I had the pleasure of moderating a venture capital discussion for boutique investment bank Iron Capital Partners recently.
It was a lively debate, since each of the participants came from a different aspect of the venture business (see video below). There was one VC, two secondaries buyers, an I-banker and the head of an online exchange where accredited investors can buy or sell shares in private companies.
One of the principal questions I asked was: If someone wants to get into VC today, where’s the best place to put his or her money? Should he invest in a primary VC fund or go with a secondary fund? Or should he avoid funds altogether and buy shares of Facebook on an online exchange such as Sharespost? This led to a very interesting discussion about the poor performance of venture as an asset class over the past 10 years and some interesting perspective about where it will go in the next decade.
The panelists were Greg Brogger, founder of Sharespost, where you can buy/sell shares in private companies; Cameron Lester, a general partner at venture firm Azure Capital Partners (pictured above); Don Basile, a director for Iron Capital; Maximilian Schroeck, a managing partner at direct secondaries firm Cipio Partners; and Sven Weber, who is head of secondary opportunities for Silicon Valley Bank.
HERE’S THE VIDEO:
AND HERE’S THE POWERPOINT PRESENTATION SO YOU CAN FOLLOW ALONG. SOME REALLY INTERESTING DATA POINTS:
Venture Capital Journal Presentation for Iron Capital Partners
On a side note, the event was held at the Bankers Club, which is on the 52nd floor of the Bank of America Center. In addition to a scintillating discussion, the following video offers some spectacular views of San Francisco and the Bay: