Changing the Game of Venture Capital – With $37

You probably wouldn’t even get this much!

Would you compete with dozens of other innovators for the attention of venture capitalist Maciej Ceglowski, a Yahoo engineer?

What if the capital reward was only $37.00?

Wired reports on the work of The Pinboard Investment Co-Prosperity Cloud:

The Co-Prosperity Cloud is more than a statement on the rapidly falling cost of scaling software. It’s also about a crucial shift in the role played by startup investors. The importance of the actual capital distributed by venture capitalists continues to fall along with the costs of deploying, distributing, and scaling up apps, websites, other software, and even hardware. Less tangible aspects of an investment, like the endorsement, expertise, and social graph of the investor have become correspondingly more important.

If Cegłowski can prove there is an extreme version of this trend — that there are compelling startups for which investment dollars are borderline meaningless, and for which social capital is paramount – he could help remake the tech investment pipeline from a glorified money hose into a system for primarily distributing social capital like prestige, attention, taste, and advice.

It seems what we’re really talking about here is mentorship—successful business men and women offering multi-faceted support to start-ups where good sense and ingenuity go hand-in-hand. Wired quotes Ceglowski in saying that he’s “interested in this world of niche businesses no one will really fund,” Cegłowski says. “[I] want to promote ideas that aren’t game changers and aren’t going to grow into a giant business but are a perfectly great business.”

Perhaps it’s less risk with less reward, but creating more consistent standards for performance.

What do you think of the $37 venture capitalist?

Is this a game-changer for helping new businesses take off?

How do you think mentorship can affect a start-up’s chances of survival?



Photo: Flickr/ollyUK

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