If the mountain will not come to Mohammed then Mohammed will come to the mountain. The team of the London-based accelerator Seedcamp is on the go, visiting various locations in Europe to select best tech startups for investment and mentorship. If there is one thing other European accelerators – HackFWD, LeCamping, Springboard, you name it – could learn from this operation it’s this: Get out there! Startups aren;t happening under your desk, right? So get on a plane.
Today Mini Seedcamp continues in Prague, Czech Republic.
Ever since Seedcamp has invested in Slovenian Zemanta in 2007, the trickle of eastern European startups have turned into a stream. In 2008 it was Romanian UberVu and in 2009 three more companies from eastern Europe, Codility (Poland), Brainient (Romania) and Erply (Estonia) were funded. In 2011 Seedcamp invested in 8 eastern European startups, and today it meets with the participants of its Prague-based event, which saw applications go up three times compared to the last year.
This time 8 out of 20 finalists come from the eastern European region, loosely defined as post-socialist countries (an academic definition may vary). Many of them have already been knocking on doors of other accelerators, such as Finnish Startup Sauna or German HackFwd, with a good degree of success (Qminder, AppScale, WhoAPI – well, almost). This does not stop the teams from applying for more contests, seeking money, publicity and mentorship from the leading European accelerator.
According to Ondrej Bartos, the partner at Credo Ventures, Prague-based venture fund which sponsored the event, the level of companies was really high today and he was, to use his own words “flattered that two Czech companies have been selected”.
Trying to get an insider view on what was happening at today’s Mini Seedcamp I asked him to name his favourite pitches. Bartos mentioned Czech BrandEmbassy and Dutch Milk.ly (and then tweeted his insider view out before I could hit the “publish” button). BrandEmbassy helps companies talk to their customers on the internet by utilizing its cloud-based software and a network of selected brand ambassadors. Milk.ly allows its users seek and offer help with micro-tasks locally in real time.
The winners of the mini-Seedcamp will not be announced until later next week, when the investors will decide which companies they will invest in. Until then, keep in mind that the upcoming mini Seedcamp events will take place in Barcelona on the 16th of November and in Paris on the 6th of December.
If you are reading this and you are an investor, GammaRebels, the Polish accelerator will demo its companies on the 26th of October.