Friday, March 16, 2001

EuroTech Conference 2001

Tim Martin here, on my first official assignment for The Cyber Scene. Actually, I was urgently called in from my previous assignment to fill in for some ailing team members. Now, it looks like this is the start of what will be a regular event/party journal column for Courtney. May it always be a trip to read. I pledge to at least not bore you. And I look forward to meeting you all at CPC events (I'm usually wearing some kind of bright-bordering-to-outlandish tie.) Alright, let's get on with the New Media Gonzo Journalistic Free-For-All!!!!

My Mission: To cover the DASAR EuroTech conference: a two-day event showcasing the Top 100 most promising European startups seeking partners and funding in the US. As I was a call-in lifeline to the EuroTech mission, I unfortunately missed the first day of the conference, following which was apparently a splendid cocktail party at the Guggenheim Museum. The payoff was that I was bright-eyed and bushy tailed for the insightful Opening Remarks of Alex Vieux the CEO and Founder of DASAR, a Global Access company dedicated to assisting startups expand in international markets.

Vieux was followed by Day Two's Keynote Address by Kevin Ryan of Doubleclick. Kevin was pretty straightforward in his analysis of the online advertising industry, pointing out very thoroughly that if you take a comparative snapshot of other emerging technology/communications industries (such as Radio and TV) in their first five years of existence, online advertising is doing incredibly well. Kevin elaborated that the main issue causing the current strife in online advertising and other online industries is that there is only room for a finite number of players in each sector. As M&A activity increases in the next year, the resultant consolidations will prove to be truly powerful companies to reckon with.

Ryan also stood his ground firmly under the sharp and probing point of (Alex) Vieux's Questions regarding Doubleclick's privacy "PR debacle", maintaining that DoubleClick in the end was found to be completely in line with governmental guidelines regarding online privacy. He was quick to point out that of course, although there was massive coverage of the investigation of Doubleclick's alleged violations, there very little print focused on their exoneration. Well, every little bit counts, right Kevin?

Next was a great panel on "The Wireless Rush" hosted by the always-on Burt Alimansky of The panel featured Thomas Zillacus, Chairman of Open Mobile, Vincent Grimaldi, CEO of The Grimaldi Group, Brian Bodell, President of Mobile Metrics, and Philippe Braweman, President & CEO of Reef. After the panel, I got a chance to chat with Count Vincent Grimaldi, an old friend of mine from the heady days of NY Venture Group Breakfasts circa Jan 2000 (ah, remember those times...). When asked how the last year has been, he responded that "Things have changed. It's just not like it was." You're tellin' me Count!

Throughout the day after that, there was a continuous flow of presentations by the European companies selected to showcase. Giving into my predilection towards Web3D companies (in my role as the CEO and editor-in-chief of, I made it a special point to check out the presenting 3D and graphics companies. Among the best presentations was Dominique Pouliquen's demo for RealViz, a 3D technology and production company based out of France. Their technology was extremely compelling, and their established clients and strategic partners are stellar. This company is poised to make a big splash in the 3D online and offline industries. Another impressive Web3D presentation was by Bruno Winck, CEO of RadialSoft , whose techonology is used primarily in the B2B areas to help companies set up commercial exchanges with 3D features.

Also in high attendance were companies such as DASAR, that specialize in bringing European companies over to the US, and viceversa. I had good speaks with Sylvie Marc, the President of TransAtlantic Ventures , as well as Volker Detering, COO of EventMe! and their non-profit Start Abroad Also in high attendance was a wide range of B2B companies that supplied solutions to the current problems facing the B2B market. By far the most impressive of these companies was Split The Difference whose patent-pending technology allows eMarket-makers to close deals in thin markets-maximizing surplus for buyers and sellers. Complementing auctions, catalogs, and RFP/RFQ solutions, SplitTheDifference solutions are customized to meet the needs of eCommerce players. I had the pleasure of meeting with CEO R.S. Ophir (Ophir) and Michael Trefz of their impressive Business Development team which includes world-renowned experts in economics, negotiation, strategy, auctions and game theory.

Finally, I had the pleasure of enjoying a delectable Plaza Hotel lunch with veteran CyberScenester Carol Peters of the Columbia University Press and Gabrielle Riera representing Interactive Custom Clothes Company (their CEO Peter del Rio spoke at last month's Morning Circle Breakfast). Also present was John Hamblet, the VP of Corporate Development of a great company called Eve Global Group . John was beaming with pride for their new company, a spinoff company of Thunderbird, the prestigious Arizona-based school for MBA's in Intl. Management. EveGlobal consults early-mid stage companies in focusing their Biz plans and in determining the ever-elusive company valuation. John boasted that his guys were so good that they recently were able to reasonably valuate a Chinese syndication company! Jeez, now that's good. I'll actually be attending EveGlobal's First Year Anniversary party this evening. Congrats EveGlobal on a great first year.

So, all in all, the conference was a great success in cross-germination of European companies with American ones. And it ran relatively smoothly considering the large number of companies that were showcased- thanks to Kellie Morlock and the rest of the team at DASAR.