A panel of venture capitalists (VCs) at CIO magazine’s CIO|06 conference encouraged CIOs to take an interest in technology start-ups and ultimately help their own cause. The CIO is the potential client and user of new technologies and his or her feedback is critical to the launch of some technologies and the cause of others never getting off the ground.
The way panelists see it, all three parties have something to gain. For the technology provider, there’s a chance to get in front of a CIO audience. Small start-ups have a tough time getting on the CIO’s radar. VCs can orchestrate the meetings and boost the credibility of the technology company and its offerings.
As the key customer and technology decision-maker for their organization, the CIO’s input on a start-up will influence which technologies are funded and get closer to solutions for their specific IT issues.
For VCs, both of these relationships are equally important. Panelists agreed that the problems or issues that CIOs have today are the technology trends of tomorrow and are good indicators of the investments that are likely to pay off. The start-up obviously provides the innovative idea and the elbow grease that brings the product to market.
The VCs on stage noted that their target start up will have a commercially viable product within five years and that while the United States was their primary market they focused on, India, Israel and China were also regions they kept an eye on for the next big thing.
When prodded for hot technologies or segments that will they’re excited about in the near term (within 24 months), the panelists included the following technologies on the list:
Ubiquitous, wireless connectivity, WiFi mesh, mobility
IP storage, networking
Open source technologies, commercial applications
Voice over IP
Longer term, VCs are keeping an eye on:
Editor’s Note: Keep up with VCs, new technologies and your fellow CIOS with our new Venture Watch blog.