I spent the last two days holding “VC office hours” on a first come, first serve basis in New York City and Boston. Yesterday I was at a funky coffee shop near NYU in the lower east side of Manhattan and met half dozen great young entrepreneurs. Last night my firm hosted a bowling event at a hip spot in NYC for over 100 new media entrepreneurs which featured a lot of energy and even some good bowling.
Today I spent half a day at the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) in Boston kicking off the New England Venture Capital Association’s “VC Office Hours.” There are dozen senior partners from some of the most active funds in Boston scheduled to spend an afternoon a week over the next three months hanging out at CIC to meet anybody with a compelling idea eager to kick around with a venture investor.
The last two days was a random walk down “entrepreneurial lane” – I met some fascinating people who I otherwise would never have met. Here is just a sampling: a very talented school teacher who was passionate about educating our youth about money, an Egyptian student at Harvard who has aggregated proprietary foreign exchange trading data, a senior executive from the solar industry who has a fascinating angle on renewable energy for agriculture, a new web site for celebrity spouses, an entrepreneur committed to launching a retail chain of shoe stores in India, an executive who is tackling health claims fraud in a novel way. All of these people were looking for modest amounts of capital, had already built prototypes and were prepared to abandon the safe confines of jobs in big companies or leave school early. Amazing.
In the face of horrible economic times the entrepreneurial spirit lives on! It was very reaffirming to meet with so many eager smart people passionate about changing the world in their own unique ways. I tell my wife everyday that I have the best job in Boston – the last two days just confirmed it yet again for me.