Hosted at Imperial, Seedcamp Week 2011 offered new entrepreneurs the opportunity to seek advice from experts
By Tanya Gubbay
Wednesday 14 September 2011
Last week saw the launch of Seedcamp Week at Imperial College Business School and the Department of Computing, linking up new entrepreneurs with industry experts from across Europe.
The event included over 400 mentors, with investors and marketing gurus from high profile companies such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook, eBay and Twitter, as well the founders of well-known start-ups such as Spotify, Wonga and Livebookings.
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Through a number of mini Seedcamps, which have taken place throughout the year, 20 start-up companies from across the world were invited to participate in the week to seek advice from experts on how to take their business to the next level. This year also saw the inclusion of ‘Demo Day’, where companies were able to explain their ideas to influential investors.
Among the participants, was Fractal, a web-based service which converts HTML into compliant email designs. The team of two brothers was only selected last month at a mini seedcamp in London, and includes Imperial undergraduate Kahin Farah. Mr Farah, who is studying Maths and Computing explains why this programme is so important to their business: “We have already received €50,000 from winning the mini Seedcamp in August and Seedcamp Week provided a great opportunity to get everyone as excited about Fractal as we are.
"It is extremely useful to have the opportunity to meet successful entrepreneurs who can share their experiences with us. Getting any start-up business off the ground is very tough, and these valuable insights will hopefully help us avoid making big mistakes."
This is the first time the week has been hosted by Imperial, and as Dr Itxaso del Palacio Aguirre, teacher and coach at the Entrepreneurship Hub at the Business School explains, it was a fantastic opportunity: "This type of event brings in many top investors, professionals and entrepreneurs from across the world. Holding it here allows our students to network personally with these influential people and learn from real entrepreneurial experiences."
Reshma Sohoni, partner and co-manager at Seedcamp said: "It is very important for us to work closely with universities. This is where the talent lies and where the best ideas come from. Imperial proved to be a fantastic partner this year – the faculties and student volunteers were incredibly helpful and supportive, ensuring a great week was had by all."
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