In Boston, I recently attended the Annual VC Outlook Dinner, hosted by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), the world’s largest not-for-profit organization for entrepreneurs. The evening provided a snapshot of the investment climate here in the United States. Some of these insights may be applicable to other parts of the world, including Central Europe.
The evening included a panel discussion and dialogue. The panel was made up of representatives from six leading US venture capital firms: Highland Capital Partners; Battery Ventures; TVM Capital; Atlas Venture; Bain Capital Ventures; Commonwealth Capital Ventures; and Greylock Partners. These investors offered their views on the health of the US industry; what makes the investment climate in Boston different than Silicon Valley; and the importance of talent in the investment.
Here are some panel discussion notes. These views were shared by the majority, but I provide this recap with a disclaimer that these are opinions and interpretations. Perception may not match reality, but can influence reality.
Continue reading ‘Notes from Boston: the state of US venture capital’
It’s one thing to dream about changing the world with your revolutionary business idea. It’s quite another thing to convince an investor to put up the money. Your supporters might praise your idea, but they won’t provide you 40 hours of labor each week until you offer them a paycheck.
Money has a way of making things real.
Part of our job, with CITT, has been to share a dream. Centrope designates the border regions of four countries (AT, HU, CZ & SK). The distances are short, but the cultural differences are big. This region has great potential for innovation, but most of this knowledge is locked away in research labs, divided by increasingly abstract national borders.
CITT’s dream is to knock down those borders. Fortunately, we are not the only ones at work on this vision. If CITT and similar projects are successful, the results will be measured in new products, new companies, new jobs and new opportunities.
This is a big dream, and big dreams need money.
Continue reading ‘What Jeremie means to nowEurope & CITT’
A concrete opportunity for hi-tech innovative companies in Centrope is arising from the Eurecan European Venture Contest (EEVC) Semi Final hosted by ITD Hungary and NKTH in Budapest on October 28. 10 winners will get a free ticket to present themselves at the European Venture Summit in Düsseldorf on Nov 30 – Dec 1. They will also become a part of the EEVC Top 100, out of 25 most promising companies will be selected by a jury for the final in Barcelona (90,000 euros cash prize) in December.
The contest is organised by Europe Unlimited, our long-term partner located in Brussels, that has been working in this field for more than 10 years. Some readers may remember Steven Carlson and me assisting local companies from Hungary and Czech Republic to present their ventures at similar events a few years ago. This is where the efforts around the European Venture Forums turned into.
The EEVC aim is to identify, promote and reward the most innovative early stage companies in Europe with breakthrough innovation in ICT, Cleantech and Healthcare technology or services with international ambition and potential. 25 finalists will be selected within six semi-finals – to be held in Dusseldorf, Pamplona, Budapest, Turin, Luxembourg and Lisbon – and get a chance to network with investors, industry leaders and potential partners.
Continue reading ‘Apply for the venture contest 2009 semi-final in Budapest’
In January 2009, Slovakia adopted the Euro. Meanwhile the currencies of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic have weakened against the Euro. This created bargain opportunities for Slovaks, who purchased selected goods in these neighboring countries for a significant discount. To some extent, bargain-driven shopping helped the economies of our neighbors, while it also hurt domestic spending. The cheap cost of labor has long been a significant stimulus for investors to come to Slovakia. With the adoption of the Euro, this cost difference is being eroded. On the other hand, the Euro offers businesses the twin advantages of currency stability and predictability.
In the short term, I believe non-Euro CEE countries will benefit from their weaker currencies as this (accompanied with key reforms) can stimulate investment inflows and support exports. However, this also raises questions. Does the Euro present an opportunity or a threat to CEE economies - from the short and long term perspectives?
Albeit still being positive that consumer spending in Central European economies namely Germany or Austria will be more robust than largely expected, a recession seems to be unavoidable; even to optimists like me. Hoping that the recession will be a rather mild one, it might be useful to highlight the expected impact on Centrope’s ICT industry, including the identification of opportunities that might occur amidst crisis:
Continue reading ‘Centrope ICT: opportunities amidst looming recession?’
EBAN in co-operation with LBAN held their annual Winter University last October in Luxembourg.
Over 100 participants attended the one-day event and among the topics discussed, the actual economic situation could not be left out.
In his final statement Anthony Clarke confirmed that it is the right time to make an investment in new and promising projects especially as the financial markets actually do not provide better or no return.
It has also been proved that it is in a downtime period that the most promising investments have been done.
What is your take on this statement that you should try to be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy?