Reshma Sohoni

Are you on the Seedcamp Week 2009 shortlist?

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Twitter has been going crazy over the last 48 hours as start-ups desperate to know if they’ve made it on to the Seedcamp Week 2009 shortlist have been bombarding @seedcamp with questions. The Seedcamp team spent much of this afternoon politely fending off enquiries until, finally, at around 5pm this evening, they began sending out emails to applicants.

41 start-ups have been selected to progress to the “interview” stage, where they’ll be met in person and quizzed about their businesses. At Seedcamp’s request, we’re not publishing the full list, but here are a few of the teams that made it:

“We saw a lot of ‘people marketplaces’, or talent exchanges, this year,” said Reshma Sohoni, CEO of Seedcamp. “We continue to be intrigued by music, but there are also iPhone apps, Android apps, companies targeting enterprises, new ways of automating back-end processes… Some of them are sexy, some less sexy, but many could be very real, money-making businesses.”

Did you make the cut too, but aren’t on our list? Leave a comment below if you wish.

As anyone who’s been through the Seedcamp process before will be aware, getting on to the shortlist isn’t an endorsement: it just means that the Seedcamp team want to hear more from you (it could be that your idea is so wacky and outrageous they just can’t help but drag you in to hear it explained in person). But up to 20 of those 40 teams will make the cut and get the chance to pitch during Seedcamp Week. TechCrunch Europe will be there to report on what happens – and we’ll be throwing the obligatory party on Thursday night.

For more information about Seedcamp Week, go here. You can also check out the list of this year’s mentors here. Good luck, everyone!

  • Edward Sanchez

    Best of luck to all shortlisted! Unfortunately my startup wasn’t. Looking forward to seeing the companies who beat us.

  • huh

    I thought Seedcamp was a startup competition? At least a few of these seem fairly established (with major telecoms operators as clients and/or PC Magazine awards, etc)-?

    What’s the criteria and/or definition of startup for consideration @ Seedcamp?

  • Adrian made it to the shortlist!
    TalentRights enables you to protect your creative works: prove you are their author, dissuade people from misusing them, take appropriate actions against plagiarists.
    The service will soon be available in English.

  • PAul Rawlings

    Vooices also made it to the shortlist is a Phone Controlled, RealTime, MultiPlayer Application Platform for Screens in Public Spaces or for Gamesand content on the internet. You can control a game or application with your voice or keypad by simply dialling the game or website.

  • Steven Livingstone-Perez

    Good luck to all those in the next round.

    I agree the startups seem fairly advanced which has surprised me a little but hopefully the full list will be a good mix.

    Should be interesting.

  • Ari @ World on a Hanger

    World on a Hanger ( also made the shortlist.

    We’re making networked enterprise software for the fashion industry.

  • James

    Does Seedcamp actually want to support ‘seed’ companies? No.

    It’s looking for established companies with full teams and a completed product.

    I seriously think they should update some of their literature.

  • Stephanie Robesky

    I think that DeBanjo is actually supposed to be BeBanjo. :)

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  • Adrian Avendano

    I was sure I was going to make into the shortlist but didn’t confused about why not, we are a powerful team and we live in Ireland;)))

    • Chris

      Shame Louis Walsh wasn’t on the judging panel ;)

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  • alexander

    Heres a Croatian opinion if anybody wants to read it ;-)

    Anyway, this is NOT “seed” and it can hardly be called “innovation” (except in some cases).

    Let me get something straight, we are not jealous or envious – our project goes on and we wish all the best to the teams that made it, but come on… These webs and/or projects cannot be carried out without some serious money backing it up or a lot of people doing only that (again – need money to support themselves).

    These are all finished and highly polished products which (at least the way I see it) do not need seed funding, but rather serious marketing/sales investments.

    Ciao! :-)

    • Mike Butcher

      I think there is a misunderstanding here. The problem with most European startups is that they don’t fashion their “project” into something that looks more like a PRODUCT. They are also often BAD at marketing. If companies didn’t make it into Seedcamp it’s probably because they are not thinking hard enough about how their startup needs to become a real product.

      • Alexander Strbac

        Mike, I completely agree! We are the first ones to admit that the “product” component in our story is missing.

        On the other and, we were not trying to craft a product in the first place. We are building something that is supposed to become a larger movement that (we hope) will involve large tribe and community, worldwide. If that will happen I don’t know.

        We thought SeedCamp was sort of an innovation/seed/startup conference, more than a classical “product with a business plan” contest.

        Thanx for the reply, I appreciate it.

        Cheers mate!

        Little internet workshop LLC

      • Mike Butcher

        No problem. It sounds like you just applied to the wrong kind of organisation then. Seedcamp is really about building companies not movements – you have the Internet as a platform for that ;-)

  • Markus Spelling

    I think Seedcamp should publically clear some of these ‘concerns’ up – there seen to be a lot of unhappy entrepreneurs out there right now.

    Having looked over some of the people who have ‘got through’… these ares NOT seed companies.

    Brainient for example have on their team:

    A CEO, a CTO, a senior developer, a front end developer, a flash developer and a CFO.

    Seriously, what kind of ‘seed stage’ start-up has a CFO!?!?!?

    These are companies who are looking for VC funding, not start up capital.

    • alexander

      My point exactly! ;-)

    • Emi Gal


      I believe seed companies are those that haven’t raised any serious VC money and aren’t rolling millions of dollars in revenue.

      Nevertheless, in my opinion, planning financials thoroughly from the very beginning is key to a startup’s success, because you have to keep a tight fist on your expenses and at the same time be able to make realistic financial projections. That’s where a CFO comes in handy ;-).

      Please email me if you have any other questions – emi at brainient dot com.

      Emi Gal

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  • Tuomas Toivonen

    Interesting to see these comments – and I admin I haven’t had the time to check out the shortlisted companies in detail. We (Scred) were one of the companies accepted for Seedcamp Week last year and the Class of 2008 was decidedly seed. Most of the companies were recently launched or still in pre-launch development.

    Another point to note is that not all companies are after the not so much money that is on offer, but rather want to be part of the Seedcamp network. Last year, some of the more mature companies were there exactly for that reason.

  • moo

    HashBangTV made the short list. We are very much at the seed stage. I think the sites that are listed with links are the sites that are far enough to have a public facing site ready. Remember, this is less than 25% of the short list.

  • Reshma

    We’ll write a post on this but Emi Gal, Tuomas Toivonen, and moo make the point for us. Absolutely we support very seed stage companies. A few of the winners from last year (Kyko, Basekit, etc) have yet to launch. A lot of comments are based on very little information. But we need to see more than an idea, more than a powerpoint presentation, and more of a team where possible. There is a long way from a website to a stable, growing company…so what first blush may seem beyond seed stage frankly just isn’t.

    • Berislav Lopac

      I’m looking forward to hear the feedback about the startup I was involved with (and which didn’t make the shortlist). Last year the feedback to another project was very confusing, and in some respects simply incorrect.

      I perfectly understand that your jurors have to go through several hundred applications and select less than ten percent in about a week; but I’m curious what criteria they employ.

    • popmix

      You say you need more than a powerpoint presentation… So why on the application form did you suggest that a powerpoint presentation was enough?? And also repeat this in the forumns?? I’m a little confussed by this.
      Your remark annoyed me a little as many teams went to great lengths to put together their applications but you are now saying that they never stood a chance. I think you need communicate what Seedcamp is looking for more clearly.

      • Luke Stanley

        Seedcamp is not a charity. It’s a company.
        At the end of the day only a few will make it through to the social network and investment fund that is Seedcamp.

        If you depend on outside investment to succeed, there is a good chance you won’t get it. You end up just looking desperate, and unresourceful.

        It’s going to be hard. You have to be in for the ride. Steve Jobs got where he is by collecting cans for recycling money.

        Companies like Seedcamp and Y-Combinator are not there to rescue young startups, they are there to boost ones that show initiative the most, and make money at the same time.

        I read something along these lines from Paul Graham about startups desperate for funding, probably somewhere around here:

        The fact is, Europe is a massive talent pool.
        Every year there are more and more web startups in Europe. Every year more will apply to funds like Seedcamp. The quality will improve every year as the startups improve themselves, and as the range to pick from increases. That’s the way it is folks.

        As Tuomas Toivonen from Scred points out, maybe this year is a turning point in terms of startup quality.

        It will be hard. But there are certainly signs of hope.
        Keep trying people.

  • David Mare

    So basically, what Reshma said was: if you’re not a fully complete team with a developed product, there was no point at all in you applying to Seedcamp – end of story.

    As someone else mentioned earlier on, Seedcamp needs to update it’s literature… it’s obviously not about helping very early stage companies any more.

    Judging by how much of an impact previous Seedcamp winners have had, it looks like they had a reshuffle in terms of what they’re looking for, i.e. very early stage teams are a no go.

    Suprising? No. A shame? Yes.

    • moo

      I think you might want to read what she said more closely. From all the Seedcamp literature, I got the impression that they were looking for teams that are doing something that Seedcamp could help make massive. That means that they both need to believe in the idea and that the team can pull the idea off. So whether the idea is presented as a public product, a prototype, or just a powerpoint presentation, that’s only part of the equation. They need to believe the team can actually implement the idea. This can be done by assembling the right collection of people or by actually doing it. I don’t think she was saying you can’t get in with a powerpoint presentation. She’s just saying you can’t JUST have an idea or JUST a powerpoint presentation. You need to show that their investment will go towards actually bring your idea to fruition.

      HashBangTV doesn’t have a complete team or a fully developed product. That’s why there isn’t a link to our site. We aren’t into Seedcamp week yet, but we have been shortlisted.

      • Mike Butcher

        The point here is the emphasis on the team. Investors invest in the team almost more than the idea because it is the team which needs to execute. You need to have more than an idea, more than powerpoint, more than an application form filled out. For anything – Seedcamp included – you need the right qualities in the team.

    • Swizec, Preona

      I wouldn’t say very early stage teams are a no go … we got shortlisted and all we have under our belt are two team members (still students at that) who have produced a proof-of-concept (ish) prototype in a week. *shrug*

      Does it get more seed than that? I don’t know.

  • Iqbal

    I have collected a list of over 20 “finalists” so far, some of them look really awesome, whether they are seed or not, is for someone else to decide.

    If anyone knows of the other 17 or so that are missing on the list do tweet/ping me, would be nice to see who actually go through.

    PS list on my blog

  • emmett kilduff

    Try an alternative…pitch to 5 Dragons and 50+ angels. For more information:

  • Mark Cummins

    On the whole “Seedcamp doesn’t do seed” issue, we were a finalist at mini-Seedcamp earlier this year, and we were about as seed as you can get.

    Admittedly the winners generally do seem to be a bit further along, but by far the best thing about seedcamp is the networking/mentoring rather than the (limited) cash.

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  • Dan

    For what it’s worth here’s our experience so far.

    We’ve made the shortlist but it has been very (very) hard work getting this far- which is exactly how it should be.

    We applied for Seedcamp weeks in Paris, then London, both unsuccessfully. Six months on we’ve had a change of focus (driven by customer feedback), strengthened our team and executed on several ideas.

    In our case, each Seedcamp week application proved a great milestone to break from the code code code release cycle and evaluate our product, business and customers. That alone has been invaluable.

    I’d echo the other comments on here offering advice & support. Overall: get out into the tech scene and pitch your idea to whoever will listen. Listen back and learn.

    Failure is a bummer but is always an opportunity for learning, even if Seedcamp isn’t right for you.

  • Kris

    Erply team has been shortlisted

  • Mikael Lirbank

    Witsbits is on the shortlist.

    Witsbits Go Cloud software suite is targeted towards Server Hosting Providers and Internet Service Providers who wants to “Go Cloud”. The software suite turns existing hardware and infrastructure into a compute cloud. A key strength in Witsbits offering is the sales and self-service focus, including detailed utilization metering and billing functionality. It minimize time to market for Witsbits’ customers.

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