Last year was a big year for some
961_ 2/1/11 - We're hearing so much about Colorado's venture capital business and the lack of new funds. We contacted Vipanj Patel, managing partner of iSherpa Capital for his take on the situation. A few years back when we talked with Vipanj they were just moving into their offices in Greenwood Village, today they were preparing to move out. That's actually up and out. They're expanding, moving up and taking additional space. Vipanj said, "We're actually going to be housing a couple of companies that we're going to be working with. Actively work in an operating fashion in some of the companies we are investing in and help get them off the ground." Last year was a big year for iSherpa. They expanded beyond wireless into media and entertainment, Internet type of play, a few years ago. There's one company out in San Diego called Taaz, (they do virtual makeovers) that iSherpa invested in about three years ago. Recently hired a new CEO (replacing Vipanj) Harry Lin. "Harry used to run Evite and before that abc.com. He actually was the first one to introduce video to the Internet, well before YouTube and all that. So he's on board full time and running the show day-to-day. He's doing a great job and Taaz is getting a lot of traction. "In the last year we've closed Clinique as a client; rolled out Estée Lauder across 13 countries; In Style magazine, People magazine, Revlon, and we've got quite a few exciting things coming out this year. So that's a company we're excited about." They've grown over 100% each of the last three years. Probably the biggest thing for iSherpa in 2010 was the sale of a company, Sequent, which was in the wireless caller and ID name space, based out of Seattle, WA. iSherpa sold Sequent to a publicly traded company and got a nice exit. Larry asked Vipanj what he saw for VC firms. "It's still an interesting time for the VC industry. The term you'll hear is, 'it's frothy out there right now. There's definitely frothiness in the market, but there are differences too. In other words, back in '99 everyone was chasing everything. The second thing I've seen is a fundamental shift in people's attitude and what it takes to build a business. In the last three years we've been approached by entrepreneurs that have a much more realistic view, in our opinion, of what it takes to build a business. That mind-shift to me has been huge." Vipanj has more to say about wireless...listen now...
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LISTEN to Vipanj Patel, Managing Partner, iSherpa Capital
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