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VCs Gather in New York: To Be a Fly on the Wall...

Posted by Scott Kirsner  September 17, 2009 04:17 PM

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A source in the venture capital industry tipped me off to an interesting, invitation-only gathering of VCs held in Manhattan this Tuesday and Wednesday. It was called "VC 2.0," and it brought together about 30 new-ish venture capital firms from around the country to talk about issues like compensating portfolio company executives, raising funds from limited partners (like pension funds and university endowments), portfolio management, and emerging investing trends.

Who was there from Massachusetts? Fairhaven Capital, .406 Ventures, and Kepha Partners. (Also Point Judith Capital from Providence.) Spark Capital has participated in the past, but wasn't there this year. Boulder-based Foundry Group, which helped get the TechStars Boston program off the ground, was also represented.

Maria Cirino from .406 told me that most of the investors who were there manage funds of $200 million or smaller, and invest in early-stage companies. She told me that the sessions she found most interesting dealt with triage (figuring out where to focus one's efforts in a portfolio of start-ups, and where to cut one's losses) and the fundraising environment. The participants heard from venture capitalists who've been out trying to raise money in 2009 (something .406 hasn't had to do.) "It was interesting to hear from people who know where the bodies are buried -- who has money, and who doesn't right now," she said.

All of the speakers were VCs, including Alan Patricof of Greycroft Partners and Art Marks from Valhalla Partners. "Art and Alan have forgotten more about venture capital than most of us know," Cirino quipped.

"I know you segment the venture world between Waltham and non-Waltham," my source wrote via e-mail. "My cut is that another segmentation is VC 1.0 versus VC 2.0." He described the VC 2.0 cohort as high-energy, and full of innovative, forward thinkers (many of whom blog... though he doesn't.)

Know any more? Do comment...

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1 comments so far...
  1. 2x2 matrix anyone?

    (Waltham/Non-Waltham) vs (VC 1.0/VC 2.0)

    Posted by michael September 18, 09 11:55 AM


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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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