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.