How to Win at Seedcamp: introducing BUKIT
(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
I am happy to announce that my start up BUKIT is out of stealth mode and we are coming out with a bang… as winners of Seedcamp, Europe’s top incubator! Seedcamp is an early stage mentoring and investment program. They have monthly programs in locals all over the world but mostly in Europe and more recently Tel Aviv. We were chosen out of hundreds of applicants for an investment and to be part of their year long program.
If you want to learn more about BUKIT- go to our website www.justbukit.com and sign up for our beta. If you have any questions, feel free to post them here as a comment or go to our facebook page where you can post relevant articles or ask questions about debt.
I highly recommend to startups that they apply if they want to ramp up their speed. Seedcamp has a competitive element where their choice companies get an investment- but the truth is that every company that goes there is a win.
First of all, Seedcamp sifts through hundreds of applications to choose the companies to participate. This means that if you make it there, you are already way ahead. Plus they invite top notch mentors from every sector of the field from tech to PR as well as potential investors.
Here is how you win-
1. Take advantage of all of their pre-event advice. They day before they event everyone meets up to go over pitches and get feedback. This is an amazing resource. My advice is to listen to everything that people say to you and be prepared to spend time changing your presentation according to what they say. You have 3 minutes to show them what you got, so don’t waste a second of it.
2. Know your mentors. Every start up gets mentors and you get your list a few days before the event, go through the list and see who each person is and think of at least one relevant question for them. KNOW WHO THEY ARE, in fact- best advice KNOW WHO EVERYONE IS. This takes work, but the person who could change your life is sitting in that room and it is a shame if you miss the chance because you didn’t do your homework
3. Get there early. This should be obvious but to some people it is not. Being on time means that you are ambitious and punctual. Being late is just lazy. Plan to be there an hour (or two) early and then if you do get stuck somehow you can make up for it. Plus you will be more relaxed then if you end up rushing there.
4. Talk to everyone. This is something that I learned from Jeff Pulver. Serendipity happens when you open yourself up to it. When you enter the room be prepared to talk to people you don’t know. Have your cards on hand and introduce yourself.
5. Everyone is important. You may think that you only need to speak to investors or you are looking for a techie but the truth is that everyone there is well connected and could have someone great to introduce you to even if they don’t seem relevant at first.
6. Don’t just take a card- use it. I can’t recommend enough using Cardmunch through LinkedIn (you can find it in the appstore). It is an app which will take picture of your card and then magically upload the data and connect you to that person through LinkedIn. It is priceless.
7. Use LinkedIn (to follow up on 6) LinkedIn is AMAZING so make sure your profile is up to date and then connect to everyone you meet at Seedcamp.
8. Follow up. When you go home make sure that you send out a slew of emails thanking those who made it happen and connecting to the people that you met. Don’t waste all the networking by not making a follow up call or sending an email.
Seedcamp IS a competition- and it is great to get selected but everyone there can win.
If you go, make the most of it because it is an amazing opportunity.
Sarah Nadav is CEO of BUKIT, a start up which is creating solutions to the American debt crisis. Sarah is a long time social entrepreneur and recipient of the Israeli Parliament’s Award for Volunteer Achievement. She holds a bachelor degree from Hampshire College and a master’s degree from Hebrew University.