Southeast Venture Conference - now is the best time to start a new venture

I attended the Southeast Venture Capital Conference last week in Atlanta.  Similar to the Florida Venture Forum held last month, it is a two-day event that brings VC’s, entrepreneurs, and service providers together to network, hear the latest news on the state of the VC industry, and learn about promising new startups.  What impressed me most about this conference was the number and variety of panel presentations and the notable keynote speakers.  The one message conveyed throughout the conference - now is the best time to start a new venture.

Why now?

Tim Draper, managing director at Draper, Fisher, Jurvetson, at the beginning of the conference noted that:  1) Existing companies are going into survival mode and reducing their investment in innovation, 2) new ventures can now find an abundance of less expensive services and talent, and 3) new ventures that are created in this environment will develop a survival mode culture that will serve them well just like the companies founded during previous downturns - including: Microsoft, Apple, FedEx, Oracle and Genentech.   I think that we will see an increase in the number of startups as the perceived risk to potential entrepreneurs lessens, as instability becomes a part of their careers and lives.  Risk is indeed the hallmark of the entrepreneur, as Tim sang in his now famous song, The Riskmaster.

That now is the best time theme was amplified at the end of the conference by Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes.  Rich noted that instability leads to innovation and dislocations.  In this regard, I highly recommend Clayton Christensen’s book, The Innovator’s Dilemma. Disruptive technologies will now have an easier time gaining a foothold in the market.

Now is the best time to start a new venture!

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