Archive for the ‘Conferences and Panels’ Category

From an email I received y’day:

According to Zero2IPO Research Center statistics, a total of 29 domestic and foreign VC firms established 40 funds during Q2‘08. This figure represents US$3.02B of capital available for investing in Mainland China marking a record high for a single quarter.

Additionally, 159 Chinese entrepreneurial firms receiving venture capital disclosed investment totaling US$1.20B. In comparison with the same period last year, the number of deals and the disclosed investment amount increased 31.4% and 73.5% respectively.

Keeping up with the “booming…China investment market”, Zero2IPO is organizing its second China VC & PE Event in London next month. Try and be there.

I will be speaking just after the tea break on investment opportunities for European investors in China.


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Quick notes from a Web 3.0 panel discussion that I participated in [ at the Red Herring ATRE Conference in Mumbai y’day ]

1. Satya Prabhakar (Founder and CEO, Sulekha.com) mentioned: “Scarcest commodity in the world is human attention”
2. Seth of meebo.com talked about meebo and the challenges of monetising web 2.0 startups/ user traffic
3. Gerard Rego (MSC Software) spoke about the bottom of the pyramid markets
4. Gurudatt mentioned how the NetAlter.com might transform the current Internet architecture

I was on the panel that discussed Web 3.0.

I mentioned how:

1. Non-US users of internet (86% of total) growing at 30% vs. 3% growth of US
2. Epicentre decisively moving to Asia (driven primarily by large user base in India and China (e.g. Japan’s lead in mobile payments/ S Korea in broadband

and shared my thoughts on Web 3.0/ and how it is marked by three main features:
1. Internet Unplugged (i.e. going wireless and accessible not just through your PC/mobile but also through your game console, e-book, TV, fridge)
2. Internet 3.0 = Its all about the consumer (Consumers #1 users of semiconductors in the world (vs. IT + Government) AND  Consumer IP traffic expected to surpass enterprise in 2008
(ARM has shipped more than 6bn microprocessors to date, mainly due to mobile and the microprocessor in consumer goods )
3. NOT just about the consumer BUT its all about *me* – personalised everything (search, contetnt incl news)

The Challenge is to “How to make it pay?”

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Last Thursday, I made a brief presentation at the InvestorNet ICT Round Table in Copenhagen on “Why Asia and Why now?”.

The audience was a mix of European VCs (primarily from Scandinavia) and the discussion centred on what is happening in Asia and how that affects Europe’s lead in innovation and competitive edge…You can see the slides here 

The failing Incubator model…?
At the same event in the afternoon, I heard a very interesting talk by Sam K Steffensen of 5te – an incubator situated in the IT University in Copenhagen. Sam was refreshingly direct and deliberately provocative…He said that the traditional incubation model is not working and people (and policy-makers) have not woken up to the possibilities (and the reality) of an inter-connected world…

Sam went on to criticise the environment for innovation in Europe and said that if you are a start-up, it does not help to be in Europe…(I almost had a sense of deja-vu: “No longer catching up with Silicon Valley…“)

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Last Thursday (18th Jan), I shared a panel on “The New Argonauts: diasporas and talent flows” with Li Gong, Cong Cao and AnnaLee Saxenian at the “Atlas of Ideas” conference in London.

We briefly talked about the “global flows of talent, and the shift that is underway from ‘brain drain’ to ‘brain circulation’” around the world as skilled immigrants and professionals from Asia return home to start on their own or contribute indirectly to indigenous capability development.

Atlas of Ideas This was followed by a lively Q&A session which spilled over an hour where we debated these views and the impact of these talent flows on innovation in the US and Europe.

Swati Piramal challenged the view that there was little propsect of fundamental innovation happening in India and I mentioned a few bottom-of-pyramid businesses that have the potential to threaten established business models in developed economies (see one of my earlier posts on this topic)

One of the attendees asked a very perceptive question about identities and allegiance of these “new argonauts“…Another asked whether these talent flows can be moderated and whether Governments should consider intervening to influence these flows…

All in all, lots of food for thought…

Here are the slides I shared with the audience before the Q&A.

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  Late in Dec ’06, I shared some slides with students at the Vidya Prasarak Mandal’s Instt of Management at Thane (near Mumbai) on how India was at an inflection point.

India   And yet, in many ways, the emergence of India is not “new” but a re-distribution of global economic wealth and power. In the presentation, I also highlighted some of ancient India’s scientific and technological achievements and argued why the massive growth that India is witnessing will be sustained in the long run.

Here is a copy of the slides

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Demos In 2005, the leading UK think tank, Demos began an 18-month study of science and innovation in China, India and South Korea to understand how the emergence of ideas & innovation in unexpected places is altering the global landscape of science and technology.

As they say on their website,

We used to know where new scientific ideas would come from: the top universities and research laboratories of large companies based in Europe and the US. While production was dispersed among global networks of suppliers, it was assumed that more knowledge-intensive tasks would stay at home.

All that is changing fast

Since 1999, China’s spending on R&D has increased by more than 20 per cent each year. India now produces 260,000 engineers a year and its number of engineering colleges is due to double to 1,000 by 2010…

…These shifts in global knowledge production are likely to be every bit as significant as the shifts in manufacturing that occurred in the 1970s and early 1980s. The big question is how we should respond. Some view Asia’s growing scientific strengths with alarm, fearing it will mean the loss of highly-skilled jobs in Europe and the US. But innovation is not a zero-sum game: more in Asia does not mean less in Europe or the US.”

The “Atlas of Ideaswas conceived as a project to delve deeper into these issues and understand the implications for Europe and US.

The final report will be launched at a conference on 17th/ 18th January in London where these issues will be debated and discussed in more depth by a wide range of experts. I am really looking forward to the proceedings and the final reports.

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We managed to pull it off!

Phenomenal event yesterday. 100+ attendees and some great insights and experiences that were shared by the speakers. I am in the process of putting up the slides on the server (hopefully before end of tomorrow).

We had Richard Laing, Chief Executive of the CDC Group speaking from an LP perspective on opportunities and challenges in PE/VC in India. Harpal Singh Randhawa, CEO of GEM reflected on his experience of investing in India over the last 15 years and Jonathan Blake, Senior Partner at SJ Berwin addressed some of the structural issues around setting up an India fund.

Earlier, I set the backdrop to the evening with a few slides (here:India – At Inflection Point) on how the country is at an inflection point.

All in all, a fitting start to the formal launch of the India Venture Capital Interest Group (India VCIG) and hopefully we will be able to maintain the high standard of the event and build on the momentum that has been generated.


P.S. My pick of the quotes:
“The only antidote to poverty is the generation of wealth”.

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