Sunday, June 16, 2013

Across the pond and back

Je ziet er moe, observed my Dutch teacher.  It’s been that sort of weekend.

We’re in the midst of fundraising for the surgical product, and finally connected with a good offer.  $5 million, tranched in on milestones, share upside for hitting them, 40% equity out.  That’s lowers the valuation and raises a CEO issue, but it’s a credible start

The only catch was that they wanted face to face contact in three days.  In Miami.

‘not much to do but to saddle up and ride out.

East Coast storms delayed my arrival until midnight on Thursday; but the jet lag assured that I was up early for our 7am meetings.  Our group did a pre-coordination of their questions and our positions over breakfast, then we went into group discussions with them at 9.  Rapid-fire questions flew past for the next 15 (!) hours, with only an hour’s break just ahead of dinner.

I will credit them with asking good questions, listening, and following up well.  While they were bulldogs on some issues (“How many sample would the Chinese need to analyze to crack the encryption scheme?”  65,000, actually), they took advice on others. 

Dinner, at Morton’s Steak House, was delightful: people with money spend it on excellent food and wine.  Conversation veered from the moneyed-conventional (travel and lifestyle tips) to conservative-surreal (Can we eliminate the lower class by sterilizing them?), probably typical for the 1%.  I stuck with my liberal positions while silently renewing vows to get the Dutch tests done for permanent residency.


Early the next morning, they were off on their NetJet and I was buying a train ticket to see Miami ahead of my flight back to the Continent.  Miami has an extensive train system so getting into the city was easy, although the trains literally run once every half-hour.  I went one stop too far and had to back track: it took 60 minutes to make the reverse and onward connections.

Fortunately it was a warm day, not too humid.  The skyscrapers glowed blue, the sunlight danced on the water, urbanites lounged in the parks on Adirondack chairs.  I tried flecks of Cuban cuisine and mailed my son’s birthday gift.


‘Back at the airport, I discovered tat I had accidently booked my flight back to Paris for the following weekend rather than today: $150 solved it.  The food didn’t set well flying back; the border security lines were long at CDG against the 1-hour transfer interval to my Amsterdam flight.  I back in Maastricht by midafternoon, worn through.

Je ziet er niet uit, I reflected, het was een lange, drukke weekeinde.

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