For the past seven years, George Zachary has led Charles River Ventures’ investments in a number of big firms, including Areae, Geni.com, GoTV, Millennial Media, Skyrider, SocialMedia Networks and (most notably) Twitter. He’s a man who can spot trends.
In his keynote address at the Founder Showcase event in Silicon Valley at the beginning of the month, Zachery covered a variety of topics – including his thoughts on the signs of another growing bubble. We’re not in one yet, he notes, but said one is building – and the hiring of musician Will.i.am as Director of Creative Innovation at Intel is an ominous sign.
Zachery also addressed the recent announcement by Russian investor Yuri Milner and Silicon Valley investor Ron Conway that they’d invest in every startup incubated by Y Combinator with no-cap, no discount convertible loans, terms that many believe could spoil deals for other tech investors. Zachery said this type of investing will not permeate the marketplace, because Zachery himself experienced a significant backlash when rolling out Charles River Ventures’ similar QuickStart program a few years ago (which has since been changed).
Zachery said there is a wave of capital available right now, and entrepreneurs need to be taking advantage of it. The market is overcapitalized with “undifferentiated money.”
He also discussed the most common pitching mistake he hears from almost every entrepreneur he meets.
The full 52-minute keynote is embedded below. Separately, the application deadlines for Founder Institute Spring Semesters are coming up soon in Berlin, San Diego, Paris, Brussels, Washington D.C. and New York City. Click here for more information.