Incredible to see the buzz about Seedcamp and Springboard amongst the start up community. When Seedcamp started it filled a gap that was simply not being supported in the UK. Seedcamp created a UK version of the very successfully Y-Combinator model in the US and created a hugely important piece of the start up ecosystem in the UK in the process. Very interesting to see that there are at least one or two complimentary (from an entrepreneur’s perspective), initiatives out there that offer some interesting choices as an entrepreneur as you cannot do both – or can you?
This summer, Red Gate software launched a programme of similar intent and length to the Seedcamp programme with some key differences.
- Both #Seedcamp and #Springboard are run as competitive programmes where only a select few companies are accepted.
- Seedcamp runs an intensive one week course of activity with a huge number of the UK’s most active entrepreneurs and advisers in September, at the end of the week, up to five companies are picked for a E50k investment for between 5-10% of the company. This is followed by a 3 month programme of intense coaching, mentoring, networking etc. Applications are welcomed from all over the world. Deadline for entries 23rd August. More here.
- Springboard runs interviews in the first week of September to select the candidates for their programme. After this, up to five companies are picked to participate in a 10 week programme involveing speakers like Joel Spolsky, Ryan Carson, Dharmesh Shah and others where their accommodation, office space, food, living expenses, some development money and infrastructure are all provided. Free. (Chris Anderson would be so proud). Red Gate are not looking for equity or even expecting companies to be legally incorporated. They are however looking for companies with B2B ideas rather than consumer propositions. Applications are welcomed from all over the world. Deadline for entries 28th August. More here.
I was called last night and asked by a start up I have been working with whether they should apply to Seedcamp or Springboard.
BAD ENTREPRENEURS!! You are street fighters now.
This disappointed me hugely. They would be really stupid not to apply for both. While there is an element of philanthropy about both programmes, they are both offering a service to entrepreneurs and you should push to get what you can and make the most informed decision at the latest possible point. (Or am I missing something here?).
Whatever happens, this is all good news for the start up ecosystem in the UK.