Techcrunch UK launches web2.0 dragons den

Techcrunch UK have just announced a new initiative to showcase technology startups looking for funding: “Money Mondays” to be held monthly.

As a partner in a VC that provides funding to start-ups, I believe this is a great initiative - I'd actually been talking to chums like Ian Forrestor & Sarah Blow, of geekdinner & girlgeekdinner fame respectively, about such a forum.

Sure, it may get competitive between investors for the best ideas, but so what. If one's only value add comes from exploiting ignorance & inefficient markets, you are going to become extinct. So hopefully start-ups will be able to
- access many investors and be able to make sensible choices about which investors can offer the most value add
- get real about valuations; when you work in isolation how do you know what you are worth - in most cases, they see that youtube went for a huge number and given that their idea is just as good, or so they think, then they must be worth loads (and advisers are sometimes as guilty of hyping the valuation). Now, in a tech start-up "Dragons Den", perhaps transparency & collective questioning will moderate expectations nearer towards reality.

For me, it will also be an excellent timesaver to connect with many start-ups at a single event who can do a single elevator pitch to the crowd & be collectively questioned.

Obviously, investor behaviour at these events could be unpredictable - collusion, competitive, secretive - an alternative form of Werewolf perhaps! But I know that rather than simply trying to hog an investment, we will continue to actually look for the optimum investor syndicate that will create the most value by virtue of the collective involvement.

It should also motivate firms to get past the "I must keep my idea secret in case its stolen" syndrome. Get real - ideas are free & rarely unique; execution that matters. As Simon Murdoch said at Internet People dinner "“VCs like an ‘A team’ with a ‘B idea’, not a B-team with an A-idea.” Why? Because the B-team will fail to execute, but the A-team will do so & improve the proposition along the way.

Remember, money is actually a commodity - it's what else the investor contributes that is the differentiator.

posted by John Wilson @ 12:56 AM Permanent Link newsvine reddit


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