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Small Business

From Fast Times to Fast Food

When Venture Reporter magazine wanted to celebrate publication of its annual list of the top 100 venture capitalists on May 14, it sought an appropriate venue. Champagne would flow as it did at the dot-com bashes of a bygone era, but the locale needed to reflect the more chastened mood and the party's "back to reality" theme.

That's how hundreds of VCs and high-tech CEOs (what's left of them, anyway) found themselves at a rented McDonald's in Midtown Manhattan. There, they scarfed down Quarter Pounders and bellied up to a bar near the drive-through window. Champagne cocktails commemorated infamous dot-com icons, such as the McKozmo, named after defunct delivery service ("delivered in under an hour," the menu said), and the McBlodget, named for bullish analyst Henry ("a strong buy recommendation").

"Starting a business is not about $600 Aeron chairs and Nobu anymore," said Venture Reporter founder and party host Jason McCabe Calacanis. "It's plywood desks and McDonald's."

But the VCs in attendance weren't drowning their sorrows. Instead, they talked up how it's a great time to be investing in startups that can be had for a McBargain. By Amy Cortese

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