FVCC 2006, Day 2: The Big Day of Panels and Presentations (at least those I saw)

Posted by on February 1, 2006 at 11:56 am.

– Valuations & Raising Money Panel: nothing too juicy, raising money is hard but getting better and valuing early-stage technology companies is art, science & voodoo.

– Seed, Angel and Early Stage Investing: I participated as the early-stage VC on this panel with a good mix of angels, angel group coordinators and individuals. Themes from that panel included be passionate, get early-adopter customers/references, and expect many “early-stage” venture funds, (not Inflexion) to require $2-3M in revenue before backing you. Al Rossiter of Springboard Capital provided a list of state angel funds, Brian Javeline shared his story of proving doubters wrong by bootstrapping, Peter Hairston emphasized a “change the world” attitude and Rich Swier shared a great analogy during and after the panel on constantly bailing out your “bucket of risk” (e.g. management, market, technology) until investors pull out their checkbooks.

– Lunch Keynote, Brian Swette: Former P&G, Pepsi and eBay COO (and smooth golfer). Brian came across as a great operator/marketer who grew up in a rich P&G farm system. He’s a guy that could help a lot of young (or big) companies. His biggest test was when someone asked him about the soundness of eBay’s multi-billion dollar purchase of Skype — his answer: eBay has driven a ton of value out of their past high-priced acquisitions (e.g. Half.com, PayPal).

– Company presentations: The “Best of Show” KangaRua (picture a small golden kangaroo statue) goes to Visible Assets for a solid presentation and great booth demos. Jay Pierce is a tenured operator that we’ll be spending a lot more time with. Honorable mentions go to later-stage presenter RecruitMax who seems to have built a strong business with a stable of blue-chip customers and MAKO Surgical (Day 3 presenter) for a revolutionary approach to joint replacement. The “Most Passionate Entrepreneur” KangaRua goes to Ren Mohan of Intelligenxia/IxReveal — get that guy a throat lozenge. Proximities got a lot of attention from my peers, but I can’t start my awards with an Inflexion company, can I?

– Dinner w/Capitol Steps: I saw the Capitol Steps many times when I managed a DFJ fund near DC and they were as good as ever Tuesday night. Their ability to absorb current events, wrap them in humor AND deliver them by music/song is thoroughly entertaining.

– Fireworks & Island chip: The fireworks were a great addition to the conference — let’s do it every year. My chip to the Island green was closer the most (5-10 ft), but the prize Nazi was only awarding for a hit. I heard that the only island hits were on second shots after a shank — no prize for those either??

…more to come…

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