Venture Capital Desperately Needs More Poetry

An ode to Global Corporate Venturing’s New York Synergize conference in Shakespearean iambic pentameter

Scott Lenet
Risky Business


Image: Shutterstock

At the end of September, my business partner David Horowitz once again co-chaired the Global Corporate Venturing Synergize conference in New York with Darcy Frisch from Hearst Ventures. The one day event focuses on sharing best practices for corporate venture capitalists, with a mix of keynotes, breakout sessions, networking, and case studies.

The Synergize case studies feature experienced venture capitalists exploring various aspects of the business, including how to launch a new corporate venture capital unit, how to work with traditional institutional investors, how to measure the strategic value of venture investments, how to drive mutual value from limited partner positions and direct investments, and so on. The speakers included a diverse group of investors, like Esther Dyson, Jaidev Shergill, Jenny Fielding, Bimal Mehta, Gus Warren, and many others.

Last year, David thought it would be fun if I summarized the presentations and provided simple take-aways in less than one minute each. I decided to increase the degree of difficulty by writing a summary haiku for each of these presentations, which can be found here.

This year, David and Darcy summarized the case studies, but I felt considerable peer pressure to contribute something poetic. So with no further ado, and heartfelt apologies to Shakespeare’s famous Sonnet 18, here is my TL;DR recap of GCV Synergize 2019:

Shall I compare thee to Sand Hill VCs?
Thou art more complex and more corporate:
Rough terms do shake the leads of Series Bs,
And promises doth make some hesitate:
Sometime too high when valuations climb,
And often venture’s gold’s seen as a moat;
The public bell will not be heard to chime,
By chance, nor skill, the green shoe ne’er the float;
But thy bull headed market shall not fade
Nor lose possession of securities;
Nor shall down rounds be cause for throwing shade,
When benefits commercial thou doth ease;
So long as dreams portend a unicorn,
So thus can innovations yet be born.

Liked what you read? Click 👏 to help others find this article.

Scott Lenet is President of Touchdown Ventures, a Registered Investment Adviser that provides “Venture Capital as a Service” to help corporations launch and manage their investment programs.

Unless otherwise indicated, commentary on this site reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the author and should not be regarded as a description of services provided by Touchdown or its affiliates. The opinions expressed here are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual on any security or advisory service. It is only intended to provide education about the financial industry. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. While all information presented, including from independent sources, is believed to be accurate, we make no representation or warranty as to accuracy or completeness. We reserve the right to change any part of these materials without notice and assume no obligation to provide updates. Nothing on this site constitutes investment advice, performance data or a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Investing involves the risk of loss of some or all of an investment. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.



Scott Lenet
Risky Business

Founder of Touchdown Ventures & DFJ Frontier, USC & UCLA adjunct professor, father of twins, Philly sports Phan, Forbes & TechCrunch contributor