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Founder of First Tuesday John Browning
"The web was never the strongest part of our business"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 14 February, 2001, 20:08 GMT
First Tuesday is sold - again
First Tuesday webgrab
The networking organisation First Tuesday, which was sold to an Israeli firm last July for 33m, is being bought back by its members for a fraction of that sum.

First Tuesday, which is active in 110 cities in 46 countries, provides a forum for entrepreneurs to meet investors and attract funding.

The bubble has not burst, the tide has just gone out

Reade Fahs
Head of First Tuesday
A letter of intent had been signed to buy the organisation back from the internet investment firm Yazam and the sale is expected to be completed within weeks.

Neither side will reveal the exact fee but it is thought to be somewhere around 1m.


The organisation started with a cocktail party in Soho in October 1998 and then grew into the hottest event on the circuit.

It claims that tens of million pounds of funding was raised by entrepreneurs who met venture capitalists at its parties.

But its founders fell out over strategy and the city leaders who set up events around the world complained that their efforts were undervalued.

This paved the way for the Israeli company to snap it up.

But Reade Fahs, chief executive officer of First Tuesday, told BBC News Online that what was good for Yazam was not always so good for its members.

Hence the latest change of ownership to ensure that networking events are at the top of the agenda.

Evolving events

And despite the slump in the economy, First Tuesday's events are still popular, with the last event in London four times over-subscribed, according to the company's head.

"The bubble has not burst, the tide has just gone out," Mr Fahs told BBC News Online.

But with far less venture capitalists seeking to throw money at internet start-ups, the events have inevitably changed.

"The meetings still provide a forum to discuss what is happening, and what is going to happen. The investors and the entrepreneurs are still showing up," said Mr Fahs.

First Tuesday has also faced increased competition from localised look-a-likes, such as the UK's Chemistry.

First Tuesday makes money through global sponsorship and through match-making fees.

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