This Much I Know is the popular podcast from Seedcamp, Europe’s seed fund

Seedcamp Partner, Carlos Espinal, shares the inside story from startup founders, investors and leading tech voices: the people who’ve built businesses, scaled globally, failed fantastically and learnt massively.

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Room to Read's John Wood on making cause your competitive advantage

Room to Read has brought the enduring gift of education to 11.6 million children in 15 countries. Its founder, John Wood left his position as Director of Business Development for Microsoft’s Greater China region to found the organisation. Seventeen years later, with over 20,000 schools and communities served, millions have been impacted by John’s decision to help a headmaster in Nepal fill his school’s library. Speaking to Seedcamp partner Carlos Espinal, John recounts his journey from leaving Microsoft to supporting girls' education and children's literacy in Asia and Africa. He also discusses how businesses are stronger when they incorporate an idea of cause and purpose into their actions -- and how it can represent a competitive advantage in today's commercial world.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: Seedcamp: Room to Read: TechBikers: Purpose Incorporated:

Related bio links: Carlos: / John: /

Patrick Drake, cofounder at HelloFresh on building customer loyalty

Sneaking out during lunch breaks to help out the chefs at the City law firm where he worked, Patrick Drake was always destined for a career doing what he loves: cooking. As co-founder and Head Chef of the world's largest recipe box service, HelloFresh, that's exactly what happened. Speaking to Seedcamp partner Carlos Espinal, Patrick recalls his story of jettisoning a corporate career and founding HelloFresh - inspired by the vision of making it easier for people to eat tasty, nutritious food and learn how to cook new dishes for themselves and their families. He discusses lessons learnt in HelloFresh's early days ('handwriting little thank you notes to our first 10 customers who were basically our parents and our friends trying to humour us'), where live feedback was enormously important for iterating in product. Tune in to hear more on the HelloFresh journey from handing out fliers in Waterloo station through to IPO.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: Seedcamp: HelloFresh: HelloFresh 'Recipes That Work' Cookbook:

Related bio links: Carlos: / Patrick: / founder Robin Wauters on European startup ecosystems

What is the financing environment looking like for European startup ecosystems and the entrepreneurs building companies within them? In this data-driven podcast, Carlos is joined by Robin Wauters, co-founder and editor-in-chief of, an online publication dedicated to covering the European technology industry in depth. Robin was formerly the European Editor of The Next Web and before that a Senior Editor at TechCrunch. The two discuss some of the macro financing trends across Europe and the broader health of European startup hubs -- covering everything from exit volume and return multiples, levels of venture funding and the startup infrastructure in central and Eastern Europe.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: Seedcamp:

Related bio links: Carlos: / Robin: /

Katie Marrache, Partner at JamJar on building consumer brands

Katie Marrache began her career working for entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den investor, James Caan. After landing an internship with him straight out of university, she was soon charged with managing Cann’s portfolio of consumer investments at his investment firm Hamilton Bradshaw. A brief detour into television journalism at the BBC followed, after which she joined London-based Innocent drinks as a category manager, and began looking after the investment portfolio of the Innocent founders. She joined JamJar Investments, their official VC fund investing in online and offline consumer brands, when it was launched -- making partner in 2017.

Speaking to Seedcamp partner Carlos Espinal, Katie recalls her journey into venture and the biggest lessons learnt early on working with James. She dives further into JamJar's thesis and the five most important things to bear in mind when consumer facing brands: (1) be authentic, (2) be creative (3) recruit effectively, as your early team are your biggest brand advocates, (4) track performance metrics, and (5) spend time on product. 'The product is the brand,' she says. 'You can spend a long time crafting how it looks and sounds rather than what it is'.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: Seedcamp: JamJar:

Related bio links: Carlos: / Katie: /

Explorer Levison Wood on establishing mission command in business

Levison Wood is a British explorer, writer and photographer whose work has featured around the world. He has recently returned from his most ambitious expedition to date - a 5000 mile circumnavigation of the Arabian peninsula from Iraq to Lebanon (a new book and documentary series are set to follow). He previously also walked the Himalayas, a six-month journey of over 1700 miles, as well as the length of the river Nile (4250 miles over nine months).

A former paratrooper and major in the army reserves, Levison recalls the leadership lessons learnt from his military experiences, including four years in Afghanistan. He elaborates on the importance of 'mission command' – setting an objective, but allowing subordinates the freedom to execute on that objective as they see fit – and its applicability to the business realm. 'You may have the experience to do it yourself and prefer to do it one way, but you have to take a step back and say get on with it', he argues, given the empowering effect of giving employees and soldiers greater autonomy in execution.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: Seedcamp: Levison Wood:

Related bio links: Carlos: / Levison: /

Seedcamp Sessions: Balderton's Rob Moffat on startup growth engines

Rob Moffat joined Balderton Capital in 2009 and was promoted to partner in 2015. He is currently a board director or observer with five portfolio companies: Carwow, Wooga, Nutmeg, Prodigy Finance, and Patients Know Best. Prior to joining Balderton, Rob worked for Google in London, as a Manager in the European Strategy and Operations team, and for five years in strategy consulting at Bain. In this Seedcamp Sessions podcast, Rob covers the different growth engines which have proven successful for startups -- from paid marketing for companies like Carwow, who need to be rigorous in how they think about acquisition, through to continuous product innovation for companies like Revolut, and partnerships and business development for startups like Zego. Rob also covers how to navigate VC and strategic partnership relations, and how Balderton is thinking about the evolving Insurtech landscape.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: Seedcamp: Balderton:

Related bio links: Carlos: / Rob: /

Seedcamp Sessions: Ben Blume on what funds like Atomico look for in founders

At $765m Atomico IV is one of the largest venture capital funds ever raised in Europe. But what do Atomico look for in the companies and founders which they choose to back? In this second Seedcamp Sessions podcast, Ben Blume, Principal at Atomico, elaborates on the fund's investment thesis and processes, explaining the high level benchmarks that the firm looks for when investing in entrepreneurs, from technological defensibility to deep domain experience and inherent scalability. Ben describes in more detail the principles which guide's Atomico's decision making process (including 'Now is the Age of the Entrepreneur'), as codified in their manifesto, as well as their appetite for 'visionary and risky bets'.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: Seedcamp: Atomico's Manifesto:

Related bio links: Carlos: / David: /

Seedcamp Sessions: David Mytton on SaaS funding

I launched the Seedcamp 'This Much I Know' Podcast back in 2015 with a view to hearing and sharing the exceptional and often unknown stories of many inspirational thought leaders. We've learned about our guests' lives, goals and ambitions as well as their thoughts and first-hand experiences when it comes to building and scaling startups, teams and communities.

As we near our 150th podcast and following feedback from you, our listeners, we are introducing a new, shorter-form podcast called 'Sessions'. Our Sessions interviews will be hyper-focused on a specific issue, idea or functional area and provide you with digestible content and tangible actions you can take away and apply to your own businesses.

Naturally, we will continue to do our long-form podcasts for those of you who enjoy the deeper dives and we hope Sessions will be the perfect accompaniment to this.

So please do tune in and let us know your thoughts along with any 'Session' areas you'd like us to explore or guests you'd like to recommend.

We're thrilled to kickstart Sessions with David Mytton, CEO of Server Density, on why you can't build SaaS without significant funding

In a recent blog post, David argues you can't build a SaaS company in 2018 without significant funding. With increased competition from alternative vendors, investing in product and engineering to differentiate from other solutions is imperative -- and comes at a significant expense. Tune into this informative podcast as David, who received investment from Seedcamp in 2009, explores why bootstrapping a SaaS business in 2018 is no longer viable plus much more.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: Seedcamp: David's blogpost:

Related bio links: Carlos: / David: /

Daniel P. Glasner, Partner at Cherry Ventures, on the 'cookbook' for managing a salesforce

Daniel is a founding partner at the Berlin-based fund, Cherry Ventures. With a consulting background at McKinsey before co-founding CityDeal (acquired by Groupon) and later Quandoo - the SaaS company for restaurants sold to Recruit Holdings - Daniel's knows first-hand what it takes to found and lead a business as well as what to look for when it comes to backing successful ones.

Speaking to Seedcamp partner Carlos Espinal, Daniel discusses his transition into venture and startups from consulting as well as lessons learnt from scaling CityDeal and Quandoo. He reveals the 'cookbook' for recruiting, onboarding and managing an effective tech salesforce which was 'applied at the Groupon universe'. Referencing Groupon's purchase of CityDeal, the two also discuss how to smoothly navigate acquisition processes, from pre-acquisition conversations right through to the division of responsibilities following a deal.

Daniel holds a PhD in law from Vienna School of Law and an MBA from INSEAD and he has lived and worked in Vienna, São Paulo, London and Singapore.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: Seedcamp: Cherry Ventures:

Related bio links: Carlos: / Daniel:

Finding Flavour: Jude's Ice Cream and Rubies in the Rubble on building loved brands

In the crowded marketplaces of food and retail, how do you carve out space for independent new brands? For Jenny Costa, founder of Rubies in the Rubble, and Alex Mezger, director at the family managed Jude's Ice Cream, the answer lies in competing on the best quality products possible and relying on an authentic messaging.

Since 2011, Rubies in the Rubble has been producing high quality relishes and jams out of surplus produce that would otherwise go to waste. The business has gone from concocting recipes in home kitchens to selling in some of the UK's leading retailers and nailing deals with giants like Virgin. It has been important, Jenny says, to bring an authentic vibrancy to the brand, ensuring the product did not get 'lost in the supermarket shelves'.

Similarly for Alex at Jude's Ice Cream, the priority is in delighting customers. 'If it's down to price and price alone, we'll walk away,' he says. The business began as a family-run affair and remains that way. 'In terms of working wth family, it's grounded in respect and knowing each others' strengths, and working to these', says Alex. Jude's also 'massively over-invests in innovation' – leading to experiments like their black coconut flavour.

Listen to learn more about navigating supply chain difficulties, nailing brand messaging, managing the compromises between price and quality, and the secrets behind running successful food brands.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: Seedcamp: Rubies in the Rubble: Jude's Ice Cream:

Related bio links: Carlos: / Jenny: Alex: