smell of good business

Venture Capital – The E2B experience (still smelling like dot com to me)

Back in March 2000, I discussed the idea of setting up a First Tuesday group in Western Australia with Stuart Hope, then CEO of Software Engineering Australia (SEAWA). We also brought in Peter Morris of Telesis, and got ourselves underway.

First step was to review the licencing model for First Tuesday – which read something like – “bear all liability personally, but we can take your assets – database, networks, dealflow and anything else for that matter – without recourse”.

We said, “I don’t think so” and set up our own meeting group called Entrepreneurs2business. The group was established as a dynamic meeting place for entrepreneurs, advisors and investors, with a view to commercialisation of these technology ideas to bring business growth, export revenue and to further grow the technology industry in Western Australia . Nothing particularly new in these types of forums other that the financial fuel of IPO fever.

The group was founded in May 2000 and held its first event on July 4, 2000. The group went on to hold 30 events, meeting monthly using the format of a speaker with commercialisation experience sharing their knowledge with the group. First Tuesday had long since died by the time we closed E2B.

Some interesting observations:

1. In networking events like this, the VC’s lean against the bar waiting to get picked up

2. The advisors all talk to each other and tell each other how well they are doing

3. The entrepreneurs stand nervously in the corner refusing to divulge their IP to anyone

(This is a little exaggerated of course – but seeing this in action the only thing you can do to get interaction is introduce people to each other and make sure they both understand why you are trying to connect them together).

Do you feel the market feels like that again? Fueled this time by trade sale and private equity, booming economies, and escalating salaries and expectations? Smells like it to me, love to get your feedback