A big problem the VC community has right now is that they don't know what they don't know. The VComm Venture Faire was developed, using a large dose of social media, to give them a little bit more information they didn't have. Like what?
Conventional wisdom: With the media dying, the best way for them to find potential companies is to go to the venture meat-market events with dozens of companies presenting information that the VCs know is useless and presented poorly. Why do they believe that? Because everyone believes that. It's not the greatest process, but it's the only one we got. Right?
What they don't know: There is always another way to get the job done. Someone just has to do it. Doing the job like everyone else doesn't make it any better. Going another way may not make it better, but there's a chance it might.
VComm didn't bring a ton of companies in front of the VCs. The presenters were given strict guideline regarding what to say. Time was given for quality discussion between VCs and companies. It wasn't a free-for-all. It was a lucid discussion. Life in the Internet age is like putting your mouth on a fire hose of information, someone has to create a faucet. That's what we did.
Conventional wisdom: You can't invest in European companies because they won't relocate or set up an office in the US.
What they don't know: You can ask. We considered 30 companies to invite to VComm looking for 10, We found 9 that fit our guidelines, one being a willingness to set up a US corporation. It's not in most peoples' agenda to ask about something they just "know" won't happen. You have to think outside the box. Sometimes it helps to have someone thinking outside the box for you, rather than agreeing with your position. That's what an independent consultant is supposed to do.
Conventional wisdom: There's not very much innovation to fund.
What they don't know: There is plenty of innovation. There's just not much innovation on display at investment meat markets.
VComm went first to the VCs for a year and a half and asked, "What are you looking for?" Most investment events are designed to get revenue from the companies and the VCs are what they pay for. In VComms case, the companies were the product for the VCs and all we asked of them was their time. Sometimes you have to reverse the equation to get the answer.
What we learned in the VComm experience is that there is something to be hopeful for. We learned that social media is an incredible too for dissemination of information. We learned that conventional wisdom is for the herd. It's better to be the predator.
BTW, VComm is now on iTunes.