Wednesday, June 20, 2007

EU/UK: VCs backing competing businesses

From Paul Fisher blog- VCs backing competing businesses:

"It seems that every week we get contacted by a new investor looking for deal flow. I see a swath of new money coming back into the market whether is hedge funds trying to knock out Benchmark and Index or media corporates investing to protect their markets."

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Irish guys coming to Denver (Microsoft related) July 07

I hear there's some Irish boys coming over for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2007 happening 10-12th July in Denver.

They will be giving out their awards and a few Irish guys involved. Can't keep them down!

Its going to be a small convention :)
Over 10,000 partners, industry experts, speakers, exhibitors, Microsoft executives, and many others are expected to attend this year’s conference
Those that I know are coming:
"We were thrilled to be the first Microsoft Ireland Partner ever to win a Worldwide Partner Program Award. To be named Partner of the Year in the Networking Infrastructure category, which is really our core business, has given us a strong message to leverage in the marketplace. We managed to generate broad media coverage as a result of the win. The award also helped raise our profile with the local Microsoft subsidiary, which has helped us develop an even stronger partnership."

Nigel Mulholland
Nitec Solutions

Mentec won last years Microsoft Dynamics GP International Partner

Who else is coming?
There are 350+ partners listed in IRL but don't necessary believe the results!

Are those that attended Mix07 coming back ?  Walter, Fergus, TomRob ?

Let me know and I've try and arrange a get together (maybe a little drinking :) down Denver way!


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Advisors: can’t live without `em

Frmo Paul Fisher's blog - Advisors: can’t live without `em:

if a company is using an advisor then it tells an investor a lot about an entrepreneur:

1) None of the quality entrepreneurs I know want to become an expert in raising capital. They are happy to know their ratchet from their double dip but they want someone else to put it all in context.

2) None of the entrepreneurs I know want to spend enormous swathes of time raising capital. They want to spend time on their companies: development, A-B Testing, business development, sales, collecting cash: whatever. Happy to talk to investors, but lets keep it in perspective.

3) None of the entrepreneurs I know want to talk to just one investor. They know it’s a good market. They know the best companies get multiple offers. They want the CHOICE.

4) What most entrepreneurs DO want, is great investors. They do want the brand, the strategic input, the operational advice, the workshops and the conferences, the exit planning, the introductions and the profile building that comes with great investors.

A decent corporate finance advisor gives an entrepreneur these things


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Monday, June 18, 2007

2006 Early Stage VC into European Web 2.0

From Paul Fisher blog 2006 Early Stage VC into European Web 2.0:

Ecosystem 2.0

European politicians should be delighted that we have a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem which they have been attempting (hoping) to build to compete with the USA, principally the West Coast.

Interestingly, this ecosystem is not centering on the Universities or the government sponsored funds.

It is instead the Silicon Valley model of second time round entrepreneurs, experienced business angels and VCs who have already been through a few cycles.

Looks good if it can be kept up.


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Tribler v4 raises 6M Euro's from Dutch goverment and Enterprise Ireland comparision/?'s

From alarm:clock euro:

The non-profit group has caught the eye of several researchers, broadcasters, and the Dutch government, enticing twenty scientists working on Tribler and 6M Euros in Dutch government funding.

Netherlands-based Tribler caught the attention of the Net today with the launch of v4. Tribler, which is a joint research project from Delft University of Technology and the VU University Amsterdam, is a video aggregator that pulls in YouTube videos, Torrent downloads and other video file formats. Tribler layers on some personalization to help users find niche content in the sea of Net videos.

Hmm - I wonder what's the max investment Enterprise Ireland (Irelands goverment body for startups/enterprise) has put into any single Irish startup?

Anyone know?

I've don't see a whole lot of openness on EI stats (as in details on -
  • what companies are on their programmes?
  • what companies are turned away and why?
  • what companies receive what type of services?
  • what companies are given 'special'/accelerated status?
  • what companies are folded?
  • what companies get 'connections'(/sales) via introductions?
  • what companies are funded and how much, how often, what criteria?
  • success/failure rate on funding and the different type of programmes?
  • etc..

- maybe its there - just that I can't see it and not got very encouraging response when requested similiar information before. I would think that its in EI's interest to be as open as possible (but little to no EI bloggers active, they've yet to get an RSS feed on their news ...). 
Is most of this information is already 'public' ?
(as goverment body - or do you have to go thru the Freedom on Information act?)



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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Building End-to-End Infrastructure Security - Belfast, Jun 27th

noticed from John Craddock blog (Microsoft Technet Manager, Ireleand) indicated an upcoming event in Belfast. Also at MS Events.

Belfast Event: Building End-to-End Infrastructure Security

I'm delighted to announce that I'm bringing John Craddock and Sally Storey to Belfast to host an event on End-to-End Infrastructure Security on June 27th in the Water Front Hall.

Infrastructure security is frequently only considered once server roles and network connectivity has been implemented, a problem made worse by inadequate training. When security technologies are not deployed until late in a project, the result can be poor implementation, weak documentation and compliance testing.

08:45-09:15 Registration & Light Breakfast
09:15-09:30 TechNet Update
09:30-11:00 Is Your IT Infrastructure Secure?
11:00-11:15 Break
11:15-12:45 Securing Your Network
12:45-13:30 Lunch
13:30-14:45 Locking Down Servers and Workstations
14:45-15:00 Break
15:00-16:15 Vista Technologies

Topics covered:
  • Identifying business assets
  • Threat modeling
  • Security policy and response planning
  • Deploying IPSec for domain and server isolation
  • Building rules and filters
  • Identifying protocol and port requirements
  • Firewall configurations
  • Managing server roles and lockdown policies
  • Patch management and compliance testing
  • Creating Software Restriction Policies (SRP)
  • Least privileged user access
  • Establishing client security and software policy
  • Client and server attack vectors
  • Managing through group policies
  • Network Access Protection (NAP)
  • Vista security enhancements


John Craddock has designed and implemented computing systems ranging from embedded high-speed industrial controllers through to distributed IT solutions. John works as a consultant providing services to industry leaders including Microsoft. He was a key player in the Government Gateway Project, has designed high-availability web portals and help companies build Active Directory solutions to support their business critical environments. In addition to his role as a consultant, he has written over 20 technical training courses that have been published worldwide. He co-authored 'Investigating and Managing Objects and Attributes for Microsoft Windows 2000 and Microsoft Windows Server 2003' which is part of the Active Directory Forestry series. John lectures internationally and has written and presented technical sessions at MTB, MEC, Tech•Ed, Microsoft IT Forum, JDP and deployment conferences.

Sally Storey has worked in management and consulting in the IT industry for Novell, Microsoft and now, independently. Sally works as a consultant on enterprise infrastructure projects in operations, logistics and deployment roles. Sally is ITIL qualified and specializes in building process that keep systems highly available and secure. Sally co-authored the Active Directory® Forestry series with John Craddock.

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Essential Web Conf - London - June 27th

In a previous post I mentioned the upcoming Essential Web Conference being hosted by Library House on 27 June in London.

Well the stage is set and have a few Irish lads at it.

Speakers/panelists include:

And the most dynamic and disruptive web entrepreneurs  include:
  • The Todeka Project
  • Trampoline Systems
  • WAYN
  • we7
  • Yuuguu
  • Zubka
  • Huddle
  • Jaiku
  • Louder Voice
  • ParkAtMyHouse
  • Shozu
  • Spotify
  • cebase
  • Comeks
  • ConnectMeAnywhere
  • Extate
  • Garlik
  • Seatwave
  • Quintura
  • Spotify
From Conor O'Neill site (also checkout his blog)
Great Blogger Reviews in Your Language
You can publish reviews to your blog in many different ways.
If you love high quality reviews by great bloggers then you can find them through us. Why not write some reviews too?
Test the new early release of LouderTweets. 140 character reviews via SMS or IM for Twitter Users. No need for a LouderVoice account!

sounds good 2 me - Keep at it guys and best of luck Conor :)


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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Beware of VC data being reported in EU and the "little details"

In a previous post on VC funds in EU on the Up (May 2007) I looked at a blog posting from Alarm:clock regarding a Financial Times who reported on research from Paul Fisher on Web 2.0 and Internet investments in the European region in 2006.
and how the ..The growth is remarkable. 

Nic Brisbourne (Esprit VC outa London/Cambridge) has an article "Lies, damm lies and venture statistics" that looks at more recent figures from the EVCA in more depth.

The opaque world of venture capital isn’t helping itself with the way stats are being presented at the moment. The EVCA (European Venture Capital Association) released data last week which is a little confusing in the way it categorises different types of private equity and venture capital investment.

As a result the FT this morning ran an article under the heading Europe venture capital shows big rise that is misleading, at least according to my definition of venture capital. The article leads with the following paragraph:
Europe’s venture capital market recovered sharply last year as money raised by funds investing in start-ups and early stage companies rose 60%

When I read a sentence like that my immediate assumption is we are talking about technology venture capital - not so. If you look to the underlying EVCA data it shows that funds raised in “Venture high-tech” declined last year from €5.1bn to €5.0bn. There was massive growth in “Venture non high-tech which gives rise to the 60% figure above - but that is not really relevant to what we are about at Esprit and I imagine most of you are about in your day to day jobs.

The FT article also makes much of the statistic:
The average internal rate of return over the life of all venture capital funds since 1980 until the end of last year was 5.5%

I have a couple of points to make in response to that:
  • Venture capital has always been a business where the top quartile of funds make a good return and the rest don’t so quoting the average without quoting the top-quartile returns doesn’t give a true picture. According to the EVCA data the top quartile returns for all venture were 17.4% and for balanced venture funds (which is what we are) it was 23.5%. (Note that EVCA returns stats don’t break out tech and non-tech venture. These percentages are for all venture and need to be treated with care.)
  • The European venture industry is still young - there simply wasn’t much money invested prior to the dotcom bubble and unfortunately most of that was raised in 1999 - ie too late to make hay while the sun was shining. Post bubble times were hard and funds raised declined, so the “all venture funds since 1980″ stats are weighted towards the crazy period of 1999-2001 and thus a little misleading.

We are working towards trying to pull together some better data, but progress is slow as we suffer from the hours in the day problem.

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Irish StatCounter man -Aodhan Cullen- in the Top EU 2007 Young Entrepreneurs

BusinessWeek has an article on Europe's Young Entrepreneurs 2007 and Aodhan Cullen (24) is one of nominations for those entrepreneurs under 25.

He runs StatCounter from Dublin, Ireland = A free yet reliable invisible web tracker, highly configurable hit counter and real-time detailed web stats.

Aodhan Cullen calls himself a born entrepreneur.
He has been running businesses since the age of 12, when he set up his own résumé-typing business. As a young teen, he dabbled in Web site design, and it was this experience that gave him the idea to launch StatCounter, the
company he founded in 1999 when he was 16. When Cullen started designing Web pages, his clients repeatedly asked him whether anyone was visiting their Web sites.

So, Cullen formed StatCounter and came up with a way to measure the number of hits on Web sites, the geographical location of visitors to sites, the various pages a visitor views on a site, and the keywords they use to find a site.

StatCounter currently has more than 1.4 million members and tracks more than 9 billion page views per month across its network of more than 2 million Web sites. The company, which is profitable, claims to be signing up 1,500 new members per day.

Over 100+ congrats on his blog and over 500 that are voting for him.
Note from Aodhan ..

one comment 
Done, and done! Excellent work - very useful utility. Hope Google buys you for $27 million…
Statcounter is the best counter out there. I tried many and am very happy with it

Good on yah! - Vote here (Note: its the first captcha  that I've seen that is Caps sensitive!)


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U an Irish CEO and want a 5 day trip to Edinburgh

from little known CEO Club Ireland (at least no one I've talked with has mentioned it and not seen it on any blogs connected with Irish startups!) they are planning a Visit to Edinburgh.

15th - 19th August 2007

CEO Club has been working with Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Consulate in Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to make this a memorable and exciting opportunity for CEO Club members. The CEO Club-Edinburgh Initiative aims to provide members with a forum for meeting, discussion and exchange of ideas. Our intention is also to increase the number and quality of collaborations and the presentation of work from Ireland and the UK through the increased networking between UK and Irish creative practitioners.


DAY 1  Wednesday, 15th August 2007
- Pick up points in Dundalk & Newry
- Coach to ferry terminal and on to Edinburgh
- Check in to Accommodation
- Dinner

DAY 2   Thursday, 16th August 2007
- Breakfast & Briefing Meeting
- One to one Meetings Facilitated at the Apex International Hotel, Grassmarket, Edinburgh
Best Practice Visits, Edinburgh
- Evening Reception, Irish Consulate, Randolph Crescent, Edinburgh

DAY 3  Friday, 17th August 2007
- Breakfast & Briefing Meeting
- Breakfast Practice Visits Glasgow
- Evening Networking Event with the Creative Entrepreneurs Club at the Lighthouse, Glasgow
- Coach back to Edinburgh

DAY 4  Saturday, 18th August 2007
- Breakfast
- Members have free time to use as they wish!!

DAY 5  Sunday, 19th August 2007
- Breakfast
- Coach to ferry
- Drop off points in Newry & Dundalk

You cannot "see" any events or their calender unless you are a member (must be secret stuff they get up to!) and trying to use their search it doesn't show anything for event, calender, scotland, edinburgh (so obviously not a full text search or again doesn't show 'secret stuff')

They appear to have plenty of 'local' connections via their Steering Committee
If anyone has any connection with them please let me know.
Like a lot of goverment related sites on the web they have no blog and very much a closed shop (hint!)


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Pitch to a Dublin waiter and Win free trip to OCC London

Paul Walsh from Segala is at it again :)

He had tried to arrange a dinner outgoing in Dublin for startup entrepreneurs but had to postpone at the last minute (I'm sure there was a lot of happy waiters :)

So he's arranged another Curry dinner evening on July 2nd, 2007

...prize of a trip to OpenCoffee London where introductions will be made to potential partners and investors. All you have to do is pitch your product/service to a waiter in one minute. If you’re from the UK I’ll arrange for another prize.

...Business should be fun!

Trust the Irish to have a different slant to the elevator pitch; but then there is less of them in Ireland compared to other big cities. Hmm! maybe we can get some research firm or some univ's guys 2 check that out ?

Now boys don't forget to leave a tip!


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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Free VC advice: funding

Niva and Naval from Venture Hacks are doing a free online voice conference all this Thursday June 7th 2007 at 1pm PST.

Can call in via Skype of several other country numbers.

I've read some of their postings b4 and some good info on dealing with VC's, fund raising, term sheets etc..


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