The Travelling Salesman Goes Seedcamp!
It's about time that we did something together. Now we are. The Travelling Salesman entourage (me and Mike) are reporting directly from Estonian capital Tallinn, where Seedcamp's Nordic/Baltic presence is focused this year. Indeed a surprising number of their portfolio companies have originated from here, giving birth to the famous #estoniamafia. However companies are coming from all over. In addition to Estonia there are three companies from Finland, two from the UK, one from France, two from Lithuania, one from Latvia, one from Sweden, one from Slovenia and one from Russia.
Seedcamp, for those not already aware, has been listed numerous times as the #1 accelerator and early seed investor in Europe. It is backed by a number of the best VCs in Europe, is well respected and has led to companies such as Zemanta, Mobclix (acquired by Velti), Crashpadder (acquired by AirBnB), Erply, UberVu, Vox.io and GrabCAD, to name but a few.
I am myself, of course, in a Seedcamp-winning company, Holvi, and cannot recommend it enough for building those all-important initial connections and to rehash and learn throughout the whole year that the programme lasts. After our US tour I could honestly say that the mostly European Seedcamp companies were actually very professional and incredibly impressive. Absolutely no reason whatsoever to feel ashamed compared to local startups from Silicon Valley. In fact, especially towards the end of it, I'd say the reverse would be more true. But that doesn't happen overnight, and this is where the benefit of Seedcamp comes into play.
So far we have been the only Finnish portfolio company, so I really hope we start to see some more successes on that front. At the same time, the over-representation of Baltic and Nordic startups in Seedcamp is a sure sign of the sheer talent in the region, and one of the big impetuses behind this blog.
Both Mike Bradshaw and I will be mentoring the teams there, and offering full coverage of the pitches and the teams, so follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and of course here! We did consider bringing the famous sauna, but with time being so tight we decided against it. Maybe next time :-)