Entrepreneurial

from Tales from the Trail:

Former “start-up” Obama wouldn’t mind being as popular as…SpongeBob

obama_sanfranHe's been president of the United States for about two-and-a-half  years, but Barack Obama still remembers being a "start-up" -- and he wouldn't mind being as popular as SpongeBob SquarePants.

The Democratic president, who is in the middle of a road show to sell his ideas for cutting the deficit, spent the evening in San Francisco on Wednesday raising money for his campaign, and he targeted tech-savvy donors who had started successful companies of their own.

"Some of you are involved in start-ups, well I was a start-up just not so long ago," Obama told a dinner fundraiser at the home of Marc Benioff, the chief executive of salesforce.com.

There's big money in California. Donors paid as much as $35,800  a piece to dine with the president or hear him speak.

Earlier in the day the president held a townhall meeting at the social networking giant Facebook. At a second fundraiser later in the evening, he said he was pleased that his own Facebook page was so popular.

VC fundraising still in the doldrums

peHUB reports:

Forty U.S.-based venture capital firms raised just $4.3 billion in the first quarter of 2009, according to data released this morning by Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association. The downside is that this represents the lowest number of funds to raise capital since Q3 2003. The upside is that the actual amount of capital raised was higher than the $3.5 billion raised in Q4 2008 (slight solace, but solace nonetheless).

Just three of the funds were first-timers, while the largest raiser was August Capital ($650m for Fund V).

In a prepared statement, NVCA president Mark Heesen said: “First, the majority of venture firms are not actively fundraising at this time because they have either recently raised a fund and are investing those dollars or are waiting until market conditions improve. Second, despite the recession, venture firms with solid track records continue to be able to secure sizable commitments from limited partners as there remains a great deal of promise for future returns from the venture capital asset class.”

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