Venture capitalists are dying, long live VCs

Bambi Francisco Roizen · February 24, 2012 · Short URL:

How angels and micro-VCs are changing the funding landscape

If you want to get a sense of how early-stage investors feel they're affecting the venture ecosystem, watch this panel. At Venture Shift NY, hosted by Vator and Bullpen Capital, we brought together some high-profile and prolific investors to talk about their impact on a panel titled "How Angels and Super Angels/Micro-Cap VC Funds are Changing Stakes and Creating a New Ecosystem."

John Borthwick, from Betaworks, said it best: "VCs are dying." Essentially, what we've seen in the last decade is a consolidation of VCs and "shitty" returns out of the ones who raised funds in the first five years of the 21st century. At the same time, there are new investors emerging, particularly in the early stages that have new models and frameworks that differ from the old VC model. Betaworks is not a fund, but rather a company. It's investment activity is informed by what the team tries to build. And, their focus is very tightly around "social real-time." Their investments come out of their balance sheet. 

Indeed, Betaworks is a pretty unique entity across the early-stage spectrum. TechStars is also a new breed of early-stage investor, though it's been around for several years. The TechStars fund is funded by 75 VCs. "We're in the business of getting our companies funded by other people," said David Tisch, who heads up TechStars in NY.

All the panelists made some great points about the ecosystem. So, what are you waiting for? Just watch the video.

Joining Borthwick and Tisch were Roger Erhenberg (IA Ventures), Owen Davis (NYC Seed), and David Teten (ff Venture Capital), with Bruce Taragin of Blumberg Capital moderating. 

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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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Bullpen Capital

Angel group/VC

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Bullpen Capital is second round investor who invests in companies previously seeded by the Super Angel funds.


Bruce Taragin

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Owen Davis

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David Tisch

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David Teten

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David Teten is a serial entrepreneur, Partner with ff Venture Capital, and Founder and Chairman of Harvard Business School Angels New York.