The landscape for investments in technology start-ups has changed significantly during the past couple of years. Virtual companies, lean start-ups, outsourcing, and open source are just some of the concepts that characterize this new environment. All of these changes impact the criteria, amount, and process of venture investments. However, there have been a number of additional changes that affect venture capital (VC) firms even more directly. These include the emergence of super angels; the introduction of near-instant investment decisions promised by some well-known West Coast firms; the disappearance or down-sizing of many VC firms and its corollary, the shrinking base of available venture capital; the emergence of VC fund-sponsored incubators; and the creation of a number of small start-up and early-stage funds. All of these trends impact the investment process as well as the kinds of companies that are likely to get financing. This VC panel will discuss the impact of these and other changes in the venture world and suggest concrete steps that entrepreneurs should take in order to achieve success in this new reality.
Gabor Garai, Partner and Chair, Private Equity & Venture Capital Practice, Foley & Lardner LLP
Alex Benik, Principal, Battery Ventures
Erik Brooks, Managing Partner, ABRY Partners
Paul Flanagan, Managing Director, Sigma Partners
Eric Hjerpe, Partner, Kepha Partners LLC