Seed and early-stage funding is NOT dead. As Bill Reichert, venture capitalist at Garage Technology Ventures, explains in this edition of VC Minute, there's no lack of money in the investment community right now. Ideas and innovation continue to be funded. However new companies are being started by different types of entrepreneurs and funded in different ways.
The challenge for entrepreneurs: In this environment, the challenge is finding innovations and business models that allow them to get started without needing a big chunk of equity up front.
The challenge for VCs: It's not that there aren't enough good opportunities to invest in, the challenge is there aren't enough VCs focused on the right types of investments.
The whole VC model is challenged: Venture capitalists are stuck in a paradigm of seeking out $500 million and billion dollar exit types of opportunities. There's lots of great companies that are being built and can be built that may have exits in the $50 to 100 million dollar range; some of those may break out, as well.
The VC community needs to get back to its basics. Get back to the original roots of funding two guys or gals in a garage who have a great innovation that can make a big dent in a big sector of the economy.
The bottom line: Entrepreneurs need to find the right VCs willing to make a bet on first or second-base opportunities, not necessarily homeruns.
If you have a question for a VC, let us know in the comment section.