An Opera Singer in Silicon Valley
While Europe continues to discuss the so called Euro crisis and the potential exit of Greece from the Euro, the USA will have created more companies with the potential to take over all the Greek debt. It is time that Europe realizes that it does not have a Euro crisis but an entrepreneurship one.
A friend of mine recently sent me articles from a meeting from the leading German wealth managers. Their topics were focused on the Euro crisis, the possible Greek exit from the Euro, the impact of the low interest rates on investment strategies and other undoubtedly interesting – and academic – macro economic issues. Much later there was some mentioning of investing on the stock market, in currencies and various instrument for these markets. Private equity funds were mentioned somewhere at the end.
Reading that and leaving in Silicon Valley made the differences between the European thinking and the Silicon Valley spirit even clearer. Investors and wealthy individuals not only in California but throughout North America are much more interested in finding companies to invest directly, especially start-ups. Yes, they might have stocks etc. in their portfolio mix but it is not their personal focus. They want to be part of the entrepreneurial spirit, support young people in building their companies, and, yes, make a good return as well.
Angel investors in North America spend easily a few days a month looking at potential deals, going to angel meetings, doing due diligence and researching about markets which are new to them. Don’t get me wrong, angel investors are mostly not people who are extremely wealthy. They are often doctors, lawyers, managers, consultants etc. who make a good living but are not multi-millionaires.
In my view, Europe’s crisis is not about Greece and the Euro. It is about the lack of entrepreneurial spirit in society over all. A pity that only a few people in Europe see it that way.
Bernhard is the founder of HELLO STAGE. He is probably the first opera singer pitching an Internet start-up in Silicon Valley. Before founding HELLO STAGE in Fall 2013, Bernhard was the CEO and Artistic Director of the Wiener Konzerthaus. He held several C-Level positions in European technology companies with EUR 100+ million turnover. See www.bernhardkerres.com.
Bernhard leads HELLO STAGE from somewhere between Silicon Valley, New York and Vienna. He writes about his experience in the innovation hot bed on this blog.