Seedcamp is Europe’s biggest micro-investor program, and luckily they organised a mini-event in the city where I live, Istanbul. My start-up ZulaMobile was chosen as a finalist to pitch at the event.
The process started with a preparation event a day before, attended by start-up companies, Yalim Gerger and Carlos Eduardo Espinal. It was surprising to see that half of the start-up companies didn’t show up because it was a massive help with the presentations. I though that my presentation was perfect but in fact, I had a long way to improve it. Seedcamp’s mentoring started even before the event.
The Mini-Seedcamp was scheduled to start at 12:30. I went out from home at 11:00 and barely made it at 12:30. Istanbul is a monstrous city. One and a half hours in traffic, on a regular day where everybody is supposed to be at work or at least not driving. I really think that people in Istanbul don’t work. Traffic is a huge production killer here.
When I entered the conference room, they said that the event was running approximately an hour late. No surprise really. But I have to say that the organisation was pretty good. Especially refreshments were amazing. Also everything was on time (except the initial delay).
It started with the intro speech by Carlos, then Anthony Douglas, the founder of a Seedcamp company “Hole19” talked about his experience at Seedcamp. After his presentation, I had a chance to talk with him, he was off to enjoy Istanbul. I advised him to take the ferry, public transportation to see how a regular day in Istanbul feels like. I wonder if he did and if he hates me for it.
Then the pitching session for start-up companies started. Sadly ZulaMobile was the last start-up to pitch due to the alphabetical order of companies. Each start-up had to do a three minute presentation which limits them to say only what is necessary, concisely. I pitched ZulaMobile’s idea, a multi-platform mobile app-creator. It felt really great to see the attention of the audience.
After the pitching the panel forum had started. Emre Kurttepeli explained why he’s more excited about `sexy` start-ups and why Turkish companies need to scale globally. Sidar Sahin, founder of Peak Games, talked about his experiences too.
Sean Park‘s talk at the end of the event was the greatest for me since he was addressing issues that I’m facing in the course of my entrepreneurship. He was saying that one should position himself around skilled, passionate people and learns to delegate things when necessary. And being an entrepreneur can be really painful for people who aren’t cut out to be one.
I can say that the highlight of my day was the networking session, I met lots of people and more importantly, I received invaluable feedback on ZulaMobile. Some of them are ideas that possibly will shape the future of Zula, and validation that we’re on the right path.
I am really satisfied with the event and the experience that I had. I thank Yalim Gerger and Carlos Espinal for making this day happen, and thank all the start-ups that supported each other.