Seedcamp announces its six winners for 2009

Seedcamp, the European startups programme a little (though not entirely) like YCombinator, has announced the winners of its year-long programme to find the best startups in Europe, finally judged over an intense week of mentoring by a long line of fellow European entrepreneurs.

Each startup has won €50,000 to develop their product, in return for Seedcamp taking a stake worth between 5-10% of the company. In each case the exact stake has not been released. Each winning team will spend the next three months in London working intensively on their startup. As we wrote earlier this week, overall the standard was strong this year and many of the VCs and CEOs I spoke to during this week have remarked on how much the quality of startups in Europe has improved, especially as reflected in this year’s Seedcamp vintage.

So the winning teams are:

[Update: I forgot to mention that it’s actually eight in total. Seedcamp already invested in Kwaga (see here) and Platogo (see here) via it’s mini-seedcamp days in Europe.

Boxed Ice (UK)
These guys are building a 37 Signals type business focused around making really easy to use Sys Admin products. The first product is for server monitoring Founder David Mytton is turns 22 years old today, started coding when he was 15 and he has already exited from two companies. He’s in his final year of a law degree at Birmingham University. That’s enthusiasm.

Brainient (Romania)
Another young guy, Emi Gal (23) this time from Bucharest, has produced his third business. Branientis technology that lets video publishers monetisie their content. Not unlike the The Rubicon Project which helps publishers make more money from their display advertising inventory by optimising their use of ad networks, with Branient, publishers can select the best performing advert for their video and annotate the video to have an affiliate network attached to it. Think Skimlinks but for video.

Codility (Poland)
Coming out of Warsaw, Codility is software and a service that lets you figure out which developers to hire by automating the scoring of the coding tests you would normally use to screen applicants for developer positions. Companies hiring developers h- will take you down to the ten that you need to interview. Customers in China and Hong Kong.

Erply (Estonia)
This is ERP for this generation of SMEs, which is probably quite different from the kind of SMEs that existed 10 or 15 years ago – which is when most ERP software was built. We’re talking 20 years olds making ERP for SMEs and startups technology companies which are built by other 20 year olds. Sure, that doesn’t change the rules of business but as we’re seen with how social media is changing internal enterprise knowledge management systems.. – well that’s how this is pitched. They already have 200 paying customers in four markets and are at break even. Admittedly it sounds on the face of it like a boring product, but it’s worth remembering that one of the biggest companies in Europe was SAP which largely defined the enterprise software space.

Patients Know Best (UK)
Coming out of Cambridge, these guys are trying to solve a massive problem in healthcare systems which is connecting patients to doctors and putting the patient in control. So far they are doing well – they’ve developed one for the first pieces of private sector web app software which is running inside firewall in the UK’s National Health Service, with the first implementation at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. The CEO Dr Mohammed Al-Ubaydli is also a developer, alongside CTO Dawson King.

Attempting to be the The Onion, or perhaps the “MTV for the Arab World” but online, what’s interesting about their opportunity is that the Arabic internet is 400 million people and it’s massively underserved for content tight now. Some 70% of the Middle East is under 30 years of age so it’s an incredibly huge, young market which is largely unexplored online – though given the censorship there it’s not unsurprising. Talasim has been going for two years and clearly understands its market. It currently syndicates content to newspapers, radio and TV with its comedy as a means of self expression – quite a big deal in that part of the world, shall we say.

Seedcamp will also be taking a bunch of teams which didn’t win the investment on their annual tour to the US, both the Valley and in New York. These are: Advertag, Fabrically (formerly World on a Hanger), Joobli, Pearl Systems and VouChaCha.