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Julie Meyer: What we know about First Tuesday

By Tom Winnifrith | Friday 2 February 2018

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John Galt is, as you know, an Ayn Rand character. It is also the "nom de plume" of a former senior staffer at Ariadne Capital Limited (now in a shocking administration after £10.5 million disappeared in 10 months as we revealed HERE) who has said that he will expose Ms Meyer. His opening salvo has appeared on LinkedIn today.

I now realise that I once - almost twenty years ago - worked in the same building as Julie Meyer. Before I get a fascist lawyers letter accusing me in the most moronic terms of not declaring that conflict of interest and threatening to expose me I think I should come clean.

John writes HERE:

Julie Meyer and First Tuesday, a timeline:

  • October 1998: While still working at NewMedia Investors, Julie Meyer co-founds First Tuesday with Adam Gold, Mark Davies and Nick Denton. First Tuesday starts from a 50 name email list (source: BBC). Julie Meyer invests $35,000 for a 22.5% share in the business. (source: The Times)
  • January 1999: First Tuesday starts generating revenue through global sponsorship and match-making fees. (source: BBC) By August 2000 these sponsors are listed to include McKinsey & Co, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, NewMedia Investors, Goldman Sachs, IBM, Arthur Anderson and PricewaterhouseCoopers. (source: First Tuesday)
  • January 1999: John Browning joined the founding group. (source: First Tuesday)
  • Late Spring 1999: Meyer left her job at NewMedia Investors to become First Tuesday's Chief Marketing Officer and build First Tuesday's international network. (source: Fortune)
  • Mid-1999: Chase Capital's Episode-1 group, whose partners had been frequent First Tuesday participants, provide $1 million in seed money. (source: Fortune)
  • August 1999: A BBC interview cites that First Tuesday now has nearly 2,000 members. (source: BBC)
  • September 1999: Julie Meyer leads global expansion of First Tuesday launching into 17 cities across Europe. (source: Fortune)
  • December 1999: At Christmas and through the Millennium, Julie Meyer goes to Israel, meeting Shlomo Kalisch of Jerusalem Global who had launched Yazam, a similar concept to First Tuesday. (source: Entrepreneur Country Global)
  • January 2000: Israeli firm Yazam makes first attempt to buy First Tuesday. (source: Entrepreneur Country Global)
  • February 2000: First Tuesday is incorporated. (source: Startups and The Times)
  • 11th March 2000: The dotcom bubble begins to burst. (source: TIME)
  • March - July 2000: Founders begin to fall out over strategy and the city leaders who set up events around the world complain that their efforts are undervalued. (source: BBC). There are also rumours of cash shortages and staff going weeks unpaid. (source: The Guardian). Julie Meyer falls out with other co-founders over the sale as she believes First Tuesday could go all the way to IPO and has prepared an alternative investment strategy. (source: Nick DentonWikipedia)
  • 20th July 2000: Yazam acquires First Tuesday for $50m in cash and shares. The press release announces 80,000 subscribers and 25,000 members meeting per month and that First Tuesday members had raised more than $130m in funding through events. (source: First Tuesday) Julie Meyer in a 2009 interview states she received $11m for her share of the business. (source: The Times). *USD to GBP exchange rate on the 20/07/2000 was 1.5037 making $11,000,000 = £7,315,288.95.
  • August 2000: First Tuesday states that it continues to grow at 20 per cent per month with 80 per cent of European start-up CEOs and VCs participating. (source: First Tuesday)
  • January 2001: Yazam aims to sell First Tuesday for $1m to local organisers after turning down offers ranging from £500,000 for rights to the brand. (source: WSJBBCThe Marker) Yazam announces the departure of its CEO, Yaacov Ben Yaacov, and its president, Philip Garfinkle. Ten days later it announced the dismissal of a third of its staff. (source: The Marker)

First Tuesday and Julie Meyers mysterious subscriber/ membership numbers:

  • Mid-1999: In a 2016 interview with Entrepreneur Country Global, Meyer states that "First Tuesday had by mid 1999 500,000 people receiving our digest and coming to our events across 100 cities in Europe." (source: Entrepreneur Country Global)
  • August 1999: BBC interview cites growth from a 50 strong email list in October 1998 to now having 2,000 members. (source: BBC)
  • 20th July 2000: Press release announcing merger with Yazam citing 80,000 subscribers and 25,000 members meeting per month. (source: First Tuesday)
  • July 2000: In a 2009 interview Meyer states that "By the time it was sold in July 2000, it was worth $50m. About 500,000 people were meeting every month by then." (source: The Times). Fortune magazine article cites a database of 100,000 subscribers. (source: Fortune)
  • May 2002: co-founder Nick Denton's blog stats that "over 50,000 active members worldwide, the First Tuesday network includes 48 cities in 28 countries across five continents" (source: Nick Denton.org)
  • December 2000: First Tuesday website states First Tuesday currently hosts events in more than 100 cities across the globe. So far, First Tuesday has helped entrepreneurs to raise over $150 million of seed capital with 100,000 plus members. (source: First Tuesday)
  • 2009- present: Julie Meyer in multiple interviews cites 500,000 people receiving the digest or attending events (source: Ariadne Capital press releaseEntrepreneur Country Global)

Why is any of this important?

  1. Was First Tuesday the success which Julie Meyer has claimed?
  2. Were corporate sponsors of First Tuesday defrauded by committing marketing spend based upon inflated membership and subscriber data while Julie Meyer was Chief Marketing Officer?
  3. Could fraudulent data have contributed to the inflated price paid for First Tuesday and to its subsequent collapse just months after acquisition?
  4. Has Julie Meyer committed deception and fraud in overstating the data behind First Tuesday and its success in an attempt to mislead investors and the public from the year 2000-present?
  5. Did First Tuesday stand as a benchmark from future employee complaints at Ariadne Capital about unpaid wages and unacceptable work practices.
  6. Julie Meyers subsequent business Entrepreneur Country Global operates a near identical business model of publishing and events. Has history repeated itself? More on this story to follow.

    Ends

    Of course we already DO KNOW that Entrepreneur Country user numbers in terms of claimed "Citizens" are just utter nonsense as we exposed HERE

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