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投资理财 - 风险投资

风投界值得关注的七大创新计划

Michael Gaiss 2013年01月06日

2012年,有些风投家展现了创新能力,希望借此在争夺优质投资对象的竞争中抢占有利位置。其中,针对高校顶尖人才推出的创业及相关服务是一大亮点。

    近年来,美国风投公司多被诟病在创新价值主张方面过于迟缓,在吸引更多优质的投资交易方面缺乏创造性地突破。或许确实存在这种情况,但它们并不是全部。目前已经很难再固守原有的方式,单靠资本竞争,争夺那些最优质的公司时更是如此。另外,随着社交网络AngelList等事物的出现,口碑效应放大,行业透明度提高,光靠名声响已经不够,除非有真实、有影响力的各种活动支撑。

    有些风投公司多年来在这些方面颇有建树,提供的一些计划旨在为投资组合公司创造更多价值;或者自己建立项目,以创造性的方式吸引企业家和社区参与进来。或许是由于安德森-霍罗维茨(Andreessen Horowitz)这类风投公司近来的投资已经开始反思整个风投-初创服务模式,过去一年此类计划的推进速度和程度得到了显著提升。

    随着2012年划上句号,光过去三个月就有7项新的创新计划值得关注:

    • Common Application (首轮资本公司):为学生们提供单一的一站式申请表格,可藉此申请首轮资本公司投资组合中170家公司的实习生和长期职位。如果贵公司有能力筛选海量的申请者,你一定会乐于收到更多申请表格。

    • Cyber Monday Deals (首轮资本公司):首轮资本公司投资组合中25家电子商务公司提供的所有“网购星期一特卖”(Cyber Monday deals)信息汇总。这是一个非常好的方式,既可以利用你的品牌,提高这些产品和服务的关注度,又可以在社区中创造更多热点,切实帮助推动投资组合公司的销售额/收入增长。

    • Dorm Room Fund(首轮资本公司):经过费城试点后,首轮资本拨出了50万美元,拟投资于费城地区一些大学的在校生或新近毕业生。这个计划的新意在于,这个基金将由现实中的学生们负责经营,进行投资决策。这个基金未来将走向何方,特别是它将如何引起新酷公司的注意,从而为它们提供融资,值得关注。

    • GreylockU (格雷洛克):与首轮资本的计划类似,这是一个面向学生的门户网站,学生们可以在这里发送简历给格雷洛克的50家投资组合公司。同样,如果贵公司能处理更多的简历,这可以是一个获得更多申请者的重要渠道。

    Venture capital firms have a reputation in some quarters for being too slow to innovate their value proposition, and for failing to think creatively around new ways of generating quality deal flow. That may be the case for some, but hardly for all. It's tough to sit pat on current ways of doing business and compete on just capital, especially for the best companies. Plus, with more transparency in the industry through things like AngelList and viral/social ways of amplifying word-of-mouth, reputation alone no longer suffices unless it is backed and substantiated by real and impactful activities.

    Some firms have competed for years along these dimensions, launching initiatives aimed at delivering more value to their portfolio companies or developing proprietary programs to engage with entrepreneurs and the community in creative ways. Perhaps as a result of the more recent investment by firms like Andreessen Horowitz in rethinking the whole VC-startup service model, the pace and extent of these efforts have stepped up considerably over the last year.

    As 2012 wraps up, here are seven new initiatives from the last three months alone that are interesting to note and/or worth watching:

    • Common Application (First Round Capital): A single, one stop application form for students to apply for internships and permanent positions at 170 First Round portfolio companies. If you're a company that has the ability to sort through the volume of candidates that this will generate, you're going to love seeing the additional flow.

    • Cyber Monday Deals (First Round Capital): An aggregation of all the Cyber Monday deals being offered by the 25 eCommerce companies in First Round's portfolio. What a great way to use your brand to bring attention to these offerings, build further buzz around them across the community and actually help drive sales/revenue at the companies.

    • Dorm Room Fund (First Round Capital): Piloted in Philadelphia, First Round has allocated $500K to be invested in current students or recent grads from Philadelphia-based universities. The additional twist is that it will be a student-run fund, where actual students make the investment decisions. This will be fun to watch develop, particularly around its ability to surface and fund cool new companies.

    • GreylockU (Greylock): Similar to First Round's initiative, a portal for students to send their resume for consideration at 50 Greylock portfolio companies. Again, if you're a company that can process the additional volume this could be an important additional channel for more candidates.

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