One of the much-celebrated advantages of being based in Silicon Valley is that there are so many investors around that you could bump into someone who can offer you a lucrative deal just by popping out to your local coffee shop. Few other places in the world have that luxury, but one VC firm is hoping to bring a taste of it to Central and Eastern Europe.
Credo Ventures is planning to go ‘on tour’ during September, holding drop-in sessions in a number of Eastern European cities. “Whereas entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are proactive, we haven’t felt the same here in the CEE region,” explains Credo’s David McKenzie. “But we believe one of the primary reasons for that is the lack of VCs focusing on early stage companies.”
A Stanford alumnus, McKenzie wants to bring the serendipity of informally bumping into a VC in a cafe to Credo’s part of the world. “That sort of feeling is what we want to happen here. The environment for Credo Week will be similar. No big audience, not a lot of structure, just a lot of random discussion with our team members and entrepreneurs.”
Throughout the week of 5-9 September 2011, Credo will be visiting cities in Slovenia, Croatia, Slovakia and Hungary to run ‘open house’ events where startups can drop in to discuss their businesses. The VC firm is based in the Czech Republic and focused on early stage investments in the CEE region. Credo’s existing investments include Q&A startup Beepl and the advertising-focused Wordwatch (our previous coverage here) and it’s looking to lay down more funding this year.
While one VC firm touring the region for one week won’t make a huge permanent difference to the region’s ecosystem overall on its own, it’s something that’s definitely needed. As I found in Kiev, Ukraine, last year, many investors in Eastern Europe are averse to early stage companies, preferring to make safer, short-term bets.
If you’d like to meet with Credo between 5 and 9 September, they’ve provided a form here for you to submit your details.