Female Founders Pitch at Mini-Seedcamp London

Every year we attend start-up events and start-up pitch competitions, from GeeknRolla to LeWeb, and yet we hardly ever see more than a couple of Women pitch. It was a very pleasant surprise to see 5 out of the 20 start-up pitches be led by women Founders at this year's Mini Seedcamp in London, which took place on Tuesday the 27th of July.

logo_seedcampNot only were there 5 women-led pitching startups among the finalists, but one of them was only 21. Jessica Ratcliffe impressed the audience of over 70 web experts, investors and successful entrepreneurs while pitching her business GaBoom, an online swap platform for gamers already live in beta and getting traction, alongside her business partner James King.

The Women-Led finalists were:

  • EDITD - The Bloomberg for apparel retailers and brands that forecasts fashion trends - Founded by Julia Fowler and Geoff Watts - One of the 5 Seedcamp Winners
  • GABOOM - An online marketplace to swap and sell video games - Founded by Jessica Ratcliffe and James King
  • MATCHIK - The first Crowd Sourcing Platform for Home Design - Founded by Joana Picq, COO of The NextWomen
  • SCRAMBLR - A SaaS application that enables creative teams to have their own online studio - Founded by Jane Young and Andrew Webb
  • SWEEBLE - A web-based self-publishing tool designed to help schools and groups raise funds - Founded by Sue Greenwood and Greg Finney

All other finalists also had very impressive teams and compelling concepts; there was an interesting range of startups, from very early stage/pre-launch to more established and even profitable companies looking for advice and investment. Returning mentors thought this year's finalists were especially good teams, and all teams were impressed with the quality of the advice given by the mentors at hand - Reshma Sohoni, Philipp Moehring & the Seedcamp team attracted a very interesting crowd to this event, which made it a success.

On top of the quality advice given by mentors, startups also had the opportunity to hear an interesting panel discussion with former VCs turned entrepreneurs about the challenges of fundraising, led by Saul Klein (Chairman of Seedcamp).

Here are some of the insights given by each panelist:

  • Avid Larizadeh - now founder of Boticca
"Angels are often the best alternative to early stage startups as they can be more active and give valuable advice. It's very important to choose the right investor, and not just any investor."
"I would start looking for early stage funding with friends and family, and look for the good VCs with seed funds."

And when asked by the audience on what is 'a little investment':

"It depends where you are. You can find many people in the streets of Palo Alto who will think $1M is a 'little bit of money' - unfortunately they're very hard to find in Europe. In the UK a "little seed investment" will often be of around £250K. "
  • Max Niederhofer - now Founder of Qwerly
"Fundraising is like dating - don't tell investors you are looking for money, try and pretend you don't need it."

"Don't create unnecessary overhead in your company so early in time - avoid VCs even with seed funds."

Mini Seedcamp London 2010 has proven to be a very worthwhile event, especially for startups, as it brought some of the most experienced and creative web experts together to provide constructive feedback and advice to early stage businesses trying to break through. We'll be sending announcements when the next Seedcamp event opens for applications.

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