Here are some key quotes from my latest podcast with Ron Biscardi, CEO of iConnections, discussing capital introductions in a digital environment:

“What we’re doing in our platform is bringing together large institutional investors and allocators with managers who run alternative investment strategies, and combining them into a platform that enables them to find each other.”

“i co-founded a firm where I’ve spent the majority of my finance career doing seed deals, and then ultimately creating a conference business that became the largest capital introduction conference in the world.”

“In the course of building out the seeding business, we were a small boutique player, and we had strong relationships, but in a very narrow segment of the investment world. And I was really looking for ways to just broaden our reach, and to improve our deal flow and just kind of increase the visibility of the firm as a whole. And I saw an opportunity to take over a conference company.”

“People don’t realize how hard a business really is to build, a very successful, large sustainable business, which I have not done yet.  I’ve really only been a small business guy for my career.  You have to get so many things right.”

“You also have to be a lifelong learner. I feel like I’ve been a student of business from my team. And that never stops.”

“So iCconnections was really born out of that first charity event, which was called Funds4Food.  It ended up being the largest cap intro event of 2020.  We did about 3000 meetings in our platform, another 500 to 1000 meetings off platform and things like Zoom.”

“As we got deeper into the event, it was clear that these lockdowns were here to stay. People were now beginning to say we’re not reconvening anywhere until there’s a vaccine. So we knew by the time that event ended that we absolutely had the beginning of what could be a great SaaS business.”

“One of the more innovative things I think we did was we built [our platform] from day one, knowing that we were not a conference company, that we really are a SaaS company that supports conference activities.”

“I think fundraising has definitely been changed forever as a result of [the pandemic]. But it doesn’t mean we won’t get back to physical meetings.”

“Raising money for an up-and-coming fund is as hard as anything you’ll do in business. And the folks that I’ve seen succeed at it take the fundraising side as seriously as they do the investing side.”

“We did Funds4Food last year. And we’re going to do Funds4Minds [focusing on mental health issues] this year. So for the month of May, we’ll be promoting a whole month charity event again, a full-blown cap intro event raising money for charity.”