Seedcamp – One Survivor’s Story

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What’s that saying… What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?

Seedcamp is frequently described as “the original and best UK boot camp for start-ups”, and it certainly enforces a strict disciplinary regime.

It started last Wednesday afternoon, when London Seedcamp’s Top 20 start-ups met to practice their pitches. The feedback was insightful, helpful… and brutal. As new boot camp recruits we needed to be taught acceptable social behaviours!

I was told that the start of my presentation was amusing and engaging, but didn’t tie to anything else. Another start-up was told that his content was great but his delivery was so boring that “I stopped listening after the first slide”, while a modest, softly-spoken individual was told to “sit by the door tomorrow, and run up and down the stairs three times before you present – we need to see your blood pumping”. We were all told to rewrite and to practice, practice, practice. There was no doubt how seriously Seedcamp took their boot camp reputation.

Harsh though the feedback was, it worked. Every presentation was much better the next morning. I was thoroughly impressed by all the smart start-ups that were keeping a packed room captivated (that’s Mark in the bottom left hand corner). Having survived the practice run together there was a great sense of camaraderie amongst us – we’d all learnt a lot together in a very short time, and there was a strong shared sense of knowing that we’d all taken a step up.

Pitches over, we got to kick back briefly while the Seedcamp panel (@ahansjee @christianhern @tomall @glyndot chaired by @ceduardo) discussed “From Business Development to M&A”.

Then it was onto what I’d been really looking forward to – mentoring – five 45 minute sessions with groups of entrepreneurs, product experts, VCs, and angel investors. Traditionally boot camp requires hard physical exercise. At Seedcamp, physical exercise is replaced with mental exercise. We had been warned to expect challenging conversations, and the mentors didn’t disappoint.

As I write, the winners haven’t been announced, but I think all 20 of us won.

The process and people are amazing. A week on I’m still digesting the huge amount of fantastic advice we received. Mentors have been incredibly proactive at getting in touch since – making introductions and removing barriers. New meetings and opportunities are going in the diary.

And there are worse things than being referred to as a “top idea” in the Guardian Smile

Seedcamp – I’d thoroughly recommend applying, participating and surviving!

Sharing that Top 20 and Friday Feeling

Here at CubeSocial HQ, we’ve been celebrating making London Seedcamp’s Top 20.

We’d been itching to share our good news since we were told at the start of the week, so it felt wonderful that as soon as we did, Twitter friends immediately got in touch echoing our excitement:

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Of course we’re very aware that Top 20 means that there are 19 other teams “rocking” Seedcamp next week, but regardless it’s a great feeling, made all the better by your support!

The one-day-only Seedcamp celebration offer

So I’ve decided to throw caution to the bootstrapping start-up wind… the first 20 to subscribe to CubeSocial today can do so at 20% of the usual price. Whatever you fancy – Basic, or Plus, Monthly or Annual, you’ll just pay 20% Smile

Click http://cubesocial.com/ and sign-up for the free trial (or simply login if you’re already on the free trial). Then, in CubeSocial go to https://app.cubesocial.com/Admin/Account/ChoosePlan and choose your preferred plan. The Discount Code is seedcamp.

Join us in that Top 20 and Friday feeling!

CubeSocial Selected for Seedcamp London

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CubeSocial is one of 20 tech start-ups selected for Seedcamp London, which takes place next Thursday 11 August.

During the event, we get five minutes to showcase our business to a range of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, lawyers, accountants and other experts, followed by an afternoon of expert mentoring and coaching.

Becoming a Seedcamp London finalist is great recognition for everyone involved here at CubeSocial and follows on from last month’s listing as a Company to Watch in the Thames Valley 250. We hope the day itself brings us more good news.

Wish us luck!