Two weeks ago, we invited you all to enter the Venturepreneurs Pitch Contest 2012. The response was overwhelming, we have received so many great projects, it was hard to choose, but eventually we narrowed it down to the final 3.
It’s finally time to name the three selected Stratups and Entrepreneurs for the Venturepreneurs Pitch Contest 2012 (in a random order):
Smadex - Jordi de los Pinos
Ludium Lab - Ignacio Arroyo
CouchCommerce - Alexander Ringsdorff
Thank you all for participation in our contest and Congratulations to the 3 finalists!
For the first time ever these 3 top startups will pitch their projects in front of the Venturepreneurs on the island of Mallorca on October 18th and will be competeing for up to €300.000 of Funding!
Best of luck to the top 3 startups!
***As Xavi Beumala (Marfeel) was unable to participate in the Venturepreneurs Pitch Contest 2012 in Mallorca, we invited Alexander Ringsdorff from CouchCommerce, being the next selected project on the list.
We’re thrilled to announce that the Venturepreneurs’ Organisation will be conducting its first “Venturepreneurs Pitch Contest 2012” which will take place on Spain’s beautiful island Mallorca on the 18th October 2012.
A quick background for those not familiar, the Venturepreneurs’ Organisation is a structured ecosystem of serial entrepreneurs who also act like venture capitalists and provide seed-stage investments in European startups. The Venturepreneurs share their knowledge and experience, create high quality deal flow, foster growth and generate co-investment opportunities and business contacts.
For the first time, innovative startups with an international vision and expansion plan will have the chance to pitch directly to the Venturepreneurs to receive funding, guidance, and key introductions into an extensive international network.
How does it work?
1. The startup must have a need of up to €300.000 of Funding for their seed investment round.
2. Register at Foundum.com your entrepreneurial and startup profile
3. Insert your seed investment as a Need in your Profile (Private Investor/Equity).
4. Apply through firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested or tweet “@Venturepreneurs @Foundum! I want to pitch!”
The top 3 startups will then present their projects in front of the Venturepreneurs on the island of Mallorca on October 18th. The winner will receive up to €300.000 of Funding!
Deadline to apply: 08.10.2012!
We’ll announce the selected 3 startups on the 11.10.2012!
Being able to pitch your idea in such a beautiful environment should encourage every entrepreneur to apply! Stay tuned for more Information and fill out your “Funding Needs”! We look forward to your tweets and emails.
We wish you the best of luck to get into the top 3!
The Venturepreneurs’ Organisation is a pan-European organization of serial entrepreneurs and investors. They meet twice per year to discuss trends, share their network and stories as well as collaborate on new projects. One of the most interesting sessions of the 9th Summit that was held in Gavà this year in May was the ‘Trends session’. In 2 hours each Venturepreneur discussed what he thought to be the trend to follow in the next few years. Below we can explore these 13 trends that might shape our future.
1. Mass Customization
3D printing has been around for some time already. It is now making it’s way to mainstream and the technology has improved so much that 3D printers can now replicate themselves – robots creating robots! Once technology makes its way to the street and the masses can take more control over it imagine the kind of potential that could be unleashed. Toys, clothes, electronics, furniture – all you want could be replicated and personalized across the entire world.
2. Banking/Mobile payments
We all know that mobile payment will somehow emerge as the form of payment for many. The question is who will be the winner in this space? Will it take the shape of the credit card industry with a MasterCard, Visa and Amex or will there be many more players?
3. Proximity Based Services
We are living two lives, one in the physical space and another in the digital space. It only makes sense that there be an ever increasing merging of these two worlds. Mobile has immensely helped this transition with location based communities. More and more applications will find a way to have proximity based services take over many aspects of your life, such as messaging, dating and advertising.
4. Online Bookings
Vertical online bookings are a reality and can only become bigger. Book your flight, hotel, restaurant and whatever you need online. Some spaces are cluttered already but there are many possibilities for websites to become the no.1 booking site for the vertical industry they represent.
5. Online Education
Education as we know it has not changed very much since World War 2. The content might have somewhat evolved and been updated, but the majority of education takes place in classrooms with a professor and 20 or more students taking notes from the blackboard. It is time to change this and in the next 10/20 years we will observe an educational revolution where students will prepare for class before school via online videos given by the best professors in the world.
This industry has taken off in the past years and Amazon is the absolute winner in this space from a global perspective. But there are still many opportunities. Redesigning the experience, going into new industries and ‘owning’ a customer for life are some of these opportunities.
7. HTML5 & apps
It would seem like HTML5 is the winning technology for future apps for mobile devices. Therefore start developing your apps in HTML5 because this technology allows you to have an app on different platforms and at the same time keeping and adapting the design, look & feel.
We are many on the web and we are looking for ways to stand out from the crowd. The internet is a much bigger crowd than your high school, college or workplace. Social validation systems, ways and services that rank your social status online will be ever more important.
9. Second Screen TV
The TV industry is another industry that is moving very slowly. We still watch TV from our sofa. Many have switched to online streaming, but we still watch TV from a screen and take in what is displayed on the screen. That’s why we are seeing, slowly, the emergence of 2nd screen TV’s. 2nd screen TVs are applications on your mobile device that allow you to further engage with the program you are watching on TV. For example; as you are watching Formula 1 on TV you can see extra facts and figures about the race on your tablet. In addition you can also interact and share what you are watching on your social networks.
10. Last but not least…. Mobile
We have not mentioned it but from the above trends the simple truth comes out that mobile, smartphones, tablets are becoming our major outlet for media, entertainment, messaging and communities. While laptops and computers are where we work. Not to mention the importance of mobile devices in emerging and underdeveloped countries where computers are not even an option.
Trends are an educated guess of the future based on past and present occurrences. The Venturepreneurs are a group of professionals who’s business is to be aware of trends and ‘catch the wave’ of what is about to come. In our opinion something that might have been missed is the cable-free connected home. The idea of having media, appliances, computers, tablets, mobiles and all that is electronic connected and fully integrated on the wi-fi network. What do you see as the next wave?
In 2011, the technological progress was remarkable. The world of Smartphones and tablets has further evolved. We can’t imagine a world without these changing technologies anymore and we are curious about upcoming trends and innovations. We made a little forecast of the hottest technological trends for 2012. This year we will surely see some new disruptive technology, but some predictions can be made based on what we have seen in 2011.
With examples like Apple’s growing iCloud, Cloud Computing will be one of the hottest continuing trends for 2012. It was introduced in 2011 and a lot more seems to come. The security of cloud computing could also be an area of opportunity. While the market remains in its early stages in 2011 and 2012, it will see large enterprise providers fully engaged in delivering a range of offerings to build cloud environments and deliver cloud services such as the successful Startup Nephoscale. It’s a cloud company, which has its own data center and sells on demand. The global cloud computing market will presumably reach $241 billion in 2020 compared to $40.7 billion in 2010 (source: Forrester Research).
Tablets consolidated their presence on the market in 2011 after a successful entry in 2010. Inquiries for tablet computers are constantly rising and the iPad 2 shows record-breaking sales revenues for the 4th quarter of 2011. The tablet market is expected to grow to $35 billion by 2012 (source: Reuters).
The amount of data in our world has been exceeding human expectations and analyzing large data sets will become a key in leading to new waves of productivity growth, innovation, and consumer surplus. Managing big data sets will require new technologies such as in-memory DBMS (Database Management System) which will make analytics and data warehousing faster. DBMS is a software package with computer programs that control the creation, maintenance, and use of a database. Online Storage Providers like Dropbox, Carbonite or Box are likely to have huge success in 2012. New startups and other small businesses will make use of these Service Providers and therefore we anticipate a bright future for Online Storage.
Contextual & Social User Experience
Context-aware computing uses information about a user’s environment, activities, connections and preferences to improve the quality of interaction with the end-user. The contextual application anticipates our requirements based on information such as our current location, temperature, activity calendar or even current TV show being watched. It can help build skills in augmented reality, model-driven security and ensemble applications. Social information is also becoming a major source of contextual information to enhance delivery of search results or the operation of applications.
Mobile Apps & App Stores
The Mobile App World continues to grow and now more than ever before people believe to be able to make a fortune by programming an App. This hype is likely to continue in 2012. Many organisations feel the urge to make use of mobile apps and start creating their own corporate apps. Global mobile application store revenues are about to reach $15 billion in 2011, and are expected to grow to $58 billion by 2014 (source: Gartner).
App stores by Apple and Android provide marketplaces where millions of applications are available to mobile users. According to Gartner Android reached a market share of 52,5 % in Q3 with iOS (15,0%) and RIM (11,0%) being far behind. Android’s growth in 2011 is remarkable and is very likely to continue in 2012.
The forecast indicates that by 2014 there will be more than 70 billion mobile application downloads from app stores every year. The role of IT may shift from a centralized planner to a market manager providing governance and brokerage services to users.
Augmented Reality can be seen in games, location apps and can also be used to search for coffee shops or other locations. An example of an app using this kind of Augmented Reality is WorkSnug, a startup connecting mobile workers to the nearest and best places to work in cities around the world. In future it will be seen related to various different products. Augmented Reality puts a virtual view on top of your real world. Looking up a restaurant in your neighborhood gets a complete new touch and is becoming a real experience. Use tools such as Yelp to see its location, to search for reviews and other restaurants right on top of your on-screen view of the street. Mobile Augmented Reality will show substantial growth and is definitely one of the key trends, not only for 2012. A report from Visiongain indicated that 25% of all app downloads will include some sort of augmented reality.
According to media reports Apple is negotiating with media companies about iTV, Apple’s television. Apple’s intention here is to join competition with Cupertino’s Google TV. The Apple TV is expected to come in two different screen sizes (32 and 37 inches). Almost certainly iTV will integrate its voice recognition system Siri. Customers will be able to control the television with their iPhones and iPads. iTV users will be able to stream films and music via iTunes. According to his biography Apple TV was the last big project of Apple Mastermind Steve Jobs who regrettably passed away last year. A lot of people are very curious about iTV and we’ll see in 2012 how it’s going to be perceived by its potential customers.
2012 will definitely bring some new innovative technologies and we can already see huge progress in the mobile sector and it seems to be only the beginning. We’ll observe these tech trends in 2012 and see whether there will be new ones to be discovered.
It has now been 4 years since the existence of the Venturepreneurs’ Organisation. It was 2007 when Christopher Pommerening, Philipp Schroeder and Ricard Soderberg coined the term “Venturepreneur”. The whole concept and organisation are based on very simple but deep and solid ideas. A Venturpreneur is an entrepreneur who also acts as private investor. The Venturepreneurs’ Organisation has the mission to group international Venturepreneurs together.
All of this might seem as any other entrepreneurial association or business angel network, but the reality is that there is a very powerful underlying concept. Unlike a business angel, which term has become very broad, the Venturepreneur Organisation searches for those individuals who have created their own ventures and are now investing actively into new ventures. The added value of a Venturepreneur is the entrepreneurial experience that comes with the investment. Advice is as important as money in a startup as a fragile idea is being implemented into a marketable product or service. This is where the role of the Venturepreneur can really stand out in both experience and network of contacts.
Four years ago it is not to say that Venturepreneurs didn’t exist, in fact many famous entrepreneurs once they finished their first project went on to create a new one and also invested in others. The difference lies in the recognition of such added value and in the “formalisation” of such a term and role.
Since the inception of the organisation the idea has received recognition and the membership is growing at a good controlled base. We now count more than 25 Venturepreneurs from 11 different countries. Each Venturepreneur has an average of 8 investments and has created various companies with many successful exits. All of a sudden one realises the value and worth of these individuals.
The Venturepreneurs will meet for their 8th Summit in Vienna on the 2nd of October. The summits take place twice per year in fall and spring. We have decided this time to have it in Vienna, unlike the usual Barcelona area, because it will take place in conjunction with the Vienna Startup Week.
We are happy that we got some press coverage on Rodolfo Carpintier’s blog, he is also a Venturepreneur in the organisation and it would be a safe bet to say he is the most experienced and gives the group valuable wisdom. From Carpintier’s blog entry also Pablo Martinez from Todostartups.com wrote about the concept of Venturepreneurship. We like to see the concept gain more awareness because entrepreneurs need to know that Venturepreneurs are special individuals who can give added value to a startup and make a difference between success and failure.
IE Business School invited for a one day conference to bring together European Entrepreneurs and Venture Capitalists to assess the current entrepreneurial situation and access to capital in Europe.
The IE Business School campus is based at an old convent and we were invited to the most unique location you could imagine: An old medieval church where Queen Isabel I used to pray for Christopher Columbus’ return.
Thanks to the organizer Gary Stewart, co-founder of nuroa and new Managing Director of the Venture Lab of the IE Business School, a good number of interesting internationally focused Entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists and 400 MBA students were brought together.
Juan Pablo Julia, founder and owner of Axel Hotels, created the world’s most successful hotel chain for hetero-friendly gay hotels in Barcelona, Buenos Aires and Berlin. He mentioned that one of his most difficult challenges was and still is to take the company from a first entrepreneurial stage to a real well-structured company with qualified management team (he employs 120 people worldwide).
Venturepreneur Albert Armengol and founder of eConozco, Spain's first online business network which was acquired by Xing in 2007. Later on he co-founded and invested in several pure internet start-ups participating as Business Angel and Venturepreneur. He actually is a graduated medical doctor with a passion for Internet technology so he created Doctoralia, the world’s leading doctor and medical search engine. He says the great thing about Internet companies is that they permit you to start off without investing a lot of money at the beginning and you can quickly change paths if things are not working or need to be adapted to the market.
Gary Stewart, before starting nuroa he came to Europe as a Yale graduate and first worked as a lawyer. In his particular situation of being a foreigner abroad, he very soon realized the only way to control his own destiny would mean being his own boss and creating a life within is control. Thus together with Oriol Blasco he co-founded nuroa (vertical real-estate search engine). The entrepreneurs shared a few lessons they learnt throughout their entrepreneurial activities:
In Europe we don't have the same history of success like in the US. The US have strong success cases like Sequoia Capital boosting companies like Apple or YouTube. Europe only has a few comparable growth cases like Skype for example. Europe is much more dispersed than the US. Everyone is creating their own little ecosystems but none is reaching the power that Silicon Valley has. In order to find answers to the current situation in Europe and how it affects entrepreneurs raising funds, the following VC’s painted a picture of the current VC market:
Jan Borgstädt from Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI). BDMI is the venture capital arm of Bertelsmann AG, a leading global media company based out of Germany. They invest into start-ups in the sector of online content distribution (advertising, online payment solution, mobile technology). With consolidated revenues of over €17 billion (U.S. $25 billion), Bertelsmann AG is an international media company encompassing television (RTL Group), book publishing (Random House), magazine publishing (Gruner + Jahr), media services (Arvato) and media clubs (Direct Group) in more than 50 countries. Being an Entrepreneur himself,
Creator of Venturepreneurs Organization, Christopher Pommerening presented in his role as Co-Founder and Partner of Active Venture Partners. Active is a Spanish based early & expansion stage fund which invests primarily in technology related businesses. They've completed 9 investments and invest between 0,5 – 4 Mio €. He created the Venturepreneurs' organization – an organization for serial entrepreneurs who also act as venture investors. His advice to any entrepreneur is: If you act according to your passion you will find the skills and the money – not the other way round.
Olivier Tardieu, Senior Analyst at Van den Ende & Deitmer, a Dutch €150 mio fund. The fund was created by Joop van den Ende and Hubert Deitmers who sold their shares of Endemol, World leader TV production company of famous shows like “Big Brother”. They invest between 3-8 Mio € into entrepreneurial mature start ups with a geographic focus in Benelux, France, Spain and UK.
Patrick Raibaut is co-founder and Partner at Debaeque Venture Capital. His investment interests include online and mobile services as well as media investments. Even though the crisis has hit many companies hard he says there’s still enough money, more resources and a lot of talent out there. So it’s the right time to start your company now.
Xavier Lazarus, Partner of Elaia Partners, is heading up a French VC Fund of €75 million investing into Spanish and French Start Ups. They have 18 investments completed and on average they invest between 1 and 4 million. According to Xavier, the effect that the 2008 crisis had on VCs was that the money flow completely disappeared. They made only two investments in 2009 and are now slowly starting to invest more again which means there's light at the end of the tunnel.
Joaquin Alexandre Ruiz Tarré manages a Spanish Technology Fund from theEuropean Investment Fund. The European Investment Fund is an institutional investor in the VC asset class. They have 300 VC funds under their management. In his eyes the crisis has affected the VC sector in that way that it was obviously much more difficult to raise money. Nevertheless some VC’s have managed to do a first closing which shows confidence that little by little the industry is coming back now. Therefore the requirements have also changed: Whilst before the crisis most VC’s already wanted to see the Business Models to start working, they've become even more pickier “show me how you make money first and then I think about investing into your company”. He calls these the best vintage years and is confident that by the end of 2010 we will see a reactivation of the investment activity. If you think about raising capital, keep these questions in mind if you plan to approach any VC's: