More VC Bloggers Needed (Seriously)


A cry for more VC bloggers is crazy, right? There are already 150 or so who are actively blogging – which I estimate means 15% of all active VCs serve as bloggers.

Yet, we need more. We need the life science and cleantech VCs to start blogging.

I was leafing through the NVCA’s 2010 Yearbook last week while on vacation (go ahead, call me a geek) and was really struck by the amount of dollars that go towards the life sciences and cleantech portion of our industry as compared to IT. Of the $17.7 billion of venture capital invested in 2009, only $8.3 billion – less than half – went into IT-related companies. $6.1 billion (35%) was invested in life sciences companies and $3.3 billion in other companies. Industrial/energy investments represent 13% of VC dollars.

Yet, When you look at the VC-entrepreneur dialog that’s going on online, t’s probably 90% IT-related. Very, very few of the 150+ VC bloggers and Tweeters are from the life sciences or energy sectors.

It’s really a shame, because we need to hear their voices.

Take the following example – when the NY Times recently wrote a front-page article criticizing the human genome project as part of a 10-year look back, there was silence in the VC/entrepreneur blogosphere. Imagine if the article were: “Social media found to be useless” or “Broadband totally over-hyped, has no impact on innovation.” Whether the article is right or wrong, at least it would have stirred vociferous debate!

Another example – I was at the AlwaysOn/HBS conference yesterday listening to a lean start-up panel and Eric Ries claimed: “lean methodologies can be applied equally to life sciences and clean tech start-ups”. Really? That would be a great debate amongst VCs and entrepreneurs from those fields. Who’s going to lead the Fred Wilson vs. Ben Horowitz fat vs lean start-up equivalent debate?

There are a few standouts. I applaud Rob Day (his blog is at GreenTechMedia) of Black Coral Capital, Tom Pincince from our portfolio company, Digital Lumens, Bilal Zuberi and others who are beginning to add their voices to the mix in the energy sector.

But life sciences is really a black hole, with 35% of the dollars and probably <5% of the dialog. Christoph Westphal’s recent piece in the Boston Globe on how to address the continuingly high costs of drug development was excellent. But because it was in a traditional media outlet, there was no dialog. It’s a shame the top 10 life sciences investors aren’t taking the time to make their voices heard.

Who out there from these sectors can we convince to start blogging?

Jeff is a partner with Boston-based VC firm Flybridge Capital Partners. Read his past peHUB posts, or follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bussgang.

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