So last week we were fortunate enough to attend the Mini Seedcamp programme held up in Jo’burg, for African tech startups.
Seedcamp is a programme created to jumpstart the entrepreneurial community in Europe, and now Africa, by connecting next generation developers and entrepreneurs with over 400 mentors from a top-tier network of company builders; including seed investors, serial entrepreneurs, product experts, HR and PR specialists, marketers, lawyers, recruiters, journalists and venture capitalists.
I think it’s fair to say we were quite a long way off from competing for the winning spot – largely due to the current structure of our business. In short and as our website suggests, we positioned largely as a contract business, or agency as it was primarily referred to on the day. Nevertheless the real focus of the day was on a series of mentoring sessions with top entrepreneurs and potential investors from both locally and abroad. We got to sit down with the likes of Alex Hunter, Justin Spratt, Brett St Clair, Andrea Böhmert, Andy Higgins (bidorbuy founder) and Ben Nathanson with the discussions devoted entirely to advising us on our business.
One of the most valuable and interesting aspects of the discussion was that each mentor seemed to identify the same set of problems within our business, but each had a differing approach to solving them. This coupled with a genuine interest from pretty much everyone we met to offer advice and assistance after the day ended, gave me a small insight as to why they were successful entrepreneurs or investors.
The end result for of the day was a friendly wake up call for us – we realised that we have some unrealistic expectations regarding our business model; and also are stuck in a bit of a rut and need to shake things up a bit. An exciting concept that spawned from the experience is that we’ll be launching our own mobile product division, which we’ll keep completely separate from the agency side of things. We’ve also made some excellent contacts that we’ll be maintaining and building on in the future.