'Ambient' Computing, Disruptive Banking Startups Top VC Predictions
Leading Silicon Valley venture capitalists make some provocative predictions as to what new technology will emerge in the next five years at the Churchill Club's annual Top 10 Tech Trends session.SAN JOSE, Calif. —Ambient computing, robotic cars and tough times for traditional banks were some of the controversial predictions made here at the Churchill Club’s 17th annual Top Ten Tech Trends event. Five leading venture capitalists were on hand to prognosticate while following a few simple ground rules—each prediction has to be a breakthrough trend that isn't obvious and will hit the mainstream in the next five years. Rebecca Lynn, General Partner of Canvas Venture Fund, predicts startups are going to “disintermediate” traditional banks with a raft of personalized services for lending, insurance and real estate transactions that banks won’t be able to match. She sees banks becoming a platform for financial services startups that will need their infrastructure backend. But she doesn’t see Bitcoin being a big player in this new age of banking services. “I don’t have high hopes for bitcoin over the next five years,” as an alternative currency, said Lynn. Fellow panelist Steve Jurvetson, a partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), cited a Goldman Sachs study that predicts a massive shift by millennials to peer-based lending.
“They see a new generation that doesn’t want to deal with old banks,” he said. As for Bitcoin, Jurvetson says he isn’t excited about it as a currency, but thinks it could be very useful facilitating a new era of automated, machine to machine contracts.