In about 10 days, we'll be holding our fifth Vator Splash, an evening event that will be held on February 3rd, at Cafe du Nord in San Francisco. As always, at the event, will feature 10 promising young high-tech startups to present onstage in front of prominent investors and corp development officers, and two seasoned and successful entrepreneurs.
There's still time to get early-bird tickets. Go to the registration page to reserve your tickets and see the agenda. These prices are good until next Monday!
Given the changing dynamics in early-stage investing, we've added a new twist to our evening event.
This time, we'll have a panel of top-notch early-stage investors take a look at how early-stage funding is evolving, and how the emergence of super angels are helping to change it. The super angels are emerging not only as startup creation is transforming, particularly for consumer Internet companies, but as the number of VC firms is shrinking. There were 6,828 investment professionals in venture capital at the end of 2009, down from 8,892 in 2007, according to the National Venture Capital Association.
Our moderator will be Duncan Davidson, former VC at VantagePoint Venture Partners and now co-founder of Bullpen, a newly-launched VC fund focused primarily on second rounds of super angel funds. The first question to be explored is: Are super angels here to stay? After all, aren't they just early-stage venture investors? And, if they're here to stay, how does this change the dynamics of fundraisings and exits?
If $500,000 is the new $5 million, is a $20 million acquisition the new $200 million IPO?
The other is: Is this the next tech boom? (1978-83, PCs; 1995-00, dot-coms)?
You won't want to miss this panel, along with our other VC panelist/judges, and keynotes Tim Westergren, founder and CSO of Pandora, and Neil Young, founder and CEO of ngmoco, which was sold to DeNA for $400 million last fall.
Other questions Duncan wants to explore are:
Wll this IPO season spark the herd recognizing the boom (Demand Media next week, then Linkedin, etc)? Or is this just Web 2.0 version two?
Is consumer internet peaking? what is next, consumerized enterprise?
With all the focus on the apps economy, what happens to core tech deals?
On the panel will be John O'Farrell, partner at Andreessen Horowitz, who prior to the one-year-old VC handled M&A and partnerships at Opsware, a software company founded by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen. In addition, Joe Kraus, partner at Google Ventures, will join the panel. Joe had a long career as an entrepreneur, before jumping into the investor seat. Prior to Google Ventures, Joe was founder of pioneer search engine, Excite, and the founder of JotSpot, which was acquired by Google in 2006. Another panelist is Tod Francis is a managing director at Shasta Ventures. Some of his investments at Shasta include Mint, Turn, Logoworks, Plastic Jungle, Pixazza, MovieClips and companies still operating in stealth mode. David Hornik of August Capital also joins the panel. David is on the board of Gravity, Nomis, Ohal, StumbleUpon, Splunk and SAY Media. He was also an investor in Aardvark (acquired by Google), Evite (acquired by Ticketmaster).
There's still time to get early-bird tickets. Go to the registration page to reserve your tickets and see the agenda before ticket prices go up!