Entrepreneurial

Eight up-and-coming VCs worth knowing

– Mark Boslet is a senior editor for the Venture Capital Journal, a Thomson Reuters publication. This article appeared on PE Hub. –

Last week, Forbes published its Midas List of venture investors with Jim Breyer of Accel Partners edging out Sequoia’s Michael Moritz and Greylock’s Reid Hoffman for the top spot.

This closely followed list of VC moneymen has become something of a Who’s Who of the business. Its focus is the highest-profile GPs with the best track records.

What most readers didn’t notice, however, was a companion list of up and coming VCs published the same day by TrueBridge Capital Partners, a fund of funds that helped Forbes compile the Midas List. It features young VCs, many with a timely focus on the Internet and social media.

According to TrueBridge, the Midas List involved extensive data analysis along with countless discussions with industry experts. The up-and-comers’ list lacks the same rigor and instead relies on conversations with VCs, an examination of investment portfolios and an analysis of the venture business from a macro perspective, the firm said. Nevertheless, it offers insight on who may become Midas investors sometime in the future.

Blippy co-founder contemplates next move

– Connie Loizos is a contributor to PE Hub, a Thomson Reuters publication. This article originally appeared here. The views expressed are her own. –

As a little boy, Philip Kaplan, the serial entrepreneur long known as Pud, was “force fed” Ritalin. Kaplan says this with a laugh, but even today, the 35-year-old admits to having trouble focusing for too long on any one thing. “My wife says I’m like a kitten with a ball of yarn,” he shrugs.

Kaplan’s attraction to the next shiny new thing has led him to start dozens of companies in his lifetime, including F*ckedCompany, which famously chronicled dot.com busts and saw 5 million monthly unique visitors at its peak a decade ago; AdBrite, the advertising sales and services network; and Blippy, a controversial social network that asks users to share their credit card and online purchases.

Startup incubators multiplying like “mosquitoes”

– This is a Venture Capital Journal article that  appeared on PE Hub – both are Thomson Reuters publications. –

There’s no denying that an incubator rebirth is taking place, thanks in large measure to Y Combinator.

Y Combinator clones are everywhere. Several dozen of them already exist and insiders expect more than 100 such incubators will be operating nationwide before long. And they’re busy churning out plenty of startups. This past week, AngelPad held a demo day for its startups to pitch VCs, its second demo day in less than six months.

Pre-money valuations rose in 2010: report

– Mark Boslet is a contributor to PE Hub, a Thomson Reuters publication. This article originally appeared here. –

Deal terms and valuations shifted in favor of entrepreneurs last year as onerous term sheets became less common and money flowed more freely.

These were the findings of a study by the law firm Cooley released this week. (The data comes from transactions in which Cooley served as counsel).

VC: “Entrepreneurs have a lot of the power”

Ann Miura-Ko is known for using the term “ninja assassin” in describing the kinds of technology entrepreneurs she likes to invest in as a venture capitalist and co-founder of Silicon Valley’s Floodgate Fund. Reuters recently caught up with one of the country’s up-and-coming VCs, after Miura-Ko attended at a Washington, D.C. conference addressing financing options for small companies.

Q: You’ve said you are concerned about impending regulatory restrictions on small investment firms as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act takes effect. Why?

A: This comes out of the result of some bad behavior on the part of investors. But what they’re (government is) trying to do is mitigate risk for the whole economy by having smaller investment firms also register with the SEC. As a small fund myself, that doesn’t have a lot of overhead, we don’t have a lot of back-office people working for us. The amount of reporting that is required relative to the amount of risk it de-risks for the entire economy, I think that the cost benefit doesn’t really make sense to me. We as a really small fund would have to start registering with the SEC pretty soon, and the amount of back-office work that would be required is kind of ridiculous.

Treasury hosts conference to help startups find capital

Continuing its push to provide small companies with resources necessary for growth, the Obama Administration on Tuesday is hosting an all-day conference in Washington designed to decode the difficult process of raising capital.

Replete with heavy hitters, the speakers include Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner; SBA Administrator Karen Mills; Scott Case, co-founder of Priceline and head of the government’s newly formed entrepreneurship advocacy group StartUp America Partnership; and Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric and chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

The conference — “Access to Capital: Fostering Growth and Innovation for Small Companies” — aims to explore methods of securing investment at each stage of expansion, from the early stages through IPO or buyout.

Will startup visa boost entrepreneurship?

– Stephanie Rabiner is a contributor to FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters publication. This article originally appeared here. –

The immigration debate continues: Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar have reintroduced a startup visa bill into Congress.

The bill, which has been modified since it first burst onto the scene last year, is designed to encourage partnerships between U.S. investors and immigrants in a way that benefits the national economy. The Senators hope that the StartUp Visa Act will attract innovation and innovators to the country, creating jobs and propelling the United States back to the top in the realm of technological development.

Figuring out Foursquare

– Jeff Bussgang is a general partner at Flybridge Capital Partners and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School. He is the author of “Mastering the VC Game”. This article originally appeared on his blog www.seeingbothsides.com. The views expressed are his own. –

I had the pleasure of teaching a new case at Harvard Business School recently on Foursquare that I co-authored with professors Tom Eisenmann and Mikolaj Piskorski as part of Tom’s new course “Launching Technology Ventures“.

Foursquare executives Dennis Crowley, Naveen Selvadurai and Evan Cohen were kind enough to allow us to interview them in preparation for the case, which framed some of their current key strategic issues and looked back on the choices they made in the early days to draw pedagogical lessons of lean startup best practices, building a platform business, network effects and running monetization experiments.

Realtime search engine Topsy raises $15 million

– Alastair Goldfisher is the Editor-in-Chief of the Venture Capital Journal and contributor for PE Hub, both Thomson Reuters publications. This article originally appeared on PE Hub. –

BlueRun Ventures, Ignition Partners, Founders Fund and angel investor Scott Banister (co-founder of Zivity) joined a $15 million Series C round for Topsy, the San Francisco, California-based company announced today.

Western Technology Investments joined the round, which brings to $30 million the amount of equity and debt that Topsy, a provider of real-time search engine services, has raised since 2008.

NVCA’s Heesen says report on death of VCs erroneous

A report claiming the number of U.S. venture capital firms has contracted by more than half in the past three years is incorrect, the president of the National Venture Capital Association said.

The report, which recently ran in the San Jose Mercury News, said the number of VC firms has dwindled to roughly 400 today from about 1,000 in 2007. It cited the National Venture Capital Association as its source.

“Have there been firms shut down? Absolutely,” NVCA President Mark Heesen told Reuters this week. “But has the number been cut in half? No.”

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