The recent New York Venture Summit, held by young StartUp Ventures, was characterized, as it always is, by high quality panels of venture capitalists. While each panel focused on a different topic, the underlying theme is always “who will VCs find fundable” . The attendees, in addition to the VCs, were mostly companies who were presenting or otherwise seeking funding. They all want to know, “how do I get money?” and “how much is it going to cost me to get VC money?” YoungStartUp Ventures is focused on the funding of all types of technology so temper some of the comments below with your own experience in the fashion industry.
Some key insights, echoed numerous times by various VCs, and sometimes contradicted by themselves (see last bullet), about the current fundraising environment and what they are looking for:
• If you’re starting a company, the average time from startup to IPO (initial public offering) is approximately 10 years. Are you and your team passionate enough about your business concept that you can go this kind of distance?
• Two guys in a garage with a good patent lawyer is still a viable startup model.
• Stay focused.
• Have a good idea of how much money you want to raise.
• Test your key assumptions.
• Creativity on the part of management is a big plus.
• On the whole VCs are looking for the quality of the idea, how will you create value from it, and the team. Some VCs focus more on the idea. Some focus more on the team. One VC, after mentioning passion, quality of the idea, and the team brought up this insight: Gates, Zuckerberg, Ellison, Jobs, etc. would never, ever, be “the team” a VC would bet on. Go figure.
So there’s the insights. Use them as you see fit.
For a more general venue for fundraising that includes fashion companies, consider SeedCamp http://www.seedcamp.com/2012/06/back-in-the-big-apple-apply-to-seedcamp-new-york-by-sunday.html