Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A flood of VC money... now's the time to turn your idea into a business

By Mark Helfen

If you have a great product idea, now is the time to get started, and get venture funding.

Or so says next week’s panel moderator Ed Lohmann. The next SVForum MarketingSIG meeting will be at our regular place, EMC, on March 12.

The panel is titled “Mobile Social Networking: Achieving Best Practices and Ongoing Engagement,” but in my interview it seemed clear that Lohmann has a broader agenda.

Venture funding is about to explode in the valley. “It’s a very exciting time” to be starting a business.

His logic is that as social media businesses go public, local fortunes are created. All that money creates “plenty of angel investors,” who start “like or aligned businesses,” meaning in the search, social, or mobile area. He lists recent IPOs like LinkedIn, or Yelp as sources of investors. And of course, the upcoming big one – Facebook.

The larger venture funds follow the angel investors. Lohmann predicts a “major flood” of VC funding into the Bay Area

The geography also plays a part. Businesses start where there are an educated work force, close proximity to cultural offerings, low taxes, and access to ports – airports and sea ports. Silicon Valley (Lohmann specifically lists Palo Alto) has these qualities. OK, maybe not the taxes. But enough positive factors so that close to half of all recent venture funding ends up around here.

And the amount of funding is increasing. A Price Waterhouse survey showed that VC funding had significant growth in 2010-2011, with more forecast this year.

The members of the panel are “very capable people” with expertise in the search, social, and mobile market, along with business development and successful technology startups.

So if you have a good idea, don’t wait.

“It’s an exciting time to be in the valley.”

PLEASE REGISTER IN ADVANCE for the MarketingSIG meeting at our Meetup page:


Mark Helfen is a freelance writer, journalist, and marketing consultant.

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