I spoke yesterday at the Dow Jones annual VC and PE conference. I’ve never been to the conference and found it helpful. There were many institutional investors and most of the speakers were from the buy-out space. Some snippets:
- The tech sector is its own world. I was the only person at the conference not in a suit. I know that sounds like a small detail, but it is emblematic. What I focus on each day is so different from the other conference goers. They’re focused on interest rates, debt, and macroeconomic factors. We in the tech sector obsess about products, go to market models and recruiting. They focus on cost efficiencies. We focus on hyper-growth
- Cleantech lessons learned. Kleiner Perkins made a very big and public push into the space. At the conference, partner Ted Schlein spoke about lessons learned and he was very honest. He still seemed bullish long-term but admitted some lessons learned
- A skeptical view of China VCs linked to U.S. VCs. I spoke at length with a $5B LP. He marveled at the turnover among China VCs at U.S.-sponsored firms. He thinks the independent firms are much better. He said: “If you’re a good China VC, why wouldn’t you raise your own fund? Why give up economics and decision making to people in the U.S.?”
An interesting day in NYC. Also, I was able to score some fantastic sushi the night before….