First Tuesday networking returns

Tonight sees the first of a regular series of networking evenings for technologists with ideas to meet venture capitalists
Written by Will Sturgeon, Contributor

Back in 1999, the first Tuesday of every month was a night for entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to hobnob over some canapés and strike up the deals which would take the dot-com revolution to unimagined heights.

By mid-2000 the bubbly had gone flat, the canapés had gone mouldy and the networking event known somewhat self-explanatorily as 'First Tuesday' had been wrapped up.

But now two London-based entrepreneurs are resurrecting the event under the name Second Chance Tuesday and plan on staging the first get-together tonight.

Michael Smith, founder of e-commerce site Firebox.com, and Judith Clegg, founder of networking group The Glasshouse, claim the life-signs of the dot-com industry are healthy once more and the sector is crying out for such an event.

Smith, who received his first round of venture capital at a First Tuesday event, told ZDNet UK sister site silicon.com: "We've been really keen to do this for about a year now and all the signs are good. I believe we are about to enter an era of sustained growth."

Smith said conditions have changed since the heady days of the late '90s but he believes all the changes are for the good of the industry.

He said: "Back in 1999 people were investing in untested business models. There were a lot of kids straight out of school and a lot of ideas flying about but everybody is a lot sharper now."

Although Smith said he expects to see more mature businesses competing for some canapé time with VCs he also expects there to be some guests attending with little more than a suit jacket and a great idea — very much in the spirit of the late '90s.

Smith added that the proliferation of broadband, the lack of which hampered many rich-media dot-coms such as Boo.com back in 2000, as well as the growth in the number of people online, means the technology is also more favourable for entrepreneurs with the right money.

Smith confirmed Julie Meyer, who founded the original First Tuesday networking venture, will be attending. For more information, visit the Web site.

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