At Molten, we like to put our portfolio first. Whether their technology is trying to address the climate crisis, or revolutionise banking, or helping consumers lead healthier lives, it’s their story, not ours that matters.
So, when we invited 18 CEOs and their teams to join us in New York’s NASDAQ building this month, we were doing what we enjoy best: showcasing just a few of the best and brightest of our portfolio and opening the door for them to network, share ideas and bring a taste of what European tech has to offer the United States.
Why the US? Put simply, many of our portfolio companies harbour ambitions of tackling the huge opportunities the US offers their business, if indeed they haven’t begun their American journey already. We led an impressive touring group covering a good range of early- and later stage businesses across diverse sectors and, together, we rang the bell to open the market.
Later, we ran a series of engaging events and roundtables to give them a chance to connect with each other and share their knowledge.
Finally, a special part of our first New York Portfolio Day was our appearance on the NASDAQ seven-storey-high screen on Times Square.
As was the theme of the trip, we wanted to give our portfolio companies the chance to shine. Every company in attendance was offered 15 seconds each to run whatever they wanted, all pulled together in a Molten branded wrapper.
Not only was this quite a show, it also marked the first time a VC firm, anywhere, has provided this kind of exposure to its portfolio on this kind of scale. We were delighted with the credibility and exposure it afforded them, and together we have created some iconic visual content that anyone with even a passing interest in European tech will have likely already seen through various posts on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Here, Stuart Chapman, Molten’s co-founder, recounts his experience at our first NYC Portfolio Day and outlines the value gleaned on the tour.
Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Networks are live. Press the button; confetti falls. The Nasdaq market is open. You would think that this would be the most exciting part of the trip, and it was incredibly fun. But it’s not the reason all these founders and their teams travelled to New York.
They made the trip because entrepreneurs and founders need the space to talk, think and process outside of the day to day. Watching the interaction of the founders and entrepreneurs together – from different industries, backgrounds, even stages of their growth journey – was inspiring.
For Molten, we’ve long understood that there is so much more we can do for European entrepreneurs. Venture capital more broadly is about helping entrepreneurs increase their chances of success.
In that context, if we can present to an entrepreneur options for growth, whether that be corporate relationships, revenue opportunities, new customers, great talent—we will fulfil that goal. If we provide them a chance to meet each other and learn, so they can avoid the mistakes of CEOs past, we will help their chances of success. If we take control of a huge digital wall in Times Square and dedicate it to improving their visibility; their credibility, we make them more likely to be chosen by customers, investors and the people they want to hire.
If we can add those ingredients beyond capital, that “energy”, then we give our founders and CEOs a greater chance to take the genius kernel in their business, make it transform and make it thrive.
The value of each contribution is hard to quantify; we will try, perhaps by measuring contacts made, introductions that lead to revenue growth, positive media coverage—I doubt we will come up with the answer.
But at Molten will simply ask them what we can do better in the years to come—and make sure the next idea, the next tool we find, will help them improve their odds of success.
(All the while, of course, laughing at 500 photos and videos of us looking like overexcited tourists, jumping around in Times Square.)