TiE Hosts Annual Investor Outlook Dinner For Entrepreneurs
TiE Investor Outlook Dinner 2015
TiE-Boston held its Annual Investor Outlook Dinner for Entrepreneurs on January 28th at the Microsoft Nerd Center, Cambridge, MA.
This year's Investor Dinner featured panelists who have invested in high profile companies including the Boston Celtics, Staples, and Blue Apron. The panel consisted of: Kent Bennett, Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners, Bob Higgins, Co-Founder, Highland Capital Partners, and Stephen Pagliuca, Managing Director, Bain Capital, and was moderated by Prahar Shah, Founder, Mobee.
2014 saw a number of investments in the range of $100M. The panelists attributed this to the fact that VCs have let early stage/angel investing slip away to others, have focused on later stage investing focusing on first to market which involves larger investments, focusing on unicorn deals, and the availability of smart corporate money from Google Ventures etc. For the first time, 2014 also saw significant investments in weed startups
It was noted that within a year the number of private companies with evaluations greater than $10B has increased from 4 to 8. In some sense, this is great for entrepreneurs but not that great for investors. Everyone agreed that the consumers are now more than willing to adopt new technologies and trust mobile applications.
For 2015, Kent’s focus will be in the area of food technologies dealing with new ways of delivering food, Steve saw opportunities in the rise of genomic drugs while Bob was positive on wellness issues. In response to Prahar’s question if we were in a bubble, the panelists were not in total agreement. Kent did not think we were in a bubble and was very excited about cool life changing companies. Steve thought that given all the global QEs and the era of low interest rates, we were not yet in a bubble but going in that direction. Bob thought we were in a bubble but this bubble is very different from the one in 1999. The underlying quality of companies today is good with better fundamentals so even if the evaluations were to fall, today’s companies will still be around.
Finally, it was generally felt that Olympics will be good for Boston and will turbo charge the infrastructure to compete against the west coast.
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