Bill Reichert, Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures, talks from his (deep) experience with venture capital funding and entrepreneurship about the challenges of starting up a tech firm, and what it takes to succeed.
In a thoroughly engaging speech entitled The Future of Innovation: Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, and Emerging Technologies, Bill managed to pass on a great deal of wisdom.
He also made it clear that the halcyon days of 90’s VC behaviour are over, and tech startups need to change their expectations.
“The old rule was you go out, you raise venture capital and then you start a business. The new rule…is you gotta bootstrap. Again, in this environment it is highly unlikely that you’re going to be able to raise venture capital…The only way you’re going to raise venture capital these days is if ‘you don’t need it’ – in other words, if you can get out there and you can prove that you’ve got a product that somebody wants, that’s when the VCs will be interested.”
On the other hand, all is far from lost:
“In spite of the meltdown, we see no lack of innovation, no lack of opportunity, even in this horrific global climate…I have not met an entrepreneur who isn’t aware that the resources available to to him or her are virtually infinite in terms of building a successful company…If any entrepreneur is good enough at articulating the vision and the opportunity of what they’re doing, then they will get other people to just throw off what they’re doing and join them. We see team after team after team that figures out, somehow, to scrap their way to putting a company together.”
The entirety of his talk, as well as the Q&A session afterwards, can be listened to below.
Accompanying slides: Bill Reichert – The Future of Innovation