. The initial run of cities spans Europe and the Middle East, with locations such as Jordan, Tel Aviv, Dublin, Sofia, Krakow, Copenhagen and Amsterdam all included. Seedcamp will be working with a partner in each city to run them.
Mini-Seedcamps act as outreach events in regional hub cities, and startups who attend can feed into larger events which have traditionally taken place in London. However, this year there will be four major events – two in London and two in Berlin, recognising the German capital’s increased importance as a tech hub over the past couple of years.
More investment tiers = more choice for Seedcamp
The first Seedcamp London of the year is under way this week, with the first Berlin event due to take place in May. As before, these major events will see Seedcamp select startups for investment, and will feature a demo day for the broader investor community, and when it comes to its own investments, Seedcamp is expanding its offering with two new investment tiers that will allow it to work with a wider range of companies.
In addition to its standard €50,000 investment for an 8-10% stake, Seedcamp will now offer €25,000 for 5%, in cases where a startup has raised seed funding already. Additionally, if a startup could benefit from the program of mentorship and events but doesn’t require investment, Seedcamp can now offer then a place for a 3% stake. In these cases, a €5,000 stipend will be given to help cover travel costs and the like.
That program of events is getting bigger too, with recently-invested-in companies now getting two trips to the US instead of one. These trips take the companies to San Francisco, Boston, New York, Seattle, and events like SXSW to meet with big-name investors, experienced founders and other industry leaders.
To make it simpler for startups to apply for Seedcamp investment, Mini-Seedcamp participants will now be fast-tracked to an interview without having to enter the usual application process. Applications for the Mini-Seedcamps themselves will be handled by Angellist’s feature built for this purpose and already used by accelerators in the States. Seedcamp is the first to use it in Europe.
If you’re interested in attending a Mini-Seedcamp, here’s the list of cities announced for 2013: Vienna (Austria), Zagreb (Croatia), Prague (Czech Republic), Copenhagen (Denmark), Tallinn (Estonia), Helsinki (Finland), Paris (France), Hungary (Budapest), Dublin (Ireland), Tel Aviv (Israel), Milan (Italy), Amman (Jordan), Riga (Latvia), Belfast (Northern Ireland), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Oslo (Norway), Warsaw (Poland), Lisbon (Portugal), Bucharest (Romania), Moscow (Russia)m Bratislava (Slovakia), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Barcelona (Spain), Stockholm (Sweden), Zurich (Switzerland) and Istanbul (Turkey).
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