The 007-style #skyfall feels more like a #freefall.
Peter Thiel decided it was time to sell off a majority of the shares. We’re talking 20.6 million of his 26.2 million Class A shares.
If you look at the photo above, Peter is probably chasing Silicon Valley veteran Marc Andreessen, among others, that have lost faith in companies expected to drive YET ANOTHER but new Internet boom. Marc pulled out of Groupon Inc. Boom!
It’s a blood bath but people like Jim Cramer are saying:
Hey, the big boys gotta eat Jim. For the rest of main street, it’s a suckers game.
All this may not sound as bad as MGM’s bankruptcy in November 2010 but it’s pretty close.
Talk about tipping points. Small things do make a big difference.
After completing SIX YEARS as co-founder of MobileMonday Toronto with our May 2012 end of season event, here are some markers:
- 40+ events
- 15+ sponsors
- 30+ venture capital pitches
- 10+ moderators
- 40+ panelists
- 5 MobileMonday Toronto volunteers
- Cumulative attendance total: 25,000 attendees
- 2 MoMo Camp winners
- 50 cross-event promotional offers
After 5 years, we can say that MobileMonday Toronto has been a raging success. Thanks Jim Brown, my colleague and co-founder, and the helping hands of the rest of the MoMo team (Dal Layal, Jolon Craw, Janine Chin and Nick Van Vlymen) for helping us reach the tipping point in our fifth year of operation.
It started with a “fire” in the heart of two individuals with an entrepreneur bent. Jim and I met through the kind folks at MobileMonday New York to help bring “community” to Toronto’s mobile ecosystem. Along the way, our friends from the Fort York Armory to Dunedain Multimedia became our hosts as we kept “grassroots” alive and well. We then partnered with MaRS Discovery District to bring location, audio visual expertise, and a premium networking facility to the table.
Building a community is hard work. You have to enjoy networking, meeting people, building programs, and running operations…for FREE. The secret ingredient is passion and a willingness to do things for the greater good. Jim Brown and I worked many summers, nights and weekends to build strategy for event themes, chasing down speakers, and finding sponsors to build the platform for top-notch events. In the past two years, we had a breakout growth curve. My efforts in sponsorship fundraising for non-profit operations netted tier-1 mobile ecosystem brands and six-figure sponsorship funding. Our sponsors have been fantastic!
I want to thank them all:
- Canadian Wireless Telecommunication Association
- Miller Thomson
- Windows Phone
- Rogers Catalyst
- Public Mobile
- WIND Mobile
- Dunedain Multimedia
- The Working Group
- SAP Canada Inc.
Without the support of the community, our sponsors, our event partners like MaRS - The Fort York Armory - Dunedain Multimedia, and our volunteer crew of Dal, Jolon, Janine and Nick — Jim Brown and I could not have taken our small idea and grown it to a level where MobileMonday Toronto is today.
It has been a heck of a ride and truly fun. Our Venture Capital 2012 Pitch was one of the best pitch events to date. The business models, the technology, and the pitches were top-notch. Even our top venture capital panel concluded that things had come “full circle” in the Toronto ecosystem for mobile concepts. A job well done to all the entrepreneurs!
Alexander S Bosika, Co-Founder, MobileMonday Toronto, 647-781-4005
Watch this video to hear from Toronto’s most innovative mobile companies as they pitch to a VC panel to fund their business.
Sean Wise, Managing Director at Wise Mentor Capital, moderated the session. The investor and expert panel participated in a discussion while listening to the presenting companies as they explained their business.
So caught up with an old friend who is now based in the Valley. We had worked together in 2005 in a joint collaboration effort to launch an NTT DoComo WIND initiative specific to i-Mode.
After 10 minutes down memory lane, we compares stories about the Valley and Toronto. He is a Toronto transplant in the land of sun launching a business with a partner.
- The Valley is hot. Lots of biz activity
- Palo Alto offers a 1-bedroom for $2700 USD per month in a bad part of town
- Business is good
- startups more likely to get support in the Valley than in Toronto
- VCs may exist but not supportive
- general malaise among startups to get serious support in Toronto
- unemployment high in biz cycle
- passive and risk-averse financial climate
- tech “startup” just isn’t “hot” here
These were competing views. Was it the sun? Or was it true? How about “true”? This was the tenth time in the last three weeks before and post-Mobile World Congress where I heard about the dramatic differences and the “pales in comparison” talk among industry colleagues in various sectors such as media, mobile, online and financial.
Sad part is - it has been consistent for a very long time. Not just now. Is Silicon Valley a unique microcosm that simply can’t be replicated elsewhere? There’s a noticeable “energy” you sense from folks based there.
No doubt. It’s exciting to hear about the deal flow and the courage some people take to invest in ideas.
However, it isn’t all rosy. Accommodations are expensive. Most people rent. Imagine paying $3000USD for a one-bedroom unit. Geez, you almost need to bunk with your lady to survive. I guess the trade-offs could be analyzed based on your place in life.
The word is - tech is hot - in the Valley. Try telling that to other parts of America or the rest of the world where things aren’t so hot. I don’t think Silicon Valley can be replicated. It’s unique and damn aggressive. Kudos to the players that made that a reality.