Seedcamp finalists miss a great opportunity Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Presumably, one of the benefits that flows from being a Seedcamp finalist is public exposure and the opportunity to build profile. Hence, one would expect firms to make the most of the day that the list of finalists is announced and the resultant traffic.
So its surprising that so many of the firms either don't have a website or have no offering to inspect. A sign-up form and brief descriptive sentence is better than nothing, but even that is tame.
Of course, a firm's interest in Seedcamp may lie solely in the meagre investment on offer or the chance to meet with possible mentors/investors.
However, it doesn't seem very savvy to me to miss out on the chance to use the announcement "platform".
- At 6:54 PM, Kristoffer Lawson said...
While I agree that there might have been a missed opportunity, I think a lot of companies are still waiting to find out how they do by the end of the week. Additionally some may be so early stage startups that they have virtually nothing more than a prototype ready. After all, Seedcamp is supposed to be about helping early stage companies onwards and not just a publicity stunt for the participants.
- At 9:14 PM, John Wilson said...
Kristoffer, I agree it's not a publicity stunt - one assumes that the finalists must have something going for them to have got so far. However, one has to question why a business would pass up free publicity. Moreover, does it suggest that the team can't handle multiple issues simultaneously?
As to your point that some may be so early stage that they have nothing more than a prototype ready, I would make several points.
Firstly several of the panel, including Robin Klein on his blog, have publicly stated that the days of being funded on the back of a slidedeck have passed, given how development costs have plummeted. Hence the perception of some of the panel is that it is cheap to build the application, but with the recognition it will dramatically change following user interaction etc. In which case, why haven't you built more and got user feedback already?
Secondly, this is a competition and not a funding round in which all good companies could be funded. Hence there is a winner. As such, whilst a finalist may get great advice during the few days of Seedcamp, only the winner(s) will take the prize and others will fall out of the spotlight. Hence, grabbing some light while you can isn't a bad thing.
- At 5:48 PM, Kristoffer Lawson said...
Getting feedback early on was exactly what we did. We have launched parts of our service as quickly as possible, just to get the feedback coming in and, indeed, to provide something that is genuinely useful for a lot of people. That is all great, but it does have some downsides as well, such as people possibly getting a limited idea of our offering.
Only time will tell if that was the right strategy but as a bit of a perfectionist myself I can understand there are companies which feel differently and prefer to keep things locked until the right moment. Perhaps for their presentation at Seedcamp or, indeed, for if they win.
I agree that free publicity for an early stage startup is something you'd generally want to grab at. Then again, winning probably gives you a lot more of that.