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Since the Mini Seedcamp London is starting today and the good people of ReplyDone asked us about tips for Seedcamp here are some that came up. If you got more please comment below and I will add them to the post.
First and most importantly have an answer for the question “Why do you need the money”. Having no answer or not a sufficient answer (“We may do some marketing”) may be a deal breaker. Think about how exactly the money helps your business and why you need the money from Seedcamp for it. Also be honest. If you don’t need the money you won’t fool anyone there. If you need the network, but not the money say so.
Read through the list of mentors and get an overview who everyone is. Write that down (maybe crowd sourced google doc). Think about the questions you have for all the mentor groups (Marketing, Sales, Investors, Tech, …) so you got something to ask anybody.
Go through the list of Startups and try to see which ones you would like to talk to the most.
Think about and get Feedback on all the weak points in your Idea. e.g. Why use your service, what if “big company xyc” does this. The Investors will ask you those questions and if you don’t have a sufficient answer they will ask the question again and again and again.
When answering a question take your time. Think about the question and the underlying meaning of the question. For example we were asked if a huge company could do the same thing we do with their current infrastructure. I answered as a techie and said no and listed some techie reasons. Let’s say they were not impressed. The real question was what if they step into this market and the answer should have been then the market is already pretty big since they are multi million dollar companies. Thus I only care about the other startups in that space and how I can be the one big enough to either partner with the big company or get bought. So stop thinking as a techie. At least a bit.
Business Cards FTW. Prepare some case where you put all the business cards you will get into. You don’t want to lose those. Use a CRM to store your contacts. Highrise has a free plan that my be sufficient for now.
See which other Startups from your area go there and book your accomodations together. Drive there together and drive home together. We had great feedback sessions with the Blossom guys at Ljubljana. Very valuable. Also someone to take you home :)
Don’t forget to put some numbers about your market into the pitch. No one is interrested how your technology works, as long as it works. Everyone wants to know how you make money (at least the people that count there)
Don’t hesitate to tell someone “Then you will maybe never be my customer”. We talked to one guy who would probably never use our service out of very legitimate reasons. In a private conversation you can discuss that, in a more public setting don’t hesitate to say “Then you will never be my customer”. Don’t get dragged into an open discussion with someone who will not use your service. There is nothing to gain out of having that discussion publicly in front of everyone.
Introduce yourself over the mailing list. If you are the first one (damn you Thomas Schranz from Blossom for beating me to it) everyone will read it. But provide some interresting or helpful information with your email, for example a crowd sourced mentor google doc.
Have Fun and go to the parties. Talk to everyone at the parties and dance dance dance.
Last but not least get Mike Butcher to sing a song with the name of your Startup in it. Or any song for that matter. You may not get money or fame from that, but damn that was fun. Best of luck to all the new Seedcampers and hopefully this helped you somehow.