10/19/11 | Uncategorized

Notes from Bloomberg Empowered Entrepreneur Summit in NYC

By Carol Massar (Co-Anchor of “Street Smart”, Bloomberg TV)
It was fun to be a part of the Bloomberg Empowered Entrepreneur summit in New York City, an event in partnership with Women 2.0, among others.

There were some great takeaways, including momentum to the idea that going public is not the endgame for young companies. We continue to hear that from different venues.

Today, EDventure Holdings’ Esther Dyson was at the summit saying we’re in a bubble and it’s “no longer a good time to do an IPO because you can’t predict what will be on the other end.”

Ouch. But that just confirms the great uncertainty that is out there.

SecondMarket’s Chief Strategy Officer, Jeremy Smith sees it a bit differently and says we’re more overheated than in a bubble. His take: “Bubbles are systemic… when everything is overvalued… and we’re not there.”

Speaking of bubbles, or not, Groupon came up and the issue of the company going public.

Dyson says she doesn’t think they will do it because of all the “dislocations” in the market. She thinks the company’s model is fine but needs turning.

SecondMarket’s Smith agrees to some extent that taking things more slowly might be beneficial to Groupon. He thinks it would have been good for them to to stay awhile with SecondMarket: “I think they need to bake their business model a little longer.”

His thinking: Groupon should take advantage of the “controlled liquidity” to be had by SecondMarket and not have to work out its problems in public.

Hmmm. My observation, along with others, is that you wonder how much Groupon may regret in the long run, not accepting Google’s $6-billion bid. Only time will tell.

Meantime, the idea of an IPO is also not something that dominates the thinking at Foursquare. Co-founder Naveen Selvadurai, being kind enough to sit and talk with us, tells me he’s more concerned with unlocking so much more potential out of Foursquare. In 5 years, he says the company could be 5 times, or 50 times, as big.

Selvadurai then talks about some of the good synergies between Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter. And yet, he hopes in the long run, Foursquare goes it alone.

Editor’s note: Got a question or answer for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.
About the guest blogger: Carol Massar of Bloomberg TV is an award-winning journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. Carol joined Bloomberg Television in 1999. She has covered major business developments around the globe for Bloomberg Television. She regularly interviews leaders in business, economics and government. In 2006, Carol anchored ”The Ethanol Fix – Breaking America’s Addiction to Oil.” Follow her on Twitter at @carolmassar.



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