Monday, January 26, 2009

What is good for America...

Venture Capital is good for us all. Right?


Venture capital funds invest in new or unproven enterprises. These funds come in the form of equity that is invested in new companies. While this equity usually commands a preferred return to compensate for the risk of backing unproven companies, venture capital funds do not earn any return unless there is a financial "exit" for the organization as a whole in which all shareholders benefit. Until that exit (which can take many years), the venture capitalists (VCs) stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the founders and management of the companies they back, for better or worse. If the company fails, the VCs typically lose all. If the company is successful, the VCs make a return -- but so do the other shareholders.

Venture capitalists bring managerial and technical expertise to the companies they invest in. They bring experience and open their Rolodex. They find multiple ways to be helpful, to promote the companies' varied agendas. But VCs don't manage the companies directly. They are minority shareholders who act as advisors to the brilliant innovators, the individuals whose ideas will create whole new markets or transform existing ones.

The U.S. has the most developed and sophisticated venture capital industry in the world. The industry has helped build significant companies in technology (Compaq, Yahoo, Google), biotech (Genentech), health care, medical devices, financial services (eTrade), retail (Home Depot), renewable energy and pretty much every segment of the economy.
Big companies have been shedding jobs for years. In the current economy, big companies are jettisoning employees at a furious pace. These companies are not going to be hiring any time soon. When the economy picks up, they'll find ways to stay lean. The only source of new jobs (apart from the government, and that's another story) will come from start-ups and existing small businesses. We need a lot of new businesses to pick up the slack. We need more venture capital. Read More

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

This is One Laptop Per Child

I just ordered mine last week. Look forward to getting and using it. Unfortunately, the give one, get one program closed on December 31st, so you can no longer order an XO laptop for yourself. (Not sure why they do this.)

Previously on UpNaira