LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ariadne Capital, who pioneered the ‘Entrepreneurs Backing Entrepreneurs’ model for the financing of entrepreneurship in 2000, hosted its 4th Annual Follow The Entrepreneur Investor Summit at the Four Seasons, Hampshire, on Friday 5 September 2014 – www.follow-the-entrepreneur.com. 200 leading entrepreneurs from 34 countries were invited and attended, and speakers shared their views of the Future of Data Centers, Energy, European Venture Capital, Genetics, Money, Publishing, Retail, Service and Space.
‘Ariadne’s view is that every entrepreneur has a secret. That secret is the future of their industry. The job of the capital provider is to identify the best ones and to help them bring their vision to market. Capital follows Ideas; always has, always will,’ said Julie Meyer, Managing Partner, Ariadne Capital Entrepreneurs Fund. ‘Most venture capitalists try to show they are the smartest guys in the room. We believe our job is to find the smartest men and women in the room: they are the entrepreneurs.’
Ariadne’s newest investment, Bitx, an emerging market bitcoin exchange, led by Marcus Swanepoel, where it co-invested alongside Second Market founder Barry Silbert, explained on The Future of Money session that ‘banks will have to get into the game. The reality of the situation is that cryptocurrencies will become used by the mainstream without them knowing that they are using them. They are simply more efficient, transparent and global, and that won’t go away.’
Michele Appendino, founder of Solar Ventures, previously founder of Net Partners which backed the first generation Internet hits – Self-Trade, Yoox, QXL and more, explained on The Future of Energy session that renewables do receive subsidies, but nowhere near those that are given to the older industries of coal, oil, gas and nuclear.
Franziska v. Hardenberg of Bloomy Days, based in Berlin shared on The Future of Retail, how she has re-engineered the supply chain to the massive flower industry through her online shop. With senior executives from predictive advertising giant, Criteo, retailer John Lewis, and Stuart Marks, successful retail entrepreneur, the session explored how the opportunity was really for David and Goliath to dance, not to disrupt each other.
Richard Mason, co-founder of Orson, the publishing firm that’s pioneering the eLume, a new digital standard for publishing, gave his vision for The Future of Publishing. ‘The paper book is a wonderful thing. But the ebook is nothing more than a digital photocopy. We need to reimagine reading on touchscreen devices – to restore individuality to electronic books while fusing text, audio, music, video and supporting info without distracting gimmicks. As Orson champion Joanna Lumley put it in the video Mason showed: ‘ELumes are magic.’
Alex Cheatle, founder and CEO of Ten Group, a global life services business, one of Ariadne’s earliest investments which has given a great ROI, speaking on The Future of Service, said, ‘There’s a lot of firms out there masquerading as ‘Service’ firms, but they really just want to sell you something. We understood that our business model had to be subscription so that we were always aligned with our customers. We have the buying power and scale to make it work.’
Dennis Layton, Partner, McKinsey, spoke on The Future of Data Centers, and shared his vision of data as the iron ore for the digital economy. The UK must decide it is going to own the end to end value chain around data or simply to be a raw materials exporter. The opportunities and challenges facing the different segments in the data market include everything from the opportunity to host data much closer to low cost energy such as what Hydro66 is doing, to working with companies to help them understand how the different types of data in the corporation need to be treated in different ways. Sarah Shields, Executive Director and UK General Manager, Dell UK, provided insight into the future of the datacentre and how forces like cloud computing, mobility, big data and the internet of things are challenging businesses to think differently about the critical role technology plays in their future growth. There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach to creating, storing, moving and analyzing information, so the structure and planning of the datacentre has never been more crucial. “Design it right and it will become ‘future ready’ – scaling efficiently as your precious data grows.” Andrew Long of Hydro66, based in London and the Arctic Circle gave a heads up on the huge and growing environmental impact of traditional Data Centres and his plans for radically changing the rules with his new Data Centre in the Swedish Arctic Circle.’
On the Future of Space session, Charles Black, founder of space content network sen.com, talked about the fast developing space economy and how space exploration was now being taken up by private enterprise as well as national space agencies. Charles outlined Sen’s vision of becoming a space network including ambitious plans for high definition video in the Solar System – the message being think big, there really are no boundaries when it comes to space exploration.
Ariadne Capital is an investment firm founded in 2000 by Julie Meyer, which has a portfolio of digital technology investments in retail, financial services, and media. It is backed by leading entrepreneurs and pioneered the ‘Entrepreneurs Backing Entrepreneurs’ model of financing entrepreneurship syndicating more than £350 million of investments over the past 14 years.