The weekly podcast from Seedcamp, Europe’s leading first round fund

Seedcamp Partner, Carlos Espinal, talks with founders, investors and leading tech voices - the people who’ve built businesses, scaled globally, failed fantastically and learnt massively - as we deep dive into hot tech topics and provide the inside story from the people who've been there, done that and survived to tell the tale!

Never miss an episode - Subscribe on iTunes!

LocalGlobe’s Robin Klein on founder-market fit and the future of European venture

Robin Klein is one of the true pioneers of Europe’s venture scene: as cofounder of The Accelerator Group (TAG) in 1995, and an early stage investor in the likes of Transferwise, lastminute.com, last.fm, Love Film and Agent Provocateur, he has catalysed the success for some of London’s most impactful private businesses over the past two decades.

“We never forget that the company is owned by the founders and that we are part of the support team”, says South African-born Robin. General Partner at LocalGlobe, he was until 2015 a venture partner at Index Ventures. Prior to joining Index, Robin co-founded The Accelerator Group, with his son Saul. Before beginning his investment career in earnest he built and sold a number of businesses, the last of which was the Innovations Group. He sits on the board of several companies, and conducted the first documented e-commerce transaction in the UK in 1995.

Speaking to Seedcamp partner Carlos Espinal, Robin speaks optimistically about the future of European venture, but warns it still lags behind in IPOs and corporate M&A. “There is a lot of capital and a tremendously supportive ecosystem… but that capital will dry up or be unsuccessfully deployed if the volume of the exits doesn’t support the bottom of the pyramid,” he says.

He also emphasises for the importance of founder-market fit for LocalGlobe. “At the stage we invest the amount of due diligence you can do on the product, market and the metrics is relatively limited so I would like to spend much more time with our founders, because that’s where the heart of our decision-making lies.”

Learn more about the kinds of milestones LocalGlobe looks for in early-stage companies, the evolution of Europe’s ecosystem and the next industrial revolution.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com LocalGlobe: www.localglobe.vc

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Robin: linkedin.com/in/robinklein / twitter.com/robinklein

Eze Vidra, the 'godfather' of London's tech scene on building the capital's startup ecosystem

As the founder of Campus London, Google's first physical startup hub, Eze Vidra has a strong claim to being the ‘godfather’ of London’s current tech scene. Eze's journey has taken him from product management and leadership roles in startups across the globe to managing strategic partnerships for Google and founding multiple businesses, including VC Cafe and not-for profit TechBikers, the charitable initiative that brings the tech community together with a 320km bike ride from Paris to London.

Joining Seedcamp partner Carlos Espinal, Eze recalls the story of early days at Campus London and how it became the entrepreneurial hotbed it is today - with 3,600 jobs created and more than £128 million raised by Campus startups since launch five years ago.

Eze is currently Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote, a digital health startup matching the right patients with the right trials. Previously he was a general partner at Google Ventures and, prior to that, the European head of Google for Entrepreneurs, where he helped forge partnerships to strengthen the startup ecosystem. He also led Campus London, a collaborative environment for startups created by Google For Entrepreneurs. While at Google, Eze spearheaded strategic commerce partnerships in EMEA, and helped launch Google Shopping, Google Shopping Express, and Google Wallet.

Now in its sixth year, TechBikers, will take place 15-17 June 2017 with over 60 riders raising money for literacy charity Room to Read. You can donate here: http://bit.ly/TeamEze

Show notes: Carlos Medium: sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com Campus London: www.campus.co/london Antidote: www.antidote.me/

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Eze: linkedin.com/in/ezevidra / twitter.com/ediggs

Manoj Ramachandran & Pascal Zuta on transforming healthcare with AI

From virtual assistants to risk analytics, and drug discovery to imaging and diagnostics, artificial intelligence’s scope for transforming the healthcare industry is significant. But just how will the use of AI and Machine Learning techniques reshape how medicine is practised today?

Healthcare dominates other industrial applications of AI in terms of money invested and number of deals, with $1.8B having been raised across 270 deals in startups within the space since 2012 according to data from CB Insights. Regulatory attention has followed this cash torrent: just recently it was announced that the Google-acquired startup DeepMind’s data-sharing partnership with the NHS was under investigation.

To discuss AI’s use within healthcare, Carlos Espinal is joined by two Seedcamp-backed founders: Manoj Ramachandran, co-founder of Viz.ai, a startup working on deep learning algorithms to revolutionise imaging diagnostics; and Pascal Zuta, from the US-based GYANT, a digital health assistant and symptom checker.

Pascal discusses how using AI can help treat high frequency conditions, taking load off the system and letting medical professionals concentrate on more difficult and meaningful tasks. Meanwhile Manoj argues that the most difficult thing is ‘integrating it within a clinical workflow so that it augments the practice of a healthcare physician'.

Tune in to hear whether these founders believe an algorithm or robot can ever truly replace human interaction within the healthcare sector.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com Viz.ai: www.viz.ai GYANT: http://gyant.com

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Manoj: linkedin.com/in/manoj-ramachandran-6186ba4 / twitter.com/manojram1 Pascal: linkedin.com/in/pascalzuta / twitter.com/pzuta

Mike Butcher, TechCrunch Editor at Large, on batting for the entrepreneur in European journalism

The attitude of the British mainstream press when covering technology companies is often one of 'risk and scepticism', says TechCrunch Editor at Large Mike Butcher. But what if instead of predicting failure or projecting concern journalists took a more positive view of technology entrepreneurship?

Speaking to Seedcamp partner Carlos Espinal, Mike explains how TechCrunch’s policy is to ‘bat for the entrepreneur’, supporting and advocating for their success. He describes the process of taking this Silicon Valley-style approach to tech writing and injecting it into European journalism, including his early days as the ‘Arthur Dent of the tech writing world’ when such writing was almost exclusively focused on US companies.

Mike is Editor at Large of TechCrunch, the biggest breaking news site about the world’s hottest tech companies. He founded the The Europas Conference & Awards, the charity Techfugees and has been an advisor on startups to the British Prime Minister and the Mayor of London. He is also a co-founder at TechHub.

Tune in to hear more about how founders can best narrate and tell their story, the evolution of tech journalism in Europe, and some of the next big problems founders should concentrate their energies on.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com TechCrunch: https://techcrunch.com

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Mike: linkedin.com/in/mikebutcher / twitter.com/mikebutcher

Growth hacker Sean Ellis on expanding through experimentation

“If you don’t have experimentation across the full customer journey, you’re going to have a hard time growing any business,” says Sean Ellis, who coined the term ‘growth hacker’ in 2010 after using such techniques to ignite spectacular, low-cost growth for Dropbox, Eventbrite, LogMeIn and Lookout - each now worth billions of dollars.

Sean is an entrepreneur, investor and startup advisor. He founded and sold customer insights company Qualaroo, growing it to millions of dollars in recurring revenue with customers such as Uber, Starbucks and Amazon, and is the co-author of Hacking Growth, published in April 2017. He founded and runs GrowthHackers.com, the number one online community built for growth hackers.

Speaking to Seedcamp partner Carlos Espinal, Sean demystifies the principles of growth hacking. He goes behind the scenes of the Silicon Valley giants famous for having deployed innovative, experimental and data-driven methods to drive growth, including Uber, Facebook, Airbnb and Dropbox, where he served as the company’s first marketer.

Sean discusses some of the actionable insights from his new book - including how startup founders can build growth teams, validate product decisions, discover the right ‘north star metric’ (such as drives taken in Uber’s case) to guide business decisions, and generate insights from data that spans the entire customer journey.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com GrowthHacking.com

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Sean: linkedin.com/in/seanellis / twitter.com/SeanEllis

Calum Chace on the advancement of AI for the benefit of humankind

How should we respond to the economic, social and moral consequences of automation driven by advancements in artificial intelligence? We are, argues Calum Chace (author of ‘Pandora’s Brain’, ‘Surviving AI’ and ‘The Economic Singularity’), on the brink of two singularities and accordingly need to plot a path to a future society that is ‘meaningful, sensible and communicable’.

The first singularity we face is technological: Moore’s law stipulates that computing power doubles every two years at the same cost. If this holds then an artificial general intelligence (GI) will eventually arrive that surpasses the cognitive abilities of an ordinary human and then, shortly afterwards, that of all humans combined. Relatedly we face an economic singularity: such intelligent machines will take all the jobs that humans do - and we won’t be able to invent ones they can’t.

Speaking to Seedcamp partner Carlos Espinal, Calum reflects on how we should react to the advance of AI to ensure the outcome we get is one which is positive for humankind. He argues that we will need need to decouple income from jobs, and will probably need a new economic system - but that the Universal Basic Income advocated by many futurists, tech CEOs and thinkers is insufficient. “We should be aiming for a world in which machines are so efficient and powerful we don't have to pay for anything,” he says.

Calum is a regular speaker and writer on artificial intelligence and related technologies. Prior to his writing career, Calum had a 30-year career in business, in which he was a marketer, a strategy consultant and a CEO. He maintains his interest in business by running a small property business and serving as chairman and coach for growing companies. In 2000 he co-wrote The Internet Startup Bible, a business best-seller. He studied philosophy at the University of Oxford.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com Calum’s Blog: http://calumchace.wordpress.com

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Calum: linkedin.com/in/calum-chace-bb68168 / twitter.com/cccalum

Martha Lane Fox, entrepreneur and philanthropist, on navigating IPOs and the dotcom crash

lastminute.com, the online travel company, was founded in early 1998: “a time when, it seems strange now, but there really wasn’t a belief the internet would necessarily survive, yet alone be a tool we used every day,” says cofounder Martha Lane Fox. Two years later, at the peak of the dotcom bubble in March 2000, the company was publicly floated, “representing this brave new world of entrepreneurialism in the UK”. A week afterwards, the tech market crashed.

Martha is an internet entrepreneur, philanthropist and public servant. She sits on the boards of Twitter, mydeco.com and Marks & Spencer, chairs the board of the digital skills charity, Go ON UK, and was on the board of Channel 4 from 2007 to 2011. In 2013 she became the youngest female member of the House of Lords, joining as a crossbencher. She was appointed Chancellor of the Open University in 2014 and in 2015 launched the charity Doteveryone.

Speaking to Seedcamp partner Carlos Espinal, Martha discusses how lastminute.com was able to survive and even flourish amid the dotcom crash, eventually being acquired for £577m by Sabre Holdings in 2005. As well as explaining the roots of the company’s success - mainly landing great deals, and building strong relationships and partnerships - she talks candidly about the biggest obstacles the company faced, including overspending on technology and floating prematurely: “‘We IPO’d too early. It’s as simple as that.”

Martha also addresses her work at Doteveryone, the British charity finding new ways to make the internet work for everyone. “I’m not some crazy tech utopian. I don’t believe startups and software are going to save the world. I think it’s an indelible part of the world but there is a lot that makes it inequitable,” she says.

Tune in to learn more about Brexit’s implications for the future of the UK’s technology sector, what founders should expect from their board directors, and how to address gender inequality in tech.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com Lastminute: www.lastminute.com Doteveryone: www.doteveryone.org.uk

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Martha: linkedin.com/in/marthal2 / twitter.com/Marthalanefox

Joseph Gordon-Levitt on disrupting Hollywood and creative collaboration with HitRecord

You may recognise actor, producer and filmmaker Joseph Gordon-Levitt from blockbusters including The Dark Knight Rises, 500 Days of Summer and Inception. On top of an acting career that spans 30 years, Joseph is also the founder of collaborative production company HitRecord. Out to disrupt the conventional Hollywood model, HitRecord encourages artists on its platform to work collaboratively on productions, with the freedom to remix each other's work and success distributed collectively.

“Rather than just exhibiting and admiring each others work as isolated individuals, we gather here to work on projects together,” as Joseph describes it. The company - founded in 2005, originally as a place for Joseph to get feedback on the projects he started between acting gigs - has enjoyed several successes, including winning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media for the series ‘HitRecord on TV’, produced via the platform, in 2014.

Speaking to Seedcamp partner Carlos Espinal, Joseph discusses the origins of HitRecord and how the company is disrupting Hollywood by pioneering a “collaborative, creative process, driven by people having fun”. He also details his early acting career and passion for editing and production - including dropping out of Columbia after discovering and falling in love with Final Cut Pro.

Joseph describes working with Christopher Nolan as a highlight, “He doesn’t think about what anyone else wants to see, he just makes a movie he wants to see”, explains why enduring years of interviews “effectively amounting to a salesman” has made him a better entrepreneur, the future of learning and technology and, crucially, what the Batcave is like in person!

Show notes: Carlos Medium: sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com HitRecord: www.hitrecord.org

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Joseph: www.imdb.com/name/nm0330687 / twitter.com/hitRECordJoe

Tristan Harris on product ethics & morality in design

How do you organise a billion people’s life choices? For tech giants like Google, Facebook or Apple that isn’t a flippant question: incremental design choices can have monumental significance when introduced at the scale such companies command. ‘They’re urban planners,’ argues Tristan Harris, ‘designing this invisible city that a billion people live inside, and they don’t know it.’

Called the ‘closest thing Silicon Valley has to a conscience,’ by The Atlantic magazine, Tristan Harris was formerly a Design Ethicist at Google and is now a leader in Time Well Spent, a movement to align technology with our humanity. Time Well Spent aims to heighten consumer awareness about how technology shapes our minds, empower consumers with better ways to use technology and change business incentives and design practices to align with humanity’s best interest. Previously, Tristan was CEO of Apture, which Google acquired in 2011.

Speaking to Seedcamp partner Carlos Espinal, Tristan calls for greater recognition by technology giants and software engineers of their ethical responsibilities. He argues that companies like Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat, which jostle aggressively for command over people’s attention in a zero-sum game, are in a ‘nuclear arms race’, or ‘race to the bottom of the brainstem’.

Given the perverse incentives such companies face – such as deploying ‘drip-by-drip’, instant notifications to sustain people’s interest – Tristan encourages the creation of coordinating mechanisms, akin to the Geneva Convention, and the adoption of shared norms to clean up what he calls the ‘pollution in the attention economy’.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com Time Well Spent: www.timewellspent.io Tristan Harris: www.tristanharris.com

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Tristan: linkedin.com/in/tristanharris / twitter.com/tristanharris

Patrick Campbell, CEO at Price Intelligently, on buyer personas and knowing your customers

Conventional wisdom often encourages startup founders to focus on product and growth, and then figure out monetization later. Yet this can be a backwards step as Patrick Campbell, CEO at Price Intelligently, notes. Businesses should ‘look at the market they want to attack, and then build the thing for them’, by gathering and analysing data on buyer personas.

Patrick’s background is one steeped in using data to generate insights about people and customers. Prior to setting up Price Intelligently, which provides price optimisation software for businesses using proprietary algorithms to determine customers’ relative preferences and their price sensitivities, Patrick worked on Strategic Initiatives for Gemvara. Before Gemvara, Patrick worked in Sales and Operations at Google, where he built new models to optimise their AdWords strategies. He also worked in intelligence for the NSA, shortly after graduating.

Speaking to Seedcamp partner Carlos Espinal, Patrick encourages businesses to work hard on using data to understand the profile and psyche of their customers by building quantified buyer personas. “If you just get in a room and then get aligned on, ‘Here’s who we’re selling to,’ your decisions around product, sales, marketing and operations, even, become crystal clear,” he says.

Learn more about pricing strategies, collecting user behaviour data and finding patterns to help understand customer experience, as well as how to determine which product features are the most important for customers.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com Price Intelligently: www.priceintelligently.com

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Patrick: linkedin.com/in/patrickccampbell/ / twitter.com/Patticus