It's never a dull week in venture capital. Things may be happening behind the scenes, but somehow it eventually comes out. We pick the best stories, blog posts and other intel inside the VC ecosystem here in the US and in happening places around the world. Onward dear reader…
THOSE CALGARY COWBOYS
Canadian venture capital has been in a rut over the past few years, but there appear to be signs of life at the very early stage.
Financial Post: Startup Camp Canada
The VCs at Calgary-based Boast Capital have announced the launch of a new tech startup accelerator and it is partnering with the Plug and Play Tech Center in Silicon Valley.
INSTITUTIONAL VC LOVE
Venture capital as an “asset class” for institutional pension funds may be on its way out, according to feedback at a recent conference.
Pando Daily: Loved to Death
Erin Griffith has a good post up on her anecdotal conversations with a variety of limited partners who stress the need for the venture capital industry to evolve and generate better returns.
A VC GOES TO OHIO
Successful venture capitalist Mark Kvamme decided to throw his lot in with new Ohio Gov. John Kasich to ignite entrepreneurship in Ohio.
Fortune: Help a Million People
The jury is still out on whether he will be successful, but the early returns are good, with Ohio adding nearly 38,000 jobs last year and its unemployment rate dropping below the national average to 7.4%.
FACEBOOK FIASCO FALLOUT
Think we were done with the Facebook IPO…? Not so fast. There is some debate among observers as to how it will affect the funding of Internet startups.
Entrepreneur: What It Means
Peter Cohan thinks it won't affect startups that much, since there will be even more money "sloshing around Silicon Valley looking for a home."
LIFE SCIENCE VC OPPORTUNITIES
While some life science venture capital firms have been exiting the business recently, others see opportunity ahead:
Forbes: Contrarian Opportunities in Biotech Venture
Early stage life science VC Bruce Booth writes a piece that details three areas of opportunity: neuroscience, heart failure and obesity.
TAKE THIS VC JOB AND…
An interesting question was asked in the venture capital section of the Q & A site Quora:
Quora: What is the worst part of being a VC?
An anonymous user answered the question in great detail and did such a good job of it, the answer received 723 up votes. Worth a read for some “inside ball".
YOUTUBE VENTURE CAPITAL
Did you know that Google has "awarded" a number of leading YouTube video producers and emerging Internet TV networks grants of $1 million - $2 million?
TechCrunch: YouTube Development Fund
According to John Greathouse, a VC at Rincon Venture Partners, Google has invested more than $100 million to date and recently announced it will spend an additional $200 million to promote YouTube content.
WHEN TO RAISE MONEY
Successful Internet entrepreneur Chris Dixon has a thought-provoking post on the current financing environment and when to raise money:
Chris Dixon: Some Thoughts
The post has the opinion that “in private markets, macro tends to dominate micro." The implication is that with the drop in Facebook's public valuation, it will affect private valuations for "comparable" Internet companies as well.
R.I.P. GOOD TIMES REDUX
Y Combinator founder and guru Paul Graham has a an email out to his portfolio companies suggesting a difficult financing environment ahead:
PE Hub: Rocky Road Ahead
Apparently Graham had a dinner with a prominent investor who felt that the recent Facebook IPO fiasco would negatively affect startup funding.
THE RISE OF CROWDFUNDING
It all started with Kickstarter, or so says John Patrick Pullen of Fortune.
Fortune: Crowdsourcing Goes Mainstream
Interestingly, Kickstarter “declined to participate in the story", which mentions a high failure rate of technology products, despite the hype.
RAISING MONEY - THOUGHTS FROM A VC
There are lots of people telling entrepreneurs how best to raise money, but what better source than an experienced VC himself?
TechCrunch: Raising Money 101
Charles Moldow is a longtime VC at Foundation Capital and generally focuses on consumer Internet companies. He says that success in raising money requires approaching it as "a selling moment."