Investors long to hear perfect pitch
Energy was sparking as indigenous technical talent met people who could fund development
NERVOUS ENTREPRENEURS formed orderly lines yesterday, waiting to pitch their killer idea to heavyweight investors at the Dublin Web Summit’s “speed-networking” event.
Holder of nine US patents Wesley Chan, the man behind Google’s targeted display advertising and who now works with the separate investment company Google Ventures, was putting hopefuls through their paces on the pitching stage.
“We’re a great supporter of entrepreneurship and it’s great for us to be where entrepreneurs are,” said Chan. ‘We’ve seen some great ones today. We’re definitely excited to be here.”
Persuaded by Dublin Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave to attend, the Seattle-based investor said, “Paddy has brought a great group of people here. We’re impressed.”
Citing Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin as his template, Chan said he was scouting for “very smart, technically brilliant people who able to start a game-changing, billion-dollar business”.
“Dublin is a city where there is lots of great technical talent and you can sort of see that from the startups here today.”
Megan Quinn, a partner at Silicon Valley-based investment house Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers said she expected to exchange business cards with up to 100 startups over the two-day event. With early investments in Amazon, Compaq and Google under its belt and having recently launched a $525 million venture fund, Quinn said Kleiner was here to learn more about Dublin’s technical community.
“Dublin is increasingly gaining a reputation for being a hub of innovation and technical talent. We’re seeing a lot more startups sprout out of Dublin specifically.”
She said she was on the look out for “anything that’s mobile”.
“Mobile is changing every human activity across all industries. There is a rethinking of human behaviour. I’m interested in seeing how people are applying that to various industries.”
Daniel Waterhouse of UK-based Wellington Partners, the venture capitalists behind Spotify and Halo, was encircled by a throng of entrepreneurs.
“I’ve seen some things around education that are interesting, particular niches that are underserved,” said Waterhouse.
“There is one guy who has built a service to help dyslexic people use the internet – that’s a massive group of people that are underserved today.”
Of possible investment to play for over the next few days, he said, “We do seed deals of half a million euro up to €8 million for later-stage rounds – it depends on the company and their needs as to what’s on the table.
“I’ve already met 40 companies. Any more and my brain is going to explode.”