The IPO Bill Hits Crosswinds, Which Might Be a Good Thing

The bill has President Obama’s support and is likely to pass the Senate. But a The New York Times editorial took aim at it, a critical statement from Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro argues it will chip away at objective investment analysis and former SEC chair Arthur Levitt described it as “investor unfriendly.”

Social Scene: Tilton Battles Forbes, Redlitz Gets His Hands Dirty, Parker Proposes, Birthday Wishes, More

In this week’s Social Scene, Diva of Distressed Lynn Tilton goes to war with Forbes, Ethernet inventor/VC Bob Metcalfe settles into his fifth career, new NVCA Chairman Paul Maeder explains “bublet,” Founders Fund’s Sean Parker takes himself off the market, Garage Technology Ventures’ Bill Reichert is three days away from his birthday, and lots more.

OUT & ABOUT

Venture capitalists turned out in full force for this year’s annual meeting of the National Venture Capital Association in Boston. My colleague Joanna Glasner was there and shared some of her observations — including the significance of the line for the women’s bathroom — yesterday. Here are more of Joanna’s musings:

Happy Birthday to Venture (and Bob Metcalfe)… Bob Metcalfe turned 65 yesterday -– and he wasn’t afraid afraid to tell everyone. The Ethernet inventor, 3Com founder, Polaris Venture Partners partner and, most recently professor of innovation at the University of Texas at Austin, announced the milestone to a mostly-VC audience of several hundred.

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Why the Line for the Women’s Bathroom Is Significant, and Other Observations from the NVCA’s Annual Meeting

Venture capitalists are characteristically an upbeat bunch. It’s sort of a requirement for anyone who makes a living funneling millions of dollars to money-losing companies in the hopes of making enormous profits from the few that succeed.

This year, however — with the industry coming out of a multi-year period of sluggish fundraising and under-performing returns in the wake of the financial crisis — optimism seems to be on overdrive.

As I made the rounds at this year’s National Venture Capital Association Conference in Boston, virtually every venture industry I spoke with said he or she sees see current conditions as more favorable than a year ago. IPOs are back. M&A is picking up. And the closing of several outsized follow-on funds indicates that LPs are dipping their toes back in venture waters.

Contrarians might take that as a risky sign. After all, there’s a lot more upside from the bottom of a cycle than near the top. But for now, judging by the vibe at the NVCA conference, VCs are feeling pretty good. Following are some snippets from the panels, events, conversations, and bathroom lines:

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