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Dear Evangele,

Reading your "lessons from the past ten years" I have to admit that all lessons seem to be clear and strong.

My personal VC experience is minimal and mostly from the side of the startup wanabe, but I would like your comments about the following :

Do VC investors see an opportunity when investing in non-US companies, since many new startups from other countries are now straggling to break the barriers of their
non-existing VC culture and dive in the global VC world?

China, Russia, European Countries especially the less favoured ones, have teams of inspired people that try to draw
attention in the Global Software and Internet market but always face the lack of Angel funding.

Greece as you may know is one of these countries with a less than average record in succesfull startups (till now).
But in the following years, as the economy is going deeper in its troubled journey, more and more individuals and their teams would try to escape from this misery.

What would you recomment to VCs out there about such tries? Would the mentality and the culture of these startups have to be judged also by people that have grown or lived in the non-US world (so they can get the pulse of their startups)?

Do VCs expect such startups to move to US so they can help them grow and differentiate? Or it is sufficient for them to have them operate in their native environments?
Isn't that a Global world and global solutions we are offering?

Your views would be appreciated.

Dear Sotiri, thank you for your comment. Over the past several years Trident Capital and other US-based funds have been investing internationally (Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, India, China, Brazil, etc). Today over 10% of our active portfolio companies are either based outside the US or have major operations in another country. We have been doing this because we indeed recognize that innovation and entrepreneurship are global. We don't know whether the next technology and business model innovation will come from the Silicon Valley, Bangalore, Sao Paolo or Athens. As investors we work to create high performance teams. For international investments this typically means pairing a technology team that is based outside the US with sales and marketing executives that are based within the US. For example, one of our portfolio companies, called Bytemobile, has its engineering group based in Patras while the executive team, including the company's CEO, are based in the Silicon Valley.

Hi, Evangele,

The work and other venture capitalists do is amazing. You're creating the future even though, perhaps, it seems as though you're like the egg to the chick - mean to be consumed so it can live.

So many in the population want to be taken care of. Others are willing to work, but want to be handed the job. Others such as myself work for ourselves, but aren't willing or able to risk taking on employees, though we employ other freelancers. And most business owners simply open proven businesses from candy stores to restaurants. They aren't pioneers.

In a way, the high tech startups and their funders, therefore, are carrying the ball farther into the future so well advance.

The United States has got to remain entrepreneurial to remain competitive - that's clear. But the rest of the world is catching up with us many ways. We're certainly falling behind in broad technical education, so it's interesting to see that 10% of your portfolio is outside the US.

It's interesting that sales and marketing teams are based within the US. I assume your implication is that we have the edge there. Perhaps there's still a cultural gap. I know from travels in Asia that mainstream advertising imitates Madison Avenue. In The Philippines I saw clothes detergent TV commercials that exactly imitated those I used to see as a kid -- except the mothers scrubbed the dirty clothes by hand in plastic tubs! But I see little evidence of direct marketing.

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Evangelos Simoudis is a Senior Managing Director at Trident Capital where he focuses on investments in SaaS, Internet and Data.

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