Thursday, June 16, 2011

Connecticut Ventures

The Connecticut Venture Group has changed its name to Crossroads Venture Group, and it has a new website: www.cvg.org.  I first learned of CVG in 1995, when I helped run the Business Formation Network at Norwalk Community College.

CVG has been instrumental in promoting venture funding in our state.

I've gone to their Crossroads Venture Fair, their networking events and their presentations for entrepreneurs. Every time, I learned something new and met amazing people -- investors, lawyers, accountants and potential clients. A few times, I was fortunate enough to attend their boot camps for entrepreneurs along with my clients. The boot camps were set up to help people know how to make a good pitch to investors.

A couple of times, I got to be a judge, screening the applications to present at the venture fair. That was absolutely fascinating. I couldn't believe how many people failed to follow directions when filling out their applications to present. It made me wonder if people were actually reading the questions.

Over time, the organization has morphed. In the dot-com boom, hundreds of people packed their conferences. And investors were willing to hear pitches from pre-revenue companies. But after the meltdown in 2000, investors became far more picky. And the Crossroads fair only allowed growth stage companies to present.

I'm interested to see what happens to CVG in its new guise and to see if more new ventures can be encouraged in Connecticut. We need something to help our economy get going again.
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