Day 3 - Tech & Invest
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Sebastien Torre - EAEC
Jean-Baptiste Su - Forbes
Stefan von Delft - Univ. Münster
Professor PHD Program
Jean-Baptiste Su - Forbes
Nikhil Kalghatgi - Softbank
Dan Penberthy - Rand Capital
Carter Page - Global E. Capital
Cross Atlantic Expansion Through Innovation and Collaboration
‘TechDay’ kicked off with a panel of experts on ‘Cross Atlantic Expansion through Innovation and Collaboration’. Panel experts included the president of the European American Enterprise Council and Forbes columnist in Silicon Valley..
Sebastien Torre presented the activity of the Council, its focal point and mission of helping “companies of Europe and the United States in their cross Atlantic expansion.” Torre argued that it is vital for any firms who wish to do business or raise finance in the USA to have a stable establishment there and speak the language of investors. The European American Enterprise Council (EAEC) is a private member-driven organization that aims at promoting Cross-Atlantic cooperation, collaboration and business between European and American companies, institutions and economic regions while fostering Innovation, International Trade and Entrepreneurship.
Stefan von Delft, an expert in business models from University of Münster - Germany, ran through the keys to innovation and internationalization of business models, advising his audience “never to stop carrying out predictive analysis and never forget the competitive strategy.” Throughout his presentation he mentioned some of the obstacles that even well-estbliashed firms may face, which include: overcoming organizational memory – looking past existing business models, preventing “us” vs. “them” conflicts – getting your people to implement new business models with you, accept initial failure, but fail fast – even if a new business model was a mistake, it is better to have jumped into it and learned something than to not have taken on the model at all. Von Delft also stated that successful business model innovators have the capability to recognize a necessary change, reallocate and reconfigure resources flexible, and learn from strategic experiments with the business model design.
The journalist Jean-Baptiste Su, Forbes Technology columnist, unveiled the secrets of the technology Mecca, Silicon Valley: “brilliant minds, money and services – lawyers, marketing experts, etc.– are not enough. Several spots around the world have tried to replicate the model and have failed. What makes Silicon Valley a magic place where everything is possible is its culture: thinking big, taking risks and not fearing failure.” France, Dubai, Russia and Singapore all tried to recreate the Silicon Valley, but turned out to be a disaster. The reason for failure is because it is nearly impossible to recreate an entire culture, which is the key ingredient unique to Silicon Valley.
The success in this region is not only due to its beautiful weather year-round, it is a result of a type of people who think big, have ideas and share a common goal of changing the world. And one of the most difficult ideas to recreate, especially in Europe, is the idea of not being afraid to fail, learning from failure, and then moving on to new ideas.
“Our goal and main focus of activity is to advise, support and assist both European companies wishing to establish themselves or invest in North America, and American companies wishing to do business or invest in Europe by advising them, offering them access to the decision-making hubs, leading them through the entire process and helping them achieve their goals.” – Sebastien Torre
Investor Panel on Global US Venture Capital & Funds - Trends and Opportunities
Guest speakers on the last investor panel of the day, dealt with global venture capital and funds. The panel moderator was the Forbes journalist, Jean-Baptiste Su, who advised companies to get to know the investors they are targeting – who they are and what they are investing – and set up a good business model. Funds of this type usually provide joint project financing; if companies are growing they can up their loans in successive rounds of financing. All investors stressed the increase in available money for technology companies, to the point that the various types of investors are ‘climbing’ up the scale, furnishing companies they trust with the sums previously provided by bigger investors.
Dan Penberthy is the financial director of Rand Capital. Founded in 1969, Rand Capital Corporation (Rand) is a registered, closed-end management investment corporation investing in the securities of businesses that offer unique opportunities for growth. Rand provides venture capital and management experience to support the growth and development of businesses in varied industries, primarily in the Western New York and Upstate New York region.
Rand Capital maintains a diversified portfolio of investments, however in order to receive funding from Rand, and many other USA based investors, it is often necessary to have a US presence. Maintaining a headquarters domestically in the USA and maintaining a majority of employees in the USA can accomplish this. Some of our companies do utilize international technology support and staffing as part of their business operations, while keeping sales, administration, and executive staff in the USA. Rand’s interests include high technology and web/internet-based business, in addition to high-tech specialty manufacturing companies.
The principal of Softbank Capital, Nikhil Kalghatgi, focuses on Seed and Series A opportunities and has special interests in commerce platforms, mobile enterprise, and marketplaces. SoftBank Capital is a venture capital group in the United States, focusing on technology and telecom businesses in their early stages.
Carter Page is the founder and managing partner of Global Energy Capital, LLC, an investment management firm established to create value in the energy sector's emerging production regions. Global Energy Capital has extensive experience in energy finance across public and private equity investment, corporate finance and investment banking. The firm’s professionals have advised on, arranged and provided investment capital along almost every step of the energy value chain in a broad range of developing markets.