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Sep 30, 2014

Women lag in venture capital even as they make strides as entrepreneurs

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Women venture-capital
partners are becoming scarcer even as more women entrepreneurs
are winning venture cash, according to a report from Babson
College.

The report, “Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gap in
Venture Capital,” paints a picture of a start-up environment
that is making strides in some areas, such as backing female
entrepreneurs, even as the percentage of female venture
capitalists slips.

Sep 19, 2014

With co-CEOs, Oracle sets challenging course

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – By promoting its two presidents to serve as co-chief executives instead of founder and CEO Larry Ellison, database-and-software behemoth Oracle (ORCL.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is setting itself a course that has confounded other big companies.

The move seemingly marries the product oversight of Mark Hurd, former chief executive of Hewlett Packard, with the legal and financial expertise of Safra Catz, a 15-year Oracle veteran.

Sep 18, 2014

Silicon Valley provocateur Thiel takes on ‘many-sided mediocrity’

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Forget striving for a well-rounded resume.

According to a new book from Peter Thiel, the investor and PayPal co-founder, well-roundedness amounts to “many-sided mediocrity.” Instead, his “Zero to One” urges entrepreneurs to “focus relentlessly on one thing you’re good at doing.”

And yet this very readable and provocative book by Thiel, a Stanford graduate with a degree in philosophy, draws on sources from Shakespeare to Roman history to Lady Gaga and amounts to a testament to the value of generalization.

Aug 29, 2014

Corrected – Women venture capitalists underperform men, say Harvard academics

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – (Corrects spelling of Emily Weisburst’s name in second paragraph)

Women venture capitalists underperform their male counterparts by some 15 percent, according to a new Harvard University study, but the performance differences have narrowed over time and in firms that employ more than a single female venture partner.

Aug 29, 2014

Women venture capitalists underperform men, say Harvard academics

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Women venture capitalists
underperform their male counterparts by some 15 percent,
according to a new Harvard University study, but the performance
differences have narrowed over time and in firms that employ
more than a single female venture partner.

“We find that female venture capitalists significantly
underperform their male colleagues,” wrote Paul Gompers,
Vladimir Mukharlyamov and Yuhai Xuan of Harvard and Emily
Weisburst of the University of Texas at Austin in their study,
“Gender Effects in Venture Capital.”

Aug 22, 2014

U.S. venture firm Kleiner Perkins suffers security breach

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – California detectives are investigating a July computer theft at storied venture capital-firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a spokeswoman for the Menlo Park police said on Thursday.

The theft may put Kleiner in jeopardy of losing valuable financial data and making the firm the latest in a long list of businesses that have lost sensitive information to thieves. In this case, the information was taken by physical, not electronic, means.

Aug 21, 2014

Women venture capitalists underperform men, say Harvard academics

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Women venture capitalists
underperform their male counterparts by some 15 percent,
according to a new Harvard University study, but the performance
differences have narrowed over time and in firms that employ
more than a single female venture partner.

“We find that female venture capitalists significantly
underperform their male colleagues,” wrote Paul Gompers,
Vladimir Mukharlyamov and Yuhai Xuan of Harvard and Emily
Weisburt of the University of Texas at Austin in their study,
“Gender Effects in Venture Capital.”

Aug 20, 2014

Despite lip service, Silicon Valley venture capital still a man’s world

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 20 (Reuters) – When she started her
child-support tracking business SupportPay, Sheri Atwood
expected all kinds of suggestions – but not the tip she got from
a female investor who suggested she dye her blonde hair darker
to be taken more seriously by venture capitalists.

To Atwood, who eventually won her funding from other
backers, the recommendation underscored an attitude in Silicon
Valley that women make second-class entrepreneurs. If more women
held the purse strings at venture capital firms, the attitude
would change, she said.

Aug 19, 2014

Former Obama campaign manager to run Uber’s political strategy

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Uber has enlisted David Plouffe, President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, to devise and run its global political and branding strategy, as the fast-expanding car rides-on-demand startup runs into stiff resistance in some cities.

The San Francisco-based company, which is waging an intense campaign against taxi drivers who fear encroachment on their turf, said in a blog post on Tuesday that Plouffe will begin in late September as senior vice president of policy and strategy.

Aug 19, 2014

Venture firm tries telling others how to invest in private companies

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 19 (Reuters) – A Washington, D.C.-area
company that invests in startup companies is moving into a new
line of business: advising others on how they too can invest in
startups.

Disruption Corp., which runs the Crystal Tech Fund in
Crystal City, Virginia, said Tuesday that regulators had
licensed it to provide investment guidance. It is licensed by
the state of Virginia and appears on the Securities and Exchange
Commission’s list of registered advisors.