The Trouble with European Venture

ROME — This afternoon, I caught a lively discussion about the state of Europe’s venture capital industry. Moderated by Patrick Sheehan of the Environmental Technologies Fund and the chairman of the EVCA’s VC committee, the panel consisted of Bernard Daugeras of Auriga Partners, Uli Fricke of Triangle Venture Capital Group, Anne Glover of Amadeus Capital Partners, Charles Irving of Pond Ventures, and Helmut Schuhsler of TVM Capital.

I’ve got to shoot off to the gala dinner in a minute, so here’s a brief summary of the points raised:

1. There’s a lack of entrepreneurs starting their own companies, when compared to the US.

2. There’s a lack of experienced VCs in the venture space.

3. There’s enough capital, the problem is putting it to work.

4. Europe lacks large funds that would enable VCs to invest very early and continue support with follow-on funds.

5. There’s too much money chasing too few deals at too high prices in Silicon Valley.

6. European venture needs to encourage really good tech and operational people to come into the VC industry.

7. Stop thinking about European venture capital: think of global venture capital.

8. Europe has looked West for too long – it is increasingly looking East.

9. European VCs are not producing results as fast enough as LPs.

10. We have to stop thinking the problem with European venture compared to US venture is down to cultural differences.