Reporter's notebook: TechCrunch50 startups and VCs alike ask 'where's the money?'


Someone stole all the tea at the TechCrunch50 Conference. All the tea bags, that is. I wanted a pick-me-up and coffee can send me over the top. Alas, no tea. "I'm so sorry. This is the first time in all my years of catering that this has ever happened," said one of the catering company reps. (She's lucky the event's co-founder Mike Arrington wasn't around to experience the moment). But the tea heist incident seemed, in a nutshell, to summarize the mood at the annual confab that lets startups pitch their technology. Everyone wanted something. VCs didn't want too pay much. CEOs didn't want to get paid too little. No one wanted to leave empty-handed.

The turnout was solid, with a packed hall and sharp-elbowed blue-shirted bizdev guys battling it out for the best seats in the house. Startup execs were hesitant about money and worried that they might not be able to raise what they needed. The judges were more supportive than in years past (when contestant iMo had a snafu in demoing its mobile iPhone driving game app, judge Yossi Vardi led the audience in an encouraging cheer).

Originally published