Seed Forum UK - connecting investors to top European tech talent at Digital Greenwich November 14, 2014
By Olivia Shannon @ShanComms
Seed Forum's 26th Investor Matchmaking Conference
Seed Forum International Foundation was back in London on November 14th for its 26th investor matchmaking forum. Hosted by Digital Greenwich, the event saw a promising selection of up-and-coming technology start-ups from the UK, Estonia, Sweden and Ukraine present to technology investors and network over coffee and lunch. Later that day, the group reconvened at a London restaurant to continue networking over drinks at the evening reception.
The morning started with a round of keynote speeches delivered from representatives from Digital Greenwich, EntrepreneurCountry, UK Trade & Investment and Seed Forum. Start-ups then delivered concise, well-prepared presentations followed by Q&A sessions. After the pitches, there were two hours of networking at Digital Greenwich over a buffet lunch. Attendees then took the afternoon off to conduct meetings and discuss business opportunities in more detail.
But Seed Forum didn't end with the morning conference. As with all Seed Forums around the world, there was an evening reception where the networking continued at another venue in a more relaxed setting. The evening reception is a valuable opportunity for start-ups to continue getting to know investors who attended the morning conference and meet some additional investors who were unable to attend the morning event. This format is a proven success for the many thousands of Seed Forum companies and investors who participate in over 40 countries.
Praise for this November's Seed Forum is enthusiastic and wide-ranging. Start-ups said the event was "perfectly organised", with a "super productive environment" that created excellent opportunities to make valuable contacts. Investors said they were "impressed" with the high quality of the start-ups and their presentations, also noting that the event was well organised.
All in all, it was an action-packed day full of exciting investment and business opportunities for everyone involved.
Start-up Preparation for Seed Forum
To minimise risk and maximise the value of the event, all Seed Forum start-ups are thoroughly prepared and vetted by Seed Forum professionals. Before pitching at any Seed Forum conference, all start-ups must participate in investor-readiness pitch training with a Seed Forum accredited trainer. This October, Seed Forum President Steinar Korsmo personally delivered the pitch training for the UK start-ups at Gowlings law offices in London.
Based on the results from the pitch training, Seed Forum then invites a selection of the most investor ready start-ups to participate in the pitch day.
The evening before Seed Forum, participating start-ups attended a rehearsal event at the Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co law offices at 4 More London Riverside.
Sunil Kakkad, Partner at Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, opened the pre-pitch event with a speech about the firm's work in intellectual property protection for tech start-ups around the world. Catering was on-hand, as was a stunning view of City Hall and Tower Bridge.
Keynote speakers at Seed Forum London
The morning of this November's Seed Forum in London started with four keynote speeches from business leaders who shared useful insights for technology start-ups looking to grow their businesses in the UK. Keynote speakers included:
Paul Copping - Smart Cities Advisor at Digital Greenwich.
Paul spoke about Digital Greenwich's work supporting London's technology startup ecosystem. He commented that "Digital Greenwich has a vision to raise Greenwich into being a centre for smart city technologies."
Monika Gierszewska - Partnership Manager at EntrepreneurCountry
Monika spoke about her extensive experience working with technology start-ups. She noted that pitching skills - such as those gained at Seed Forum - are vital to start-up success.
Richard Leaver - Dealmaker at the UKTI
Richard spoke about UKTI's Global Entrepreneur Program, which is devoted to helping international businesses set up in the UK. He said UKTI has recruited sixteen dealmakers specifically to help companies build their businesses in the UK.
Steinar Korsmo - President of Seed Forum
Steinar delivered an introduction to the Seed Forum concept and its work supporting thousands of start-ups and investors around the world.
Praise for Seed Forum from Start-ups and Attendees
Below are some highlights from the feedback we received to this November's Seed Forum in London
"We are extremely happy with the outcome of Seed Forum. It was perfectly organised by people truly dedicated to what they do. We received effective and thorough training prior to the event, and we enjoyed the warm and welcoming atmosphere. We made lots of connections to investors and advisors".
- Art Stavenka, Old Bond London
"I enjoyed meeting the innovative companies in attendance and gained a good insight in to the current innovation outside of the UK. It was well-organised and I look forward to attending the next event."
- Richard Cleveley, Associate, Ruffena Capital
"Snaptivity is proud of being part of Seed Forum in London. Seed Forum is an absolutely unique event where start-ups can get connections, introductions and start building relationships with investors and partners. The full-service package from pitch training to networking at Seed Forum makes a great start for your business and shows the start-up's readiness for funding and going global. If you want to build a successful international business, Seed Forum is definitely something you have to look at."
Olly Paulovich, Creative Marketing Director, Snaptivity
"I must say I enjoyed the Seed Forum event - my first experience. I thought the pitches were good and I look forward to attending future Seed Forum events."
- Belinda Cerclay, independent investor representative
Seed Forum London is a super-productive environment for start-ups and investors to find common ground and synergise. The format of the event is perfect for building effective relationships with the right people."
Aleksandr Furtak, Co-founder and CTO, Dressboom
"I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of start-ups pitching at the Seed Forum UK - much higher than a usual demo day. They came from all over Europe and their pitches were clear and sharp. I'm following-up with most of them regarding investment and other business opportunities."
Monika Gierszewska, Partner Manager, EntrepreneurCountry
I enjoyed my experience at the Seed Forum London event. The quality of companies was good and so were their presentations. I will definitely be back."
- Kjartan Rist, Partner, Concentric Partners
"There were some very interesting companies pitching at Seed Forum London - companies who are really trying to disrupt some of the established business models of tech. I look forward to the next event."
- Luke Tripp, Analyst, Tech Leaders Capital
View from the Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co balcony
Seed Forum London
The next Seed Forum pitch day in London will be announced soon. For updates please:
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Email your interest in attending as an investor or start-up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming up from Digital Greenwich
- How to break into the indian digital market (4th December 2014)
Coming up from EntrepreneurCountry
- Entrepreneur Country Forum London (3rd February 2014)
More from Gowlings UK
Coming up from UK Trade & Investment
More from Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co
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