The Rise of corporate venture capital
Fieldfisher has seen lots of activity in the area of London which has become known, somewhat tongue in cheek, as "Silicon Roundabout". This area which is close to our London office located in Shoreditch and Hoxton, has become synonymous with startup and tech-related activity, with Google Campus and other tech hubs being based there.
Recent weeks have seen Seedcamp - a week of activity where tech startups came to practice their pitching skills in the hope of winning office space and seed funding, various large tech conferences such as Campusparty, and numerous networking events based upon mobile apps such as Eventbrite and Tablecrowd (where you can interact with fellow diners via twitter and other social media prior to choosing your table). These enable startups to discuss topics of mutual interest such as how to maximise your PR by using social media.
We have seen great startups in diverse areas from the EdTech space such as Fusion Universal which enhances corporate learning, to pop-up restaurants and foodie based experiential apps to triathlon event booking sites. This latter type has also brought us an increase in exercise-based networking - an example being 50 cyclists known as the "#techbikers" cycling from Paris to London for charity. There is always much talk of how to access funding, and US inward investment remains near the top of the agenda for many of these startups, with the Valley continuing to dominate conversations on the subject.
Finally this week started well for us with Neill Ricketts, CEO of tech client Versarien plc, interviewed by Minister for Business and Enterprise, Michael Fallon MP, on the stage of the Conservative Party Conference live on the BBC, talking about bootstrapping the company through the early stages through to its IPO earlier this year.