I participated in the press roundtable at the Venture Capital in the Rockies conference that the National Venture Capital Association put together today. David Cohen sat in and recorded it – the podcast is up on the ColoradoStartups.com site. We hung in there for almost 90 minutes and covered a lot of ground – if you are interested the show notes (per David) follow.
5:00 – What does Colorado have to offer from a venture capital perspective?
8:45 – Where do Colorado companies get “serious capital”? Do they tend to need to move to get access to that kind of capital?
10:00 – Good discussion of why Colorado is a great tech startup region.
11:25 – Out of staters are surprised by the depth of technology present here in certain segments.
12:30 – Out of state VCs trust Colorado VCs to “look after the shop” and it may be attractive for B rounds.
14:05 – What are the staple industries that are being invested here, and what are the ones which may be emerging?
18:45 – Surprising number of life science companies being funded (30+ in Colorado last year)
20:30 – Less “follow the leader” in Colorado than elsewhere.
21:30 – Are VCs here stringent in terms of business plans, revenue models, etc?
24:45 – Renewable energy, CleanTech discussion.
27:45 – What role can the government play in promoting energy and CleanTech?
29:50 – How strong is the local market for venture debt?
31:45 – Consumer products (natural foods, beverage, restaurant chains, LOHAS, etc).
36:00 – How does globalization affect Colorado?
39:55 – VC industry in general is much smaller than it was a few years ago.
40:40 – Where is the money going if it’s not going into VC funds?
44:40 – Does every VC firm in Colorado see every funded deal here?
47:25 – How have Colorado VCs done in comparison to the rest of the country?
50:45 – Has your mindset changes regarding exits and how you think about them lately? IPOs, strategic acquisitions, etc?
56:10 – Is there an appetite for foreign IPOs (e.g. AIM)?
58:00 – Is it rhetoric that companies may go public overseas because of Sarbanes-Oxley?
59:20 – Should startups/small companies have different Sarbanes-Oxley rules?
1:03:50 – Discussion of the history of the accounting industry – Books that Brad references (and couldn’t recall) are here and here.
1:04:30 How generous are you all feeling with your checkbooks in 2007?
1:06:35 (2 minute drop in audio due to technical problem)
1:07:20 The best things the state of Colorado can do for entrepreneurs? Brad and John say focus on education.
1:10:30 What few things would you like to see if Ritter could make one or two key moves?
1:11:30 The most underestimated thing about Colorado is simply that people want to live here.
1:14:15 What Cleantech technologies look most interesting?
1:15:30 Thoughts of VCs on recent Union bill veto by Ritter.
1:17:00 What keeps VCs up at night these days?
1:20:30 Energy/aerospace collaboration with government?
1:23:45 Are Colorado Springs and Fort Collins second fiddle to Denver/Boulder/CU?