From the desk of Patrick Ward...
104 West spent this week at Venture Capital in the Rockies, orchestrating a panel with Spencer Ante from Business Week, Becky Buckman from Forbes, Dan Primack from PE Week and Mark Veverka from Barron’s. Despite the obvious headwinds in the financial and credit markets, it was a great few days, listening to smart entrepreneurs, seeing old friends, participating in the mandatory ski day and generally taking the temperature of the symbiosis between start-ups and VCs in the Rockies.
Just a few highlights for me were Iggli, a new way to engage with friends and attend events together, NetFactor, a fascinating way to convert B2B web traffic into hot sales leads, MarketForce, a really sophisticated updating to the mystery shopping world, Atrato, another impressive attempt to solve complex storage problems, and, one of my favorites, because it symbolized so much, Justin’s Nut Butter, which is just simply smart.
There was some scuttlebutt about who was investing what and where, but I think that misses the many positives about both the overall environment and about the group of companies at VCIR as a microcosm of that environment.
- This group was widely heralded as the strongest VCIR class in recent memory.
- The attending media were a first-class sampling of the industry’s premier reporters covering this market.
- The emerging clean technology market was there in full force both as investors and entrepreneurs.
In general, it was fascinating to see a much broader range of categories beyond the classic Web 2.0 or corporate IT. If only the skiing had been better…