The large crowd was one of the highlights of the 23rd Venture Capital Forum, organised by ESADE Alumni, which featured talks by Félix Arias, Senior Manager of High Growth; Daniel Sánchez (Lic&MBA 92), General Partner at Nauta Capital, and Josep Lluís Sanfeliu, Partner at Ysios Capital Partners.
Miguel Trías (MBA 89), Chairman of ESADE Alumni, Professor of Law at ESADE-URL and Partner of the Cuatrecasas law firm, opened the event pointing out that six years have passed since the first ever Venture Capital Forum. Meanwhile, Luisa Alemany, Director of the ESADE Entrepreneurship Institute and Professor of the ESADE Department of Financial Management and Control, thanked the three speakers for attending and also revealed some interesting figures, such as the number of investments remaining the same in 2011, even though the average investment in recent years has fallen to 3.4 million euros per company.
Next to speak was Josep Lluís Sanfeliu, who began his talk by underlining the differences between Spain and the US or the UK when it comes to understanding the concept of venture capital. "If you google risk capital, the impression given is that everything revolves around money", said the partner at Ysios Capital Partners. "Meanwhile", he added, "if you search venture capital, it's connected to the idea of growth and that we're here to take risks and innovate". Sanfeliu explained that Ysios Capital Partners, which manages a primary fund of 65 million euros, focusses on the field of biomedicine and, more specifically, gives priority to companies which show an excellent use of technology.
The second speaker was Daniel Sánchez, who said that Nauta Capital's operations are based on three factors: mobility, security and the Internet. As an example of a company that meets these three aspects, he referred to the investment made into Scytl, a firm that fosters the use of e-voting. In his opinion, three guidelines must be followed to invest well: selecting suitable projects, giving them value and expertly managing the company's stock market flotation. According to Sánchez, to be successful it's necessary to develop internationally, which is why Nauta Capital has head offices in Barcelona and Boston, and operates almost all over the world. He also underlined the importance of the idea of "competition", in other words, not only focussing on your own work, but also knowing the environment very well. To close, he pointed out that, besides backing the growth of companies, the role of Nauta Capital, and other similar funds, is to make them understand that "financial control is a necessary evil".
Last to take the stage was Félix Arias. The senior manager of High Growth highlighted that “disinvestment is an activity that must be planned, so it is taken into account from the moment that investment startsż, and stressed that it is not a one-off matter, but a sustained and constant activity. Arias explained that High Growth has invested a total of 35 million euros, pointing out that of the 120 or 130 projects that the company has received, only twenty or so were studied, with eventually just three being invested into.
The Forum ended with open-floor questions and a debate between speakers and attendees, during which different points of view were exchanged about the need for transparency upon flotation, the possibility of yields during an investment process and the role of technology and innovation in selection processes of companies.
ESADE Alumni invite you to take part in the 23rd Risk Capital Forum on start-ups and venture capital. Taking part in this event are HighGrowth, Nauta Capital and Ysios Capital Partners, who will discuss investment and divestment operations in start-ups undertaken in the course of 2011 across a range of business sectors: biotechnology, health, IT, etc.
During the Forum, a number of operations by these three venture capital companies will be analysed, and an overview will be developed of the current investment activity in the venture capital sector over the last year.
Welcome and introductions from: Luisa Alemany, Director of ESADE Entrepreneurship Institute and Associate Professor in the Department of Financial Management and Control at ESADE, and Miguel Trías (MBA 89), Chairman of ESADE Alumni, Professor in the Department of Private Law at ESADE, and Partner at Cuatrecasas
Participants: Félix Arias, Senior Manager of High Growth Daniel Sánchez (Lic&MBA 92), General Partner de Nauta Capital Josep Ll. Sanfeliu, Partner of Ysios Capital Partners Luisa Alemany, Director of ESADE Entrepreneurship Institute and Associate Professor in the Department of Financial Management and Control at ESADE Miguel Trías (MBA 89), Chairman of ESADE Alumni, Professor in the Department of Private Law at ESADE, and Partner at Cuatrecasas