The afternoon sessions
How Not to Pitch to a VC – Katy and Andy from
Dirty Dozen Start up Secrets – Andy from Huddle
The Art of the (email) Introduction – Chris from First Round Capital
The Trials of US Funding a UK start up – Alicia
Rounded off by a very personal journey by Morten
So, with such a stellar list of speakers and some amazing content, why did I not blog it all in detail? Well, two reasons jump out at me: the content was so engrossing I simply could not look away, and lots of live bloggers probably did it more justice than I ever could.
When the swearing, revelations and personal stories had died down, and when a certain VC had recovered from re-meeting someone I can only refer to as “the horse networker”, it was time to go hear Six Nation State at the Orchid and reflect on the day.
Let me try to summarise what the afternoon was about.
Starting with some context. 2009 was a horrible year for most startups and most VCs. The lack of liquidity, excess timidity and real cash flow pain for most invested portfolio companies lead to a massive down turn. Companies went bust, starts were delayed, almost no one got new investment and few if any VCs earned
a bonus. The expectation was, and still is in some quarters, of a long and painful recession with years of retrenchment.
This is only Q2 of 2010 and the atmosphere could not be more different. As in the late 1970’s the reaction of the UK creative has been to turn to punk rock. Only now it is 2010 and we are talking about startup creativity and the geekNrolla punk attitude that Mike Butcher has been cultivating. It clearly resonated with Morten Lund for one. UK entrepreneurs have woken up and are no longer prepared to wait for an economic recovery; they are going to create on of their own; and they are going to do it the hard way, with ultra-lean startups, microcapital and massive derisking and leveraging of their business through the startup ecosystem.
That is all good, if it works. And it might just work, not least because the London scene is now large enough to support itself, and because the network extends into the EU, Nordics and Eastern Europe.
The entrepreneurs are not alone. The investors appear to have woken up to the change, and we must all give credit to them for doing so. The older among them have seen this all before and know a good resurgence when they see one. The younger ones are smart enough to feel the buzz and ride it.
This was a good event. It felt like San Francisco. It felt like London tech entrepreneurs have woken up, and decided to get down and make their future.
Which is something we should all applaud and support.
Applaud loudly, GEEK’n’ROLLA style.