My 1st Quarter in a World Class Fund

I can’t believe it has been three months already - 3 months living in London, 3 months working at Seedcamp - the top European Acceleration Fund. Today I want to share with you a quick story about my first quarter were and give you an inside look into the exciting life of Seedcamp. Pre-start December 12th 2014 at 16:57 I have received what must have been the shortest “you’re hired” phone call in history of mankind. If my memory is accurate, it went something like: “That’s it, you’re in - we start on the 5th!”. That is it … no papers, no signatures, nothing at all other than a you’re in from Carlos (one of the Partners at Seedcamp). Logic and everyone that knew about my situation was telling me to be smart and sign something before leaving but I decided to ignore all that and go all in - so I went on and booked my flights.
Let’s fast forward a couple of weeks and it is now January 1st 2015 - I am in London at the Stratford bus stop enjoying the beauty of the British weather while carying a trolley and a huge red backpack. It was done …. me, the guy from a small town near Oporto in Portugal that had been hearing over and over “Nobody gets a job in a VC”, “You’re crazy for having only applied to one job” had just moved to London and was now working for Seedcamp - a world-renowned company located at Campus London.   First impressions During these months I have had the change to go through almost all the event-types we organise - including:
  • SeedHack - Seedcamp organizes hackathons called “SeedHacks”. Our latest one was about IoT and what a great event it was.
  • Seedcamp Week - It’s like Christmas time for startup founders but it happens three times per year. It is one week with no strings attached (equity free, etc.) during which teams from all over the world (yep, even from Hong Kong) join us in London or Berlin for a week of intensive hard work with mentoring sessions and investors.
  • US Trip - A selected group of our teams travelled across the the US to meet with top tier investors and tech companies.
But more than organizing (awesome) events Seedcamp is a very active player in the industry:
  • TransferWise, a company where Seedcamp was an early investor, received a new investment round with an estimated $1B+ valuation (according to TechCrunch)
  • This year Seedcamp has already invested in 11 new companies, bringing the total number of SC investments to over 150 (link)
  • Seedcamp companies move quickly - I saw a company (which is a great business and not a hype/fad) raise hundreds of thousands of pounds in under two weeks.
Since joining Seedcamp I have also had the chance to attend great events like “Don’t Pitch Me Bro” by @3_beards, an awesome meetup by the London Web Performance Group at the Finantial Times building, was a guest along with the awesome teams from Startup Braga at the Portuguese embassy and many more. Our teams are super-awersome - the bar for getting into Seedcamp is high and the results of picking the best is exceptional. We have an awesome office atmosphere where everyone is in friendly, helpful and in a “get sh*t done” state of mind - I love it! My role at Seedcamp is Tech Lead and it’s very broad including server management, website management and improvement, the evaluation and development of internal tools to improve our team’s efficiency … and finally to make sure everything tech works. The “get sh*t done” state of mind also applies to the Seedcamp Team and I was almost imediatelly trusted with a large amount of both freedom and responsability. I have been working hard on building and improving our internal tools, improving our team workflow as much as possible, making changes on our website and other more secretive projects.   How much am I enjoying it so far? Much … very much! To give you an example, when I moved in to my new house, one night my flatmates asked me: “Are you arriving from work this late?” … to which naturally I answered “Yeah” … and their instant reply was: “Oh, but you love your job”. One day on the way to the coffee shop Carlos asked me how everyting was going - my answer was unusual yet honest: “I think people on the tube must hate me” and after a second continued explaining that in most of my mornings I went to work listening to music and feeling that it was going to be a great day while 90%+ of the other commuters looked like they were on the train to a slaughter house.   Why is the Seedcamp Team awesome? Carlos Espinal and Reshma Sohoni are the two Seedcamp Partners and they have participated in the creation of the European startup ecosystem. This means two things: 1) After this many years, they know their sh*t … and ... 2) People know and respect them because they know that they know their sh*t. When I say “they know their sh*t” what I mean is that they have been through many of the problems that startups have, they know the most common issues and problems that early-stage founder will face when creating a business from scratch - wether that is related to building a product, growing a team, lawyerish things, founder-related issues, fund-raising, etc. On the fund-raising side Seedcamp is connected to the most important VCs and both Carlos and Reshma have good friends that are Angel investors or work in large VC funds. The proof of that is that many have already invested in Seedcmap Teams. As an example, in our last Seedcamp Week London there were billions of capital to invest in the room … yes with a “b” …. yes, with an “s”. This means that, if they believe that you, your team and your product are great ... they can connect you to amazing people - people that can change your life and your startup’s life. The “rest” of the team: Dave Haynes was one the first hires at Soundcloud (https://twitter.com/haynes_dave); Ricardo Schäfer worked in M&A at Merrill Lynch (https://twitter.com/SchaeferRic); Sia Houchangnia worked at EY and UBS and is Swiss (I grew up in Switzerland!) (https://twitter.com/SiaHouchangnia); Tom Wilson a high power lawyer at Tier 1 lawfirm specialised in investment funds and corporate M&A in the private equity and venture capital sector (https://twitter.com/tom_wils); Ioana Craescu our “knows it all & fixes it all” person, manages our office & events and makes sure everything runs smoothly (https://twitter.com/Ioana_Craescu); Oli West (who secretly plays a Union Jack ukulele) founded two startups and now meticulously curates all our content and communications (https://twitter.com/oliwesbiz); Antonio De Mello, our previous, intern, speaks three languages fluently and is now working at HOKO a Seedcamp Company (https://twitter.com/AJDeMello); Francesca Di Pietro is our new intern and she has just completed her Phd in Entrepreneurial Funding (https://twitter.com/dipietrofra).
Early 2015 Seedcamp Team

Early 2015 Team - I am proud to be part of this amazing team

  Conclusion I knew Seedcamp was good before working here - that is why I applied in the first place. I just didn’t know it was this good! So far it has been an awesome experience … that is unquestionable and I believe that being part of this amazing team will deeply impact my life in the long run. As an advice and taking the risk of sounding a little bit cliché: follow your passions … surround youself with amazing people, help when you can and absorb knowlege as if you were a sponge. Finally, if you are a founder and want to be part of the Seedcamp Family visit our website at Seedcamp.com and apply to one of our many events, and don’t forget to subscribe to our awesome newsletter. Follow Seedcamp (https://twitter.com/seedcamp)

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