Venture Forward kicks off in San Francisco this year, with a deep dive into the promise of global markets. In a world that is increasingly driven and captivated by technology — Silicon Valley is leading the charge, but the growth story is far more nuanced and broad across many new emerging tech hubs. An abundance of opportunity awaits investors who are willing to unlock value in new markets.
Leveraging Bloomberg’s unparalleled data and news resources we’ll bring executives to examine how venture capital and the investment industry will transform over the next decade.
August 1 - Thursday
Registration & Networking Breakfast
Welcome Remarks from Bloomberg Host
Venture & The Great Expansion
Over the last decade, the digital revolution has transformed daily life and the economy. Silicon Valley and New York led much of that innovation and VC action, but the promise of global high-tech startups is growing quickly — with venture volume outside the United States on the rise. In this panel, senior executives examine the role of Silicon Valley driving tech innovation and how the VC ecosystem is being redefined by Softbank and new global players from China and the Middle East change the power dynamics in the United States. What is the impact on VCs, entrepreneurs and nations alike? Who will be the winners and losers and why? Which new markets will be the global driver of prosperity? We’ll address the best approach to turning global investment into value.
Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners
The Next Tech Hub Powerhouse
While the San Francisco Bay area is one of the world’s leading cities for technological innovation, it might not be for long.
Rival tech hubs in Beijing, Tallinn and Tel Aviv are gaining dominance and could surpass Silicon Valley. Meanwhile the rise of vibrant startup ecosystems in Abu Dhabi,
Toronto and Istanbul are emerging. We’ll examine which countries are attracting the highest level of foreign investment and why. Furthermore, as rents skyrocket in San Francisco, tech towns across America are gaining dominance in Salt Lake City, Austin, Raleigh and more. How does this impact Silicon Valley? What strategies should investors adopt to take advantage of new opportunity? How are investors diversifying their portfolios and combating home bias to find the most value across the globe?
We’ll also learn which technologies will reshape industries from aerospace to education and have the biggest impact on local economies’ and worldwide over the next decade.
Change Makers: What Can Silicon Valley Learn from MENA Women
It’s a well-established fact that women are a minority in the technology space in America— but what may be surprising; women in the Arab World are a force in the start-up scene. One in three MENA start-ups are now founded by women — a rate even higher than Silicon Valley’s. According to UNESCO, 34-57 percent of STEM graduates in Arab countries are women – a figure much greater than seen in universities across the US or Europe.
Why is this the case? What can Silicon Valley learn from the MENA region about gender equality? Despite societal and policy advances, women are still not on equal footing with men. With a special focus on funding up-and-coming women entrepreneurs, we’ll examine key opportunities to close the gender divide and the challenges that remain.
As countries in the Middle East diversify away from oil, how will more women in the workforce reshape economies? How are female business leaders using tech to solve global problems and how can investors support them by adding sustainable investment strategies to their portfolios?
The United States may be home to 15 of the world’s 20 most valuable tech firms, but Europe will be the one to bring down the hammer on Big Tech. In March Google was fined $1.7 billion for strangling competition in the advertising market. And Sweden’s Spotify complained to the EU of Apple’s alleged antitrust abuses. But Washington has hesitated to regulate in fear of hampering growth. Plus, Silicon Valley has long-argued that regulation hurts innovation. But Europe’s unapologetic stance amid a slew of scandals seems to be influencing the appetite for regulation at home. The rollout of Europe’s major privacy law, GDPR, paved the way for similar legislation in California, which goes into effect in 2020. And U.S. presidential hopefuls are calling for tougher gloves too, making it more likely that Washington could be adding to Silicon Valley’s troubles.
Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP
Capital flows into VC funds from limited partners (LPs) vary widely — from pension funds, university endowments, foundations, finance companies and high-net-worth individuals. As the universe of LPs is vast, each LP sets its own level of risk and reward. We’ll examine how each LP looks at VC — and if you are raising a fund — learn how to identify which type of LP is best suited for you.
IPO Boom or Blunder
The year of the IPO is turning out to be somewhat of a flop. Uber’s IPO stunned investors, disappointing Wall Street and Silicon Valley alike; Lyft’s first quarterly earnings also stalled out — neither delivering the oomph typically associated with big-name IPOs, much less ones from Silicon Valley. Tech overall has rebounded in 2019 following last year’s Facebook privacy troubles and Apple’s warning of sluggish iPhone demand in China. But the coast isn’t necessarily clear. We’ll assess what’s next for big tech as more Silicon Valley unicorns stampede Wall Street. What happens if they flop? And what happens if they leap, beyond expectations? We’ll also address the effect on private capital in either scenario. As we march closer to 2020, with Slack and Palantir set to go public, the year of the IPO has not yet been written.