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

Azeem Azhar on startup pivots, fake news and how AI is reshaping societies

With ‘fake news’ of increasing concern - and an issue pushed to prominence during the US presidential election - how can we ensure the accuracy of our information sources? Few are better placed to answer than Azeem Azhar, product entrepreneur, writer and founder of PeerIndex, the social media analytics startup acquired by BrandWatch.

How to find the best and most reliable information is something that Azeem says has driven him throughout his rich and varied career. As well as founding PeerIndex, which processed social data by using machine learning to identify novel, actionable signals, Azeem was involved with startups like EVI (acquired by Amazon), AMI Software (acquired by Bertin) and others. He also worked as a technology correspondent and in management positions for The Guardian, The Economist, BBC and Reuters. Azeem now curates the Exponential View, a weekly newsletter on technology and society.

Speaking with Seedcamp partner Carlos Espinal, Azeem discusses his journey from journalism to technology. He distills the most important lessons learnt during the founding and development of PeerIndex - including successfully pivoting the business twice. Talking about his own experience, he urges entrepreneurs who have sufficient doubts about whether their punches are landing in the market to act quickly.

Azeem also addresses the ways in which advanced technologies like AI are reshaping society, including their costs and associated ethical puzzles, and suggests ways in which we can respond to increased technological efficiencies to avoid a future like that depicted in dystopian blockbuster ‘Elysium’.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com Exponential View: www.exponentialview.co

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Alex: linkedin.com/in/azhar / twitter.com/azeem

Alex Macpherson, Managing Director of Octopus Ventures, on backing exceptional founders

This week we’re joined by Alex Macpherson, Managing Director of Octopus Ventures. With 53 companies in its portfolio (including successes like Zoopla, Swiftkey and Graze.com), and around $850M in management, Octopus is one of the European ecosystem’s leading players, backing teams across multiple stages and sectors.

Alex transitioned into venture after 11 years as a derivatives trader in the City – prior to which he sold personal and business computers after leaving school (and even worked in the circus). In 2000 he founded Katalyst, a private investor group making investments into early stage, start up and expansion stage companies. Over seven years, Alex led the business as CEO until its sale to Octopus in August 2007 – upon which he joined the firm.

Speaking to Seedcamp partner Carlos Espinal, Alex discusses the ways his years as a City trader shaped his approach to investing– including learning the lesson that the ‘first cut is the cheapest’, meaning investors and entrepreneurs should know when to cut their losses or shift strategy.

Referencing some of Octopus’s biggest success such as Zoopla, Alex explains how he looks for teams that combine execution with vision and why, given that the difference between success and failure is ‘wafer thin’, backing exceptional founders is essential.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com Octopus Ventures: www.octopusventures.com

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Alex: linkedin.com/in/alexandermacpherson

Kenneth Cukier, Senior Editor at The Economist on machine learning & big data

Big data, argues Kenneth Cukier, senior editor for data and digital at The Economist, is epoch defining: the ability for humans to store and transmit information at a scale previously inconceivable will transform ‘how we work, live and think’ – much as fire, bronze and the paper press revolutionised earlier societies. But how should we respond to the economic dislocation AI will produce in conjunction with big data?

Kenneth’s career in journalism is a distinguished one. The co-author of the New York Times Best Seller “Big Data” (2013) he manages new digital product development and oversees data analytics for The Economist. Prior to this, Kenneth served as technology editor of the Wall Street Journal Asia and also worked at the International Herald Tribune in Paris. In 2002-04 he was a research fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Speaking with Seedcamp partner Carlos Espinal, Kenneth claims that information has gone from ‘a stock to flow’. Instead of being stored in fixed media – such as clay discs 4,000 years ago – data is now liquid and dynamic. The application of machine learning techniques and algorithms to such data lets us do things once impossible, such as build self-driving cars or diagnose diseases at a far earlier stage. But, he cautions, ‘it is the mark of an unwise society’ and close to criminal that we are not properly sharing data in spheres such as healthcare.

Listen to understand how we can learn from the information we collect, what change needs to materialise before we feel AI’s effect in proper, and how to respond to the job displacement that AI will bring about.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com The Economist: www.economist.com Kenneth’s TED Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pHzROP1D-w

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Kenneth: cukier.com / twitter.com/kncukier

Evan Nisselson, General Partner at LDV Capital on Visual Technologies & Satellite Selfies

This week we’re joined by serial entrepreneur and General Partner of LDV Capital, Evan Nisselson. LDV Capital invests in entrepreneurs building early stage Visual Technologies companies in Europe and North America.

Evan’s fascinating background includes time as a photographer, photo agent and photo buyer before landing in Sillicon Valley in the mid-90s and becoming one of the first photo editors on the internet. Evan has spent the past 18 years building and investing in Visual Technology businesses and his expertise in the sector led to the creation of LDV Capital over four and a half years ago.

In this podcast, Evan talks to Carlos about his own experiences as a founder and CEO of Digital Railroad, launched in 2004, providing professional photographers, agencies and image buyers with a web service platform and marketplace. Evan talks about the successes and failures of the company, liquidated shortly after the economic crash in 2008, and the critical lessons he learned from his experiences that he goes on to share with founders he backs today.

Often described as “crazy” for his views, Evan has a habit of predicting future trends. In May 2003 he wrote an article that said camera phones would replace point & shoot cameras. Evan talks through his predictions around the Internet of Eyes replacing the Internet of Things, satellite selfies and retina cameras as seen in Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror.

Tune in to hear more about Evan’s thoughts around the evolution of social interactions, whether privacy is dead and how timing is everything when it comes to investment.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com LDV Capital: http://www.ldv.co/

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Evan: linkedin.com/in/evannisselson / twitter.com/nisselson

Jackson Gabbard, Seedcamp EiR & founding Facebook hire on great tech leadership

How can companies promote great technical leadership, and how should startups approach hiring developers? On that topic Seedcamp partner Carlos Espinal is joined by Jackson Gabbard, one of the founding hires in Facebook’s London office and now an Expert in Residence at Seedcamp.

Having made the transition from an English degree to a career in software development by teaching himself to code, Jackson also recalls how he overcame gaps in his technical knowledge through focus and hard study – leading to multiple promotions at Facebook after some initial struggles.

Jackson, who conducted over 500 developer interviews while at Facebook, helped create the mobile timeline and worked on abuse prevention systems, cautions against non-technical founders outsourcing their dev work abroad because it can limit product development in the long run.

Learn why the myth of the ‘10x engineer’ is a dangerous one, the reason it’s important to have product visionaries and not just great salespeople, and how tech companies can ensure good people management.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com Jackson's YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UCcdCkJKXlRoXVD03eo-q8mQ/

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Jackson: linkedin.com/in/jacksongabbard / twitter.com/jackson_gabbard

Andy Weissman, Partner USV, on blockchain, network effect businesses & the evolution of social web

Union Square Ventures, the New York-based venture capital firm, is famous for investing in ‘large networks of engaged users, differentiated by user experience, and defensible though network effects’, but how does that thesis apply today? In what sectors are there valuable network effects that remain to be unlocked by new and emerging technologies such as blockchain?

On that topic Andy Weissman, Partner at USV, joins Seedcamp Partner Carlos Espinal. After qualifying and working as a lawyer, Andy began his internet career at AOL in the 1990s before moving over to Soundview/Dawntreader Ventures. In 2007 he founded Betaworks, the New York-based startup studio and seed-stage investors notable for investments and exclusive stakes in Bitly, Chartbeat, Twitter, Tumblr and Groupon among other successes.

Discussing sectors with untapped network effects, Andy argues that there are strong opportunities in medicine and healthcare to provide modes of care that are more user-centric. He spells out his vision of the future of blockchain, with reference to USV’s investment thesis and bets on companies like Mediachain. He also discusses how, in its strategy of building companies in-house while also investing externally, Betaworks - founded in the same year as Seedcamp - closely resembles a film studio.

Learn more about the evolution of the social web, how network effect businesses scale and monetise, and USV’s pioneering role in New York’s venture and technology scenes.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com Union Square Ventures: www.usv.com Betaworks: www.betaworks.com

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Andy: linkedin.com/in/andrewweissman / twitter.com/aweissman

"AI is Now" Seedcamp Event Live Audio

We believe the time is now for the application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to fuel new innovation, empower a new breed of startup and disrupt industries. That’s why we’ve already made several investments in the space including re:infer, ThirdEye, AI Build and Legit Patents who all participated in our 'AI is Now' event in collaboration with Northzone.

If you missed the event, tune in to hear all from the lively panel discussion featuring an incredible panel of experts on artificial intelligence including Dr. David Barber, UCL Computer Science, Founder of re:infer, Ed Challis, VC Michiel Kotting, from Northzone, and Seedcamp partner Carlos Eduardo Espinal.

Read more from Carlos on the topic of artificial intelligence and its potential to become 'the new mobile' here: http://sdca.mp/AIisnow

And check out our Facebook page for the live video of all the panels from the even: www.facebook.com/seedcamp

Show notes: Carlos Medium: sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com Northzone: www.northzone.com re:infer: www.reinfer.io UCL: http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/home/

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Michiel: linkedin.com/in/kotting / https://twitter.com/mkotting

Marketing guru Katy Turner on company DNA and creating brands with purpose

With large corporates and startups alike increasingly seeking to project authenticity in their marketing, how can founders and marketing officers ensure their company’s purpose and vision is expressed distinctively? On that topic, join Seedcamp partner, Carlos Espinal, and marketing guru Katy Turner, Managing Partner at Multiple as they discuss how creating a brand with a compelling story and a strong 'why' are the ones that win in the long-run.

Katy began her career in publishing before jumping into technology in search of the future. Katy joined Orange launching products across their international footprint. From there she went to VC Eden Ventures to get under the skin of startups. Following adventures in venture, she took up the VP of Marketing role at Videoplaza, helping to scale it to its acquisition by a major US player. As Chief Marketing Officer at Tech City UK she headed up brand, communications, PR and product marketing before becoming a founder herself with the launch of Multiple, a strategic consultancy which helps high potential technology businesses scale through purpose, people and platforms.

Speaking to Carlos, Katy relays what she calls the ‘universal lesson of branding’: that understanding why you exist as a business and get out of bed in the morning is ‘everything’ – with Google/Alphabet (organising the world’s information) and Nike (inspiring and innovating for athletes) two examples of companies that have really codified the purpose at their core.

Learn why it’s often important for companies to take a step back from the day-to-day and ‘philosophise’, the attention that should be paid to culture and values, and the key lessons in scaling.

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

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Katy: linkedin.com/in/katyturner1 / twitter.com/KatyT

Prince Constantijn, Oscar Kneppers & Ton van't Noordende on startups & investing in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is fast becoming one of Europe's major tech hubs with American technology giants Uber, Netflix and Tesla choosing the country for its European base, not to mention domestic success stories such as TomTom and Booking.com. But what features underlie the country’s success and what challenges does the Netherlands face in growing its startup ecosystem?

On that topic, Carlos speaks to three veterans of the Dutch ecosystem: Prince Constantijn van Oranje, startup envoy for Startup Delta - the Dutch support program that boosts the entrepreneurial climate in the Netherlands - alongside serial entrepreneur and Rockstart Founder, Oscar Kneppers and Ton van 't Noordende, Venture Partner at the seed and early-stage investors Keadyn as they discuss company building and what makes the Netherlands an attractive destination for startups and venture capital.

Tune in to understand how the Netherlands’ small size naturally builds an appetite for platform and marketplace-based companies like 3D Hubs which, by default, must scale by expanding abroad – and how one of biggest challenges the ecosystem faces is its fragmentation.

Learn also how to build a company, why flexibility, resilience and execution power are crucial in teams, and which sector the country’s own version of the ‘Paypal Mafia’ is likely to come from.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com Startup Delta: www.startupdelta.org Rockstart: www.rockstart.com Keadyn: www.keadyn.com

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Prince Constantijn: linkedin.com/in/constantijn-van-oranje-nassau-0280b38 / twitter.com/constantijn14 Oscar: linkedin.com/in/oscarkneppers / twitter.com/oscarkneppers Ton: linkedin.com/in/tonvantnoordende / twitter.com/noordende

Tresor Security on Cybersecurity, Mr Robot & how startups can stay safe online

On Cybersecurity, Mr Robot & how startups can stay safe online with Jamie Akhtar and Mariella Thanner, Tresor Security

As the UK government lays out plans to invest an additional £1.9bn to reduce cyber-attacks, and pressure mounts on US presidential candidates to prioritise cybersecurity, the world's attention is focused on how to stay protected online.

In this week's Seedcamp podcast Carlos is joined by Jamie Akhtar and Mariella Thanner, founders of cybersecurity firm Tresor Security, for an intriguing dive into how startups can fortify their cybersecurity posture and minimise their digital vulnerabilities.

This podcast is indispensable listening for startups considering how they can protect themselves going forward, with Jamie and Mariella touching on when the right time to start thinking about security policy is; performing proper diligence and the small steps companies can take to prevent their data from being being compromised.

Learn about the similarities between Hollywood’s glamorised depiction of cyber security in the drama-thriller television series ‘Mr Robot’ and the kind of incidents and breaches Jamie and Mariella have to deal with, and which part of the cybersecurity value chain is a strong bet to invest in.

Show notes: Carlos Medium: http://sdca.mp/2entVR3 Seedcamp: www.seedcamp.com Tresor Security: www.tresorsecurity.com

Related bio links: Carlos: linkedin.com/in/carloseduardoespinal / twitter.com/cee Jamie: linkedin.com/in/JamieAkhtar / twitter.com/jamieakhtar Mariella: linkedin.com/in/MariellaThanner