Posts Tagged ‘Damon Oldcorn’

An Ulster fry, served in Belfast, Northern Ire...

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Lets assume for the moment that the feeding frenzy particularly on the West coast US is driving the valuations beyond the point that most Angels want to pay. Maybe that wave is even spilling over into London, so what do you do about it as an Angel to access deals that might be as you see it at a more sane level or entry point? Well I don’t have all the answers (honest) but one way might be to switch to areas because of geographical distance. But still within a less than 50 min plane ride that are not as over subscribed at present,  OK I admit it this is leading up to something that I have organised to help Northern Ireland or the “Belfast Bubble” as I like to call it. I want them to break out a little and up their engagement with angels, syndicates and maybe even early stage VCs on a more constant basis in London. On the evening of the 12th of May 2011 in the West End of London a number of players from NI will be here to mix and share experiences with a back drop of typical NI hospitality and maybe even a little Irish music. I know these early informal conversations are just a starting point to encouraging long-term relationships that will build over years, there is no hurry these things take time. Very much like London did from a base with very few role models some 5/6 years ago, when some interesting people started their Web Missions and networking drinks themes that have become common place now as the London scene has matured. So let me assure you given I have been around this world for quite a while, that I would be very surprised if all parties on the evening did not gain something from the experience even if only talking to others on the London scene. If it sounds of interest and you are an active Angel or a VC contact me for a detailed invite. (Oh and if this date does not suit there will be other London/Belfast events throughout the year so contact anyway)

Manoj Ranaweera a fellow Web Mission 08 guy put this event together , he invited me and a number of the other Web Mission companies who had been through the startup process to get involved – which we were delighted to do. Well the bottom line whether the attached article  makes you happy or not is that the entrepreneurs gained a great deal from the day. Both North and South shared experiences and the access to Michael Birch of Bebo fame will probably stay with these startups for many years to come. I must declare an interest here being originally from Northern Ireland which has its own challenges in the startup world, there really isn’t a simplistic answer to whether one is better than the other, hence why we have been debating London versus Silicon Valley CA for the last 20 years. London has its benefits, volume for one thing and access to the big game particularly for product/internet service based startups – this is less of an issue for agency type organic growth plays. There is more investment in London, but that does not mean there is none outside London. Quality of life? who knows depends where you are standing and where you are on life’s rich curve. If you are young single and want to be at the centre of the big game in Europe and touch on the players who you are on TV and in the press then you will have more of a chance in London – there are more of them obviously. But that does not guarantee success for your startup as there will be more competition, better business plans, better and more experienced entrepreneurs to compete with. Its a rough, tough world out there whether you are in Stirling, Newcastle or London most will not succeed this is something the US startup market accepts and the UK/Ireland struggles with still. But when I hear people bursting to tell me about their latest great idea who could deny them the chance to have a go, wherever they are.

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