According to Sam Sethi of TechCrunch UK, there are many opportunities for Internet start-ups and VCs to get together and share ideas in London.
I would love to find out of any similar events taking place in the North West. We have a monthly breakfast event at Daresbury Innovation Centre, but it is not dedicated to software. There is also a monthly Beermat Monday event taking place at Tiger Tiger, which mainly attracts consultants and life style businesses. N4B is similar.
From the QnA session, the one thing I took away was the fact that VC’s are struggling to find start-ups to invest in. The point being that start-ups no longer need to raise the £1m+ previously needed in the web 1.0 period to get an idea up and running. Now £20-£40k gets you on the web and with actual subscribers/users to prove the model. In some cases the start-up can actually be profitable before they need to raise new growth capital. The thing that is still missing is the angel investment capital which Philip Wilkinson describes as the equity gap.
Interesting point about VCs struggling to find investments. We are not web 2.0 but SaaS and could do with between £1.5m over the next two years. However, if we win some decent sized clients, and provided we can work out decent advanced payments, we would not need any VC funding. Ironical, is it not?
We have continually been on catch 22 – chicken and egg situation with respect to VCs. Initially, we wanted external investment to develop our solution, but VCs wanted revenues – same as bankers – very risk averse in my opinion. So, we struggled for the last 18 months and now have the transaction hub (ebdex Document Exchange) up and running. We just need few decent sized clients and staying power.