It was a cozy summer morning one year and nine months ago. As I approached Zemanta offices I was greeted with Boštjan who was obviously very excited. "Hey", he said, "at the dinner last night we got Brad commit his money for a new seed fund. And we got also Jerry and Fred coming on-board. Isn't that cool?" Of course it was! What was even more awesome was that Brad pulled a typical start-up community building trick and requested Slovenian entrepreneurs to match his investment. What followed was a journey that took almost two years to finish and resulted in public announcement of Silicon gardens fund yesterday. Fifteen years ago, when some of us first caught a start-up bug, we could only dream about having a seed fund in Slovenia supporting our ambitions. Having this fund and some of the most successful venture capitalists in the world joining in is a major step towards making Boulder of Europe out of Ljubljana and broader Slovenia. I think it will be only in retrospect several years from now that we will fully grasp how important it is to have an investment fund of entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, and for entrepreneurs on a mission to change this country for the better. Big big kudos to Boštjan, Andraž, and the rest of the team for pulling this off. Even if this fund is not successful (though I sincerely hope it will be), the experience they'll all gain in the process is invaluable.
If you have a product or a service with at least some validation of product-market fit and you have global ambitions you should apply for funding. And if you have a couple of tens of thousands of euros to spare, you should definitely consider investing in the fund yourself and get on the same list with Brad Feld, Jerry Colonna, and Fred Wilson (how cool is that!)