They may no longer be the “guaranteed-route-to-being-a-millionaire” that they were presented as last year, but there is no sign of a slowdown in the rate of technology start-ups.
Venture capitalists and the new wave of incubator funds are signing up hopefuls at an unprecedented rate and are rushing them through to an IPO faster than their share price is destined to fall once they float.
The model is clear – back the business in the early stages, get in an early float and then bail out. This trend may not last. There are signs that the internet economy is developing some sense of reality, but for those helping to bring a company through to a market flotation, the pre-IPO window is not only small but is absolutely crucial.
Firms that have spotted that window can target it and market to it. They could ride out this wave of business and then capitalise on the next.
Olswang has taken the plunge and launched a corporate finance house.
Details are still sketchy about how the operation will actually function. In a market and business environment moving as fast as the high-tech-road-to-IPO one it is wise to keep the structure flexible.
What is clear is that again a smaller firm has taken the lead and launched into a niche area. Olswang has the background and experience in the sector but it also has a corporate culture that can identify a market movement and launch a service into it, even if that service is not fully formed.
As the start-up business matures and the demands on firms change, it will be flexibility and initiative that is likely to see it in good stead.