Mike Butcher from TechCrunch UK started the second panel as a depressed man. The credit crisis not just affects the world’s economy, but also the mood of one of Europe’s best bloggers. Luckily there were four investors at Plugg to cheer him up a bit.
Paul Fisher from Advent Venture Partners noted that lots of the start-ups have an advertised-based business model. And online advertising is still growing. Moreover, there’s a continued roll-out of broadband, specifically in Eastern Europe. He also said it’s a challenging time for VC’s: “Talent is a lot more expensive now”. So an important issue, according to Fisher, is that start-up expect more than VC’s.
Julie Meyer (Ariadne Capital) sees the crisis as a way to seperate the women from the girls and the men from the boys. The one’s that really want a start-up will pursue. So she sees it as some kind of filer. “It forces entrepreneurs to be a Fiat Punto instead of a Mercedes S class. Discipline is important now”. Reshma Sohoni from SeedCamp agreed with her: “Companies are now more careful with cash burn and costs”.
So in a few years, people will ask successful entrepreneurs: “What’s your secret?!” Those guys will then probably say: “Wel, we started in Q1 of 2008 and learned to start a company in an efficient way.”
The investors convinced Butcher. I even heard him saying a remarkable thing, something you would expect from a optimist instead of a guy who just lost his faith in world economy: “Yes, it’s a fantastic time to build a start-up.”