I participated in two separate VC events last week. One was a private conference organized by Brains to Ventures, and the other was the Venture Capital Forum organized by EVCA (European Venture Capital Association). At both events, I was a panelist discussing the VC environment in Turkey.
The B-to-V event was a private event so I can not go into detail on the topic specifics. One could definitely sense the tense mood created by the stressful few weeks in the financial markets, and the recession the global economy is experiencing, yet the conversation was focused on investment opportunities and the upside.
At the EVCA VC Forum, the mood was much more gloomy. First, I was surprised by how different European and US VC communities are. In Europe, most VCs come from private equity, banking or accouting backgrounds, whereas in the US, you meet many former entrepreneurs. The European VC mindset seems focused on down-side protection rather than building great businesses. Of course I realize I am generalizing and there are some who fall outside of this stereotype, in general, European VC industry appears as if the professionals were primarily picked by prioritizing "those we can trust with our money".