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Subject: RE: UKNM: Wimps?
From: Sajid Mohammed
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998 14:31:55 GMT

---Greg Baker <gregatdeepneed [dot] co [dot] uk> wrote:
>
> But getting hold of these enlightened people seems next to impossible,
> it almost seems that the Venture has departed from the Capital in the
> UK.

When you referred to the enlightened, are you referring to VCs or
entrepreneurs?

Good VCs are around and about - you just have to look hard. Off the
top of my head I could give you the name of three funds operating in
the UK who stradle the range of financing available from small (US2
million) through to final-round financing (US$10 million+). There are
more out there I am sure - I omit 3i from this list because no-one has
ever recommended them to me ever for anything. Does anyone have any
first-hand knowledge of 3i that they could share with the list?

In terms of the enlightened being the entrepreneurs - the actual
management team is highly critical to the success of the enterprise.
If anything, the quality of the team is far more important than the
actual business idea itself. In the case of new media type
organisations, it means having management people who have had
demonstrable success of their own in other companies or their own
start-up ventures.

Are enough people taking this into account, I wonder? Or are there a
lot of fresh-faced optomists who think that an insanely great idea and
enthusiasm will offset the demerits of not having ten or twenty years
hard experience in commerce?

As some indication of my personal experience, I have had dealings with
two self-styled young 'netrepreneurs' working in London - no names, no
packdrill - both of whom were inexperienced in other industries and
made up for this by projecting a ferociously arrogant persona in order
to lend themselves gravitas. These guys (yes, they were male) are in
the tiny minority, I hope.

If you really are going to stand some chance of success in attracting
financing, then you really need to focus on the quality of your team
first and worry about your insanely great proposition later.

For those who want to know more, I would heartily recommend the Red
Herring (which Sean Phelan mentioned) - their site is at

http://www.redherring.com/ or mail me off-list and I'll give you some
pointers.


Sajid Mohammed
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