Apperian CEO Patrick Will Turn the Tables on VCs as Moderator of Xconomy Venture Chat on Sep. 26

9/16/11Follow @bbuderi

The worlds of founding and investing in startups seem to have turned almost upside down in recent years—at least in the Internet space. Suddenly, in this age of the cloud and mobile apps, it’s possible for hopeful entrepreneurs to create a hugely profitable company, not out of their garage, but from their desktops—and they might be able to bootstrap things themselves or get the money from a friendly angel rather than a big venture firm.

But can things really be so simple? Don’t you have to have, say, a business model and access to customers and potential partners and acquirers? And putting such questions aside, if you are an aspiring Internet or cloud company, and especially if you are focused on the consumer rather than the enterprise, is Boston even the place to be?

Well, we are hoping to shed some real light on such issues at Xconomy’s upcoming venture chat on Consumers, the Cloud, and Beyond—New Rules for Innovation, which will take place the evening of September 26 in downtown Boston.

We are extremely fortunate to have a great group of investors to address them—Larry Bohn from General Catalyst Partners, Jeff Fagnan of Atlas Venture, and Rich Levandov of Avalon Partners—and an experienced startup CEO to moderate. That would be David Patrick, CEO of Boston-based Apperian, which is developing a mobile-app platform and has raised a fair bit of venture money.

Patrick says he is looking forward to turning the tables a bit on the VCs—and being able to ask questions of them, rather than the other way around. And he is especially focused on bringing out what entrepreneurs need to know.

“Since I am usually on the other side of the fence, I will try to ask a few questions from the entrepreneur’s perspective. Obvious areas include how companies are ramping up using SaaS models, cloud services, and other innovative tools,” he says. “How much company progress are you looking for to consider funding a company? Are there certain check box items you need to check before moving forward and what are they?”

Patrick says he will also be asking about valuations, both East and West Coast, and “a personal question: does a deal have to have a billion-dollar exit potential before an A-level firm will consider it?” And if so, he says, he wants to bring out some real thoughts from his guests on where smaller success stories in the Boston area can turn.

“My thinking here,” Patrick says, “is to help ramp up the tech sector in Boston and combat the perception that it is easier to get funded out west than in Boston.”

It promises to be a fun and illuminating evening. We hope to see you there. Get your tickets here.

Bob is Xconomy's founder and editor in chief. You can e-mail him at bbuderi@xconomy.com, call him at 617.500.5926. Follow @bbuderi

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