Seedcamps sees itself as a catalyst for next generation entrepreneurs. It is an organisation with a programme created ‘to jump-start the entrepreneurial community in Europe by connecting next generation developers and entrepreneurs with over 300 advisers from a top-tier network of company builders including seed investors, product experts, marketers, lawyers, PR, HE, recruiters, journalists and venture capitalists’.
Seedcamps acts as a micro seed fund to invest in startup companies, mainly through Seedcamp Week which started in 2007 and now takes place in September every year. Mini Seedcamp programmes are now also run in startup hubs around Europe from January to June and more recently elsewhere in the world.
They are designed to help entrepreneurs to develop the right connections, gain validation, build teams and raise seed capital to supercharge their businesses.
Seedcamps not only provide access to seed funding (as do Dragons’ Dens) but also, more significantly, expose startups to the collective experience of people who can help inspire the next generation of technology entrepreneurs.
Selected start-ups compete for 50,000 Euros for 8 to 10 percent of the company in question from the Seedcamp venture capital fund. Following Seedcamp Week, the companies that receive investment stay in London (which has become something of a mecca for seed funding) for three months to grow and develop their company, with the objective of their building key and lasting business relationships that will help them to sustain a viable business. The Seedcamp organisation aims to continue to support its businesses – with further events, contacts and opportunities to gain further funding – as ‘part of the Seedcamp family’.
To our knowledge this approach has not yet been taken up by other entrepreneurial or venture capital organisations but the Seedcamp organisation has supported IBM in the development of their SmartCamps.