Friday, December 28, 2007

VC Nation?

I don't see any evidence of venture capital nation. The "PayPal Mafia" and "Google fraternity" discussed in the New York Times are highly localized networks. The common bond of nationality stretches well beyond the demands of proximity and rich face-to-face interactions. However, a Bay Area residence doesn't mean that bringing together the like-minded is easy:

“I am actually really impressed in how all of us are finding one another,” said Andrea Zurek, a former West Coast manager for Google’s AdWords advertising system. After more than seven years at Google, Ms. Zurek, 37, left in October to become an angel investor. Ms. Zurek said she has conferred with both Mr. Patel and Mr. Ullah, and is considering an investment in a company started by another Google alum.

To strengthen the Google alumni network, Mr. Senkut plans to hold a dinner for some of his former colleagues early next year. He said he hoped the group would start with about two dozen people and grow from there. “It will be unfortunate if all these great alumni didn’t get together regularly,” he said.

If finding one another is difficult within a given region, then you might imagine the barriers to organizing the Burgh Diaspora. However, nationalism is not bound by distance. Pittsburghers around the world should ring in the New Year and drink to Pittsburgh's 250th birthday when the clock strikes midnight in the Eastern Time Zone. That toast will signal the beginning of the first VC nation in the United States.

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