A Very Milken Moment
Beverly Hills, Calif. — It's early in the morning outside a hotel ten minutes away from the Milken Institute Global Conference.
Two young men are waiting for a shuttle bus to take them to the conference. Both are wearing well-pressed jackets and crisp shirts.
One has a solid blue tie. The other, possibility in violation of the conference's business-attire dress code, has decided to go open collar.
Their conversation begins casually. The guy without the tie is from New York. He's involved in the tech sector. Specifically, he works for a start up intended to "disrupt higher education."
The guy with the tie is from Paris, although he adds that he is of both French and Venezuelan descent. He works for a fund that invests in a variety of areas, but with a focus on India.
It quickly emerges that both the Parisian-Indian fund and the educational disrupter share a major backer.
"Have you guys ever considered investing in education technology?" asks Sans Tie.
"We did invest in one company. Not higher education. A software company that helps students with testing. They just sold their program to Kaplan," he says.
The shuttle arrives and the conversation continues on board. When they arrive at the hotel, they exchange business cards and agree to meet up in New York.
A New York City tech start-up just made a connection with a Paris fund that does a lot of Indian investment.
Will anything come of it? Who knows. But it is this sort of thing, people from very different corners of the tech and finance world coming together, that makes the global conference so fascinating.