This presentation was give to the ENTP-376 New Venture Finance class on November 19, 2009 as well as a workshop at the Entrepreneurs Organization Splurge event at the Phoenix later that day. Bill Cunningham, Director of the NKU Entrepreneurship Institute, is the speaker.
Eghosa Omoigui, Intel Capital
Peter Rip, Crosslink Capital
Michael S. Dunn, Hearst Interactive Media
Shawn Carolan, Menlo Ventures
After a period of caution about the viability of semantic technologies, investors seem more willing to fund semantic start-ups right now. And even with the economy in distress, semantics is managing to create excitement amongst the VCs. Semantic search has been hot for a couple of years - the possibility of finding the next Google being just too enticing - but the focus seems now to be shifting to enterprise and consumer apps where as Jim Hendler famously said "a little semantics goes a long way." Money is going into enterprise software, such as business intelligence tools, and innovative consumer apps based around social networks, smarter information filtering and productivity enhancement.
So what do the VCs want to see in the business plans for semantic start-ups now? Are there still plenty of good opportunities out there for entrepreneurs or have the best ideas already claimed their share of available capital?