Jiva Technology

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I’m back on one of my favourite hobby horses, financing startups in the UK. In this country, my experience with VCs has, generally speaking, been negative. Not bad people, I might add, but the whilst in the USA there seems to be a genuine drive to help build viable companies based on viable product and service ideas, in the UK it seems to be much more of a funds management approach. I’m not sure why that is because if you go back a few hundred years, we were really good at it. In our home town, Bristol, we had the Society of Merchant Venturers whose raison d’etre was to provide money for risky ventures. They didn’t just provide cash, but also established infrastructure to help out, like docks and navigation schools. They still exist, but mainly for charitable and social purposes, possibly because of the negative associations they garnered from their association with slavery. But putting that aside for one moment, how can we have been much better at this 300 years ago than we are now? I sit on the board of several other startups with promising stories to tell. Two are profitable, but when they’ve needed cash, it has always been the US VCs who are the first port of call.

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