Valentin Sawadski

So it's been over a week since Mini-Seedcamp London. I went there as part of Team EnergyBob and now it's time for some recap.

Two days before Seedcamp

First of all, Seedcamp could not have picked a better date. Because while we were preparing for our trip, youngsters were setting parts of London on fire. It's a pretty disturbing feeling knowing you'd been going to a place tomorrow where the TV shows you burning buildings and fighting people. But then again, I was busy learning for my last exam in this term so I did not have much time thinking about that.

The day before Seedcamp

We went to London the day prior to the official Seedcamp event. And of course, the slides were not ready yet. Therefore work began already on the plane, and we continued to work on the presentation till we arrived at the UCL where a preparation session was held. There we met the rest of the 20 Startup-Teams. But unfortunately we have not had a chance to talk to them for a long time since the rehearsal was about to begin soon. And I as already mentioned we, finished the presentation on our way there, and it did not went great. But that's what rehearsals are for, right?!

As I was watching the other teams rehearse and listening the feedback they got from Philipp Moehring, Reshma Sohoni and the rest of the entrepreneurial crowd I was surprised that it was pretty focused on the content. Very little feedback was given about the style and the energy of the presentation. And I think that's not good, because in my opinion you need a great presentation with a lot of pace and energy to get the attention of the audience. Don't get me wrong, it's still important to provide all the important information about your idea. But it's lost effort if everybody in the room is checking their emails and not listening to you. Sadly EnergyBob was lacking that energy and so we kept on working on our presentation till 1am.

Seedcamp day!

Seedcamp day started early, very early. We already got up at 6 in the morning since we still needed some time to practice the presentation and memorize the slides. We then arrived at the venue around 9, very tired but also very exited about what's going to happen next. And it was a blast. All the teams polished their pitches and showed more energy than the day before. After a short break the mentoring session began. 5 Groups of 4-5 mentors talked to all the startups in private and gave them a lot of insight into their market and best practices to avoid pitfalls. As for EnergyBob I was quite surprised that there were a lot of questions about the technical details of our product. I would have thought people are more interested in the business and it's opportunities than wireless communication standards, but I was mistaken. Of course they were interested in the business and how it can reach the masses but they also had a genuine interest in the technology. But 5 mentoring session (each 45 minutes) are very exhausting I've been taking a couple of pages full of notes and I'm sure I still forgot some of the good input we got. But it was good to see that the feedback did not reveal any new problems or diffuculties, it was just confirming the ones we already knew. And most of the people I talked to afterwards said the same. Except for Matija Kopić from Farmeron, a data management tool for Farmers. Matija said that "I just spent the last 5 hours explaining how farmers do business."

What I took from it

After all, Seedcamp was a pretty amazing experience and I'm very lucky to have been there. In retrospect I went back to Munich with loads of business cards, some new twittter followers and a first impression of the european startup scene outside of germany. It was really great to meet all of these nice, ambitious, crazy people who believe in their ideas and make things happen. And if I had to summarize the biggest learning from seedcamp it in one phrase I'd say it's the old german proverb "Die anderen Kochen auch nur mit Wasser". This means the others also use water for cooking, even europes top tech entrepreneurs.

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