At Splash LA, the late-night entertainment was the venture capital panel, with Bruce Taragin, a partner at Blumberg Capital, moderating more like a late-night talk show host. His performance had one of the panelists ask Bruce what he was drinking. At which Bruce replied, "Water."
The panelists included Neal Hansch of Rustic Canyon, Larry Marcus of Walden Capital, Brian Garrett of CrossCut Ventures, and David Cremin of DFJ Frontier. Through his questions, Bruce led an entertaining discussion about the difference between LA startups and Northern California startups to the value that VCs bring over angels and visa versa.
Of course, what's a VC panel without the topic of a bubble? Bruce, acting a bit like Monty Hall, who hosted the TV game show "Let's make a deal," asked each panelist to name a year that best reflects the current frothiness. David said 1993. Neal said 1995. Larry said 1996/1997 and Brian said 1999/2000.
Clearly, most of the panelists believe there's still upside in the current cycle. But if there is a bubble and when it does pop, there's definitely someone to blame, according to Brian.
"It's the super angels' fault," said Brian, partly in jest. Brian was referring to the raft of individuals and newly-minted micro funds that are bidding up prices in the seed stages.
I won't cover the entire panel here. You'll have to watch. Also, Faith Merino of VatorNews already gave a great recap of the panel in her post: "What bubble year is it? 1993? 2000? 1996?" But the highlights don't convey the energy of the panel. For a VC panel, it was one of the more entertaining ones.
(If you want to have an entire evening filled with dozens of top-notch venture capitalists and angels discussing the state of the venture capital industry, be sure to check out Venture Shift, Vator's upcoming event focusing on the venture industry. Mark your calendars: Venture Shift will be held on July 20, in San Francisco.)