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Reshma Sohoni CEO Seedcamp – wywiad

reshma sohoni ceo of seedcamp

W szaleństwie przygotowań kolejnej Auli (tak, tak to już dziś – 26 lutego!) przedstawiam wywiad z gościem specjalnym Auli i TMT Reshma Sohoni CEO konkursu Seedcamp. Wywiad w całości po angielsku w ramach ćwiczenia swojej znajomości języków obcych przydatnej w czasie występów przed zagranicznym inwestorem :)…

AK74 – Reshma – in few words – what is Seedcamp? Is it real chance to being notice for young entrepreneurs?

It’s an initiative to help young entrepreneurs across Europe really jump start their business. Through a combination of capital and more importantly access to a network of mentors that can help the companies, we do believe it’s a real chance for entrepreneurs to build truly international/global companies

AK74 – Do you really believ that potentail for start-up projects is equal among all european countries? Start-ups from Poland, Romania, Slovakia are competitive to French or British young entrepreneurs?

It’s a good question. I don’t think that start-ups are equal across the countries. I do think programming/coding talent is equally strong across the markets and in Eastern Europe the math and programming skills are immensely strong. The issue is that Britain and France have had a longer history supporting start-ups and there’s a very vibrant and active community of entrepreneurs, corporates, VCs here.

Also, we’re starting to see a lot more serial entrepreneurs in the UK. So, to me it’s important to grow this community within Poland, Romania, Slovakia so that the start-up projects are stronger and young entrepreneurs can get better experiences more quickly

AK74 – What is the basic benefit of taking part in Seedcamp for entrepreneurs? Money or experience & coaching?

It’s a combination of the capital (money) and mentoring (coaching). Through Seedcamp, entrepreneurs have access and one-to-one mentoring to many of the best entrepreneurs, VCs, angel investors, corporate, and tech/product experts in Europe. This is exactly the community that a start-up needs to work with to develop their business, product, attract customers.

Also, the Seedcamp companies interact with each other and learn a lot from each other as well.

AK74 – In few weeks you will be a key guest of two events (Aula and TMT) – your presence in Poland is a sign that western markets & VC are focusing on „rising economics” of new UE members?

I think that is definitely true. Many start-ups in UK, France, etc have been working with programmers in Poland, Ukraine and broadly Eastern Europe for years and there’s more of a recognition of this talent plus the EE economies are growing, are large markets, and are increasingly international and start-up friendly.

Plus, as markets become more saturated and competitive in W. Europe, it’s certainly a signal for VCs and investors to look to new growth areas of the EU to diversify their investments.

AK74 – Do you believe that Europe in few years can be a true leader in IT? Next Google or Facebook can be created somewhere in UE?

Absolutely. But you bring up the key point. It will take some time and it needs the right elements of a community to come together plus an environment in the countries that’s start-up and innovation friendly. Also, we’ve seen Skype from Estonia so it has happened before.

In an increasingly global interconnected world, Europe’s cultural/language mix and core engineering talent can really be good sources of disruptive technologies and companies.

AK74 – What is your opinion about Web2.0? Fake myth or true breaktrough?

It’s definitely a breakthrough. I think the much greater interactivity through social networks, the user generated and sharing of information has evolved significantly from the 1st generation of web companies. I agree that much of the technology existed before but the applications are definitely very new and innovative.

I still think though that even with this innovation there’s still increasing problems about what to do with all the information out there and growing rapidly. So, I think we’ll see more solutions addressing these problems.

AK74 – Thank you very much for this interview – see you at Aula and TMT!

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