Every month, The Moxie Sessions brings together a small group of business thinkers to discuss ways New Zealand can take advantage of the Internet to boost its national competitiveness. For more, seehttp://themoxiesessions.co.nz. In June, the Moxie Sessions called in to the Kiwi Landing Pad in San Francisco, home for New Zealand startups, to talk about bringing big ideas to the USA.
Silicon Valley’s success may generate soul-searching by Europeans wondering why the EU’s 500 million people are less successful atcommercialising innovation, and its culture may inspire tut-tutting about the glorification of greed or about solving only the problems faced by Stanford dorm-dwellers. But still its cluster of sensational over-achievers continues to attract those wanting to take big technology ideas to the global stage.
It is this last point that brought the Moxie Sessions to San Francisco. Is Silicon Valley really the place to go to advance your business idea, and how well placed are New Zealand firms to make it big?
Scott Nolan, a partner of venture capital firm Founders Fund, emphasised the irrelevance of the origins of the company from an investor’s point of view. His advice: “make it not matter that you are from somewhere else”, unless it is somehow central to your product or to your motivation as a founder. The idea in seeking venture funding is for the investors to think that your company is going to be worth a fortune in the future. Anything that gets in the way of that is bad.