Icera awarded at Audemars Piguet Entrepreneur of the Year

I was on the selection committee for this great initiative and am happy to report that mySQL‘s Marten Mickos won the grand prize, whilst our own Icera won the NextGem award.

Marten talked about what it takes to make it in simple terms, along the lines of not being optimisitic and never fully realising how hard it is going to be.  As Marten put it, a gem is really just carbon compressed very, very hard.  See the Stockdale Paradox.

It was a great evening as the ever connected Sven Lingjaerde was able to bring many of Europe’s best entrepreneurs in a room (Sulake, Tagsys and MySQL were the main finalists but there were many others).  To give you a sense, my table was Fergal from Highland, Neil at Index, Marten, the founder of LaCie – Philippe Spruch, Nigel Toon from Icera, Daniel Kahn and so on.

Both Shozu and Icera made it to the short list for NextGem.  Icera is close to our hearts since we funded the company for its Series A round with Benchmark after having funded and exited Stan Boland’s previous venture, Element14, which sold for $600M to Broadcom.  Of course it has raised a bit more money and then some since our Series A.  As Fergal put it to me: “Go Big or Go Home” :-)

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