3 questions to smart minds

NOAH conference is hippest conference for internet biz and trends

For this 3 questions to M. Rodzynek

noah Advi­sors
Photo: M. Rodzy­nek | noah Advisors
19. April 2012

There are more than enough confe­ren­ces. Not many manage to become so important that the right people come, and with them, as we know, falls the success of a confe­rence. Star­ted as a side project of the young M&A boutique NOAH Advi­sors, the NOAH Confe­rence has, howe­ver, become a must-attend event for the Euro­pean start-up scene within just three years. As Head of Euro­pean Inter­net Invest­ment Banking at Lehman Brot­hers and Nomura, Rodzy­nek has over 14 years of expe­ri­ence in the Inter­net sector in Europe. Since the begin­ning of 1998, he has been invol­ved in over 30 M&A transactions.
In 2009, former Lehman Brot­hers invest­ment banker Marco Rodzy­nek foun­ded his own firm, NOAH Advi­sors. With the goal of “presen­ting Euro­pean Inter­net success stories while discus­sing current trends,” the NOAH confe­rence was laun­ched that same year. How did it become so successful?

For this 3 ques­ti­ons to Mana­ging Direc­tor and Foun­der of Noah Advisors

1. Despite the econo­mic crisis in Europe, Inter­net busi­ness models are booming and inves­tors are lining up, as you could see at your NOAH confe­rence in Novem­ber. How do you explain this phenomenon?

There is a real migra­tion from offline busi­nesses to online or at least hybrid models. The fact that consu­mers are “always-on” makes it possi­ble to tap into many new online services. The boom is sustainable and not a bubble as we saw in 1999/2000. During that time, many compa­nies failed because they had the ‘early mover disad­van­tage’. At that time, for exam­ple, there was only narrow­band, which was simply not enough for many busi­ness models.

2. In which areas and tech­no­logy sectors do you think the trend is heading in the near future?

We will see more and more Ecom­merce verti­cals, such as Triv­ago, Foto­lia, Trovit, Softo­nic, etc.. Amazon has a big busi­ness, but accounts for only 10% of Western Ecom­merce sales. Also, a lot of B2B services will be crea­ted, after apps and ’social’ tail­o­red to consu­mers will soon be rela­tively exhausted.

3. Why is there no confe­rence like the NOAH confe­rence in Germany yet? Are there more inter­net start­ups in London/UK?

Germany is reluc­tant to be a pioneer in the Inter­net indus­try. People usually look for models from the Anglo-Saxon world that work well and then copy them. I expect this trend to conti­nue in the Inter­net confe­rence busi­ness. The number of start-ups in both count­ries should be the same, accor­ding to my estimates.

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