Late last week, Shel Israel, co-author with Robert Scoble of Naked Conversations contacted me about a forthcoming European tour he and venture capitalist Rick Segal are planning for August. I explained that most of mainland Europe and lumps of the UK will be away on holiday so it might be tough to fill the time. Shel was of the view that startups would forego holiday as they beaver away to get product or services out the door. He obviously doesn't know a great amount about the European psyche
Shel and Rick are trying to find early stage businesses developing for the so-called Web 2.0 space. That means they are looking for individuals and small that are developing the next generation applciations. Details are dribbling out slowly and for those interested, I suggest subscribing to Shel's RSS feed so you can receive automatic notification of updates.
This is unusual. It is rare for US VCs to look outside their borders as most of the action is said to happen in Silicon Valley. Also, the lads want to find folk with really smart ideas rather than fully baked business models. They have made it clear they are not after PowerPoint presentations (phew – I hate those at the best of times.) As professional accountants, this is a golden opportunity for you to support people in your community who are coming up with ideas that you think could make a difference in the world.
Let's put it this way – how many people do you know who have ideas that haven't a snow flake's chance in hell of getting funding because they are just that – an idea that is as yet unproven or untested? I remember meeting one such in the 1980s. His idea was so mad I thought it would never get funded. But we did and today he is a very wealthy person employing many hundreds of people. So there is hope. And nothing to lose.
Anyone out there brave enough to engage with the big bad world of venture capitalism? Anyone know which is the next Skype?