Symbian Smartphone Show Recap

Venture Capital Investors

I’ve spent the better part of today at the Symbian Smartphone Show on the Investor Program. The most striking part of today was the complete lack of investor presence at the show. We run investor events every month and a half at the London Business Angel network and I attend other investor events frequently. There were 10 companies specifically presenting to raise VC funds with probably 15 investors in the room to hear their pitch. Pitiful. Also, the guest list for the general show wasn’t crowded with VCs either. That’s the kind of attitude to investing that makes me happy to be in the UK- the investors here have no initiative- they primarly want to act as banks. Very disappointing, but it leaves lots of room to select the best companies to invest in.

The "Evaluation and Valuation of Early Stage High Tech Opportunities" was a good panel session. Andrea Traversone, Partner at Amadeus Capital Partners Limited made a some good comments:

  • Regarding Corporate Venture arms: Keep corporate venturers at less than a 10% shareholding, don’t allow them to have a board seat and have multiple corporate venture investors- not just one.
  • Exits: Amadeus conduct painfully detailed exit scenario planning. On reviewing their work over 10 years, they found that 9 out of 10 predictions were entirely wrong. There’s no focus on exit planning anymore- they focus on building a solid business.


I’ve seen some interesting companies today:

ScreenshotWho: Cognima
Where: London, England
What: A phone centric approach to to managing an oline photo album or blog.
The app interfaces between your phone and flickr for easy photoblogging.

Who: Macromedia
Where: USA
What: Macromedia Flash Lite
Excellent Flash-driven interfaces for phones and Flash Cast. Only one app is available in the UK currently from broadcaster ITV.

Who: Gate5
Where: Berlin, Germany
What:smart2go™ which turns your mobile phone (Symbian Series 60, Series 80,
UIQ and Microsoft Windows Mobile Smartphone), PocketPC or Palm into a
full scale navigation system.


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