Being a venture capitalist has always sounded like fun to me. My perception is that most VC’s reach a station in life at which there is an ability to vet opportunities that come over the transom, as well as create opportunities to invest in things that are of interest to the VC. I realize there are risks involved and that ‘success’ rates in the VC world are lower than most people might think. In fact, a study conducted by a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School showed results that indicated that about 75 percent of all “venture-backed firms” in the country are unable to pay back their investors. The researchers reviewed information from over 2,000 businesses who received a minimum of $1 million in venture capital from 2004 through 2010.
Last week at the invitation of an associate Rebecca Fannin I attended an event hosted by her company Silicon Dragon at held at the New York City NASDAQ office in Times Square. The event featured an ‘A’ list of VC’s including:
Jim Robinson, General Partner & Co-Founder, RRE Ventures
Brian Cohen, Chairman, New York Angels and lead investor in Pinterest
Ross Goldstein, Co-Founder & Managing Director, DFJ Gotham
Porter Bibb, Managing Partner, MediaTech Capital Partners
Kamran Ansari, Senior Associate, Greycroft Partners
Glenn Nash, Partner, Sidley Austin
It also featured Startup Innovators:
Dave Otten, Founder & CEO, LongTail Video
Alex Iskold, Founder & CEO, GetGlue
Jimmy Maymann, CEO, Huffington Post
Rich Karlgaard, Publisher, Forbes
Joe Mandese, Editor-in-Chief, MediaPost
Dorian Benkoil, Columnist, MediaShift & Founder, Teeming Media
Deborah Malone, Founder, The Internationalist
And the entire event was emceed by Rebecca Fannin, Founder/Editor, Silicon Dragon Ventures
The event was terrific and the time spent talking with attendees and speakers both before and after was extremely well spent. In particular l enjoyed the VC’s attitudes and no-spin talk. Brian Cohen and Jim Robinson (whom ironically I had first met the day before at another networking event) noted that VC’s need to grow-up and be more responsible and that was very refreshing. And spot on. The clear description of when entrepreneurs should seek Angel Capital as opposed to Venture Capital was particularly good to hear coming from the ‘horses’ mouths. Expectations of success in acquiring VC and Angel investor capital needs to be made clear to wanting entrepreneurs. VC does need to change and be more responsible, and we can only hope that there are more changes for the better yet to come. My hope is that the people I listened to and met last week will be the leaders of the charge.
In summary all the panelists seemed to connect with the audience and while the sessions were short for the most part, fifteen minutes, it left me wanting to hear more and learn more from these experienced and very smart people.
Bravo Rebecca. I can’t wait for the next installment!