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Speaking At Slush And TechCrunch Disrupt
December 13, 2016
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I just got back from 10 days on the road in Europe, where I was invited to speak at two conferences, Slush in Helsinki and TechCrunch Disrupt in London.

It’s a long way to go for a California-based investor. However, I deeply value opportunities to be part of amazing conferences (such as these two) where I can meet with extraordinary people, like my fellow panelists, as well as hear from other attendees — venture investors and entrepreneurs alike — about what’s on their minds.

Europe in particular is near and dear to us at Sapphire as we’re an investor in the region and we spend a great deal of time getting to know the European tech ecosystem. Accordingly, one of my panels was Europe specific, and the other two were broader reaching — looking at the intersection of society and technology in addition to investing in this current digital age.

For those who have never been to Slush, this quote from the event website sums it up pretty accurately:

“Described by many as ‘Burning Man meets TED,’ the event has grown in just a few short years to 17,500 attendees and 1 million live stream viewers.”

This year Slush reportedly had 17,500 attendees, including 2,336 startups, 1,146 investors and 610 journalists from 124 countries. Wow.

I was asked to speak on two panels at Slush — the first of which was, “How to Raise Above $10M in Europe.” My fellow panelists included Fred Destin, partner at Accel; Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna; and Mattias Ljungman, partner at Atomico. You can see our talk below — it’s about 25 minutes.

The second Slush panel was a more wide-ranging conversation on the role of technology in the brave new world in which we all find ourselves today and the ensuing interplay between society and technology. This panel was a fireside chat — that’s right, a real blazing fire around which Albert Wenger of Union Square Ventures, Colette Ballou of BallouPR and me gathered to discuss the rise of Brexit and Trump’s ascendancy. You can see our talk below— it’s about 25 minutes long.

I then zipped to London for TechCrunch Disrupt, where I was on a panel with John Doran of TCV and Fabrice Grinda of FJ Labs and which was moderated by Connie Loizos. We covered everything from how investors are feeling about the current political and economic climate to where they are looking to put their dollars in the coming year. You can view it below –again the talk is about 25 minutes long.

Thanks to several old friends and some new (you know who you are!) for making it a truly worthwhile experience, and of course fun too. As always, I’ve come home with new insights and understanding.


Legal disclaimer

Disclosures: This blog entry contains statements that are Sapphire Ventures’ opinions, including forward-looking statements. The participants’ statements or views do not necessarily represent those of Sapphire.