Is this the next Google?

A small team of us are quietly beavering away on an Asia Pacific equivalent to Y Combinator.  A group called Seedcamp is pulling together a similar operation targeted at Europe.  They are commencing their program in early September with a week long bootcamp in London for a group of 20 teams chosen out of 270 aspirants.

The Financial Times has a full list of these 20 teams and quotes Seedcamp exec, Saul Klein: “We want Seedcamp entrepreneurs to build the next Google. We want European kids to believe that they can succeed from Riga, Istanbul or Hertfordshire.”

A Great vision and one to which we aspire for the Asia Pacific region. Given the anticipated growth in the region I’m glad we’ve got an Asia Pac strategy.

Check out the teams participating in Seedcamp below:

ArtFlock.com (UK) – ArtFlock.com aims to be the foremost online destination for the sale and promotion of original art and craft by the worlds’ freshest artists and makers

Avenue7 (London, UK) – Community for teenage girls to talk fashion with their friends

Buildersite (London, UK) – Buildersite is a web-marketplace for construction services.  We aim to provide homeowners and tradesmen with the largest and most trusted venue for transacting business online

Content Syndicate (Dubai, UAE) – Helps content providers and buyers commission, distribute, buy and sell content, that’s exclusive, customized and personalized for their requirements

Debatewise (London, UK) – Debatewise will enable people to compare the collective wisdom of one side of a debate with the collective wisdom of their opponents, to help them make up their mind about anything

Facecontact.com (Moscow, Russia) – Facecontact.com is a simple and effective tool for referral tracking and reward administration for referring job candidates, clients, investors and other prospects

KillSushi (Cadiz, Spain) – Currently in stealth

Krogos (Bucharest, Romania) – Software development

Kublax (London, UK) – Online personal finance management service

Maple and Leek (London, UK) – A social networking site aimed at inspiring like minded over 50s to build an online community of friends and fellow explorers

OpenEra (UK) – Online real estate information systems provider and the developer of the new and exciting Reavia portfolio collaboration service

Picolex (Paris, France) – Currently in stealth

Price Delivered (London) – The place for consumers to discover and share genuine bargains

Project Playfair (Edinburgh, Scotland) – Applying the concept of hypertext to numbers to track how they flow through an organization

RentMineOnline (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – Online rental marketplace

The School of Everything (London, UK) – A marketplace for independent teachers and classes in anything and everything

Tablefinder (Sweden) – Tablefinders’ mission is to aggregate the world’s online bookable restaurants through an awarding and open community

Tickex (London) – Tickex is a search engine for tickets to live events – concert, theatre and sports. In one search, Tickex aggregates results from all the major primary and secondary brokers

Wall Street Docs (Frankfurt, Germany) – Currently in stealth

Zemanta (Ljubljana, Slovenia) – Zemanta provides content intelligence platform for automatically enhancing content to make it web-ready

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5 thoughts on “Is this the next Google?

  1. One of the criticisms of the Y Combinator approach has been the focus on requiring startups to relocate as part of the program. I think they have valid reasons for doing this (and they can certainly afford to be picky), but I’m wondering if you’re planning a similar approach?

    It does pretty much limit your potential pool of startup founders to young single people, and perhaps in Australia (with our smaller and more distributed population) we can’t afford to be as picky as Paul Graham can.

  2. Yeah I agree with John; Being forced to relocate is a limiting factor, and would cull the potential companies immediately. Surely with all the communication and connectivity options these days, physical location shouldn’t be an issue.

    I think Australia would produce some good quality startups, due the fact that we have entrepreneurial influences from US, but also we understand what it’s like to be a non-US country for lots of these services. Simple features like internationalisation and reduced bandwidth requirements come to mind.

    Rand, maybe you’re the one to bring it to Oz.

  3. John & Chris,

    It’s an interesting question. I previously ran an early stage venture firm that was focused across Australia and some of our best performing portfolio companies were “regional” rather than Sydney-based.

    That said the intensity of the initial 3 month program does require proximity – at least for the duration of this phase.

    We expect to run the program across the entire Asia Pacific region and I’m sure there will be tweaks to take into account what works best in this part of the world.

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