Boston VC Partners and Networking Events
I wrote recently about the small number of Boston VC Bloggers. I received some comments from some Boston VCs (who preferred to remain anonymous and to respond to me directly). The consensus I heard from them was that they weren't comfortable blogging or posting public comments. They preferred to communicate one on one to control their communications. There was also a theme that many blogs (not mine, I hope!) included a lot of personal ranting which wasn't that useful.
I don't agree with this, but my view is shaped by the positive feedback I get from entrepreneurs who discover me through my blog (or from a friend who reads my blog).
Another form of participating in the Boston entrepreneurial community is to attend some of the networking events which happen regularly around town.
Some events are sponsored, like Web Innovators Group (sponsored by Venrock). Although this event is open to all, perhaps some VCs stay away because they feel it is Venrock's event. Other events become associated with a firm, perhaps because a partner at that firm started it or promotes it. An example here is OpenCoffee Cambridge, with Bijan Sabet of Spark as one of the founders. Although Bijan is welcoming, perhaps some VCs stay away because they want to do their own thing.
Like blogging, I don't see enough of the senior people at the big Boston VC firms at events like these. Now, maybe I'm going to the wrong events. But, in general, I see a lot of the more junior VC people at these events that are primarily aimed at the emerging Web 2.0 world. I like the junior people, so don't get me wrong. They are smart and high-energy. But, you can't delegate your interest in a new market to your junior VC staff. Many of the firms around town which claim to invest in Web 2.0 companies don't have senior partners who show up at many of these events.
If you want to understand a new market, you have to participate directly. So, I hope to see more of my senior VC friends at some future events.