What’s driving the surge in cyber security investing

A major increase in cyber security innovation – coupled with a growing number of lucrative exits — is fueling investor interest in the sector. The expansion is likely to continue as the mounting frequency, severity and costs of corporate breaches leave enterprises little choice but to boost security spending.


Solera Acquisition Highlights Promise of Cybersecurity Investments

Blue Coat Systems’ purchase of Solera Networks is not only good news for Allegis Capital, but also a healthy reminder of the major opportunity in building technology-based defenses against successful cyber attacks, writes Bob Ackerman, Allegis Capital founder and peHub guest columnist.


Robert Ackerman: Venture Capital At A Tipping Point

Despite the protests from the Kauffman Foundation and others about its demise, venture capital is very much alive. Having just returned from a trip abroad to talk to numerous investors, I am sensing a true tipping point in attitudes toward venture and in the appetite for investing

Bob Ackerman: It’s Time for Government Investing in Research Again

The American economy is a mess. Growth has been stuck at a tortoise-like pace for years. The unemployment rate continues to hover at nine percent or higher. And faltering research and development threatens not only innovation, but our future. The good news is there’s a fix for this: The U.S. government simply needs to invest […]

Robert R. Ackerman Jr.: Tips for Corporate VCs

After decades of on-again, off-again forays into corporate venture capital, companies have turned their engines on again. Last year, technology-oriented corporations invested $1.9 billion in venture capital deals, up from $1.35 billion in 2009, and this brisk 40 growth rate is on track for a repeat performance this year. The corporate world realizes it has […]

Robert Ackerman: Don’t Debate, Let Us Innovate!

Bickering between House and Senate lawmakers has put into limbo whether VC-backed startups will get a greater opportunity to procure contracts from federal agencies. At the center of the battle that could recast VC-backed companies’ ability to innovate in partnership with government bureaus is a fight between House and Senate lawmakers over funding provisions for […]


Congress May Be Finally Listening! Hope for Our Startup Ecosystem

For more than a year, I’ve been writing that the U.S. financial ecosystem for venture capital-backed startups is crumbling and placing the U.S economy in jeopardy at a time when countries such as China and India are producing far more sophisticated startups than ever. For so long, it seemed that these concerns fell on deaf ears.

I’m heartened to say that this message, at long last, may finally be getting heard in Congress.

Heading for the Exits? Shoot for an Acquisition, Not an IPO

Allegis Capital conducted its annual Limited Partners meeting May 12 and 13th in Half Moon Bay, Calif. We do this every year to allow our investors a chance to meet and greet our CEOs and see how their companies are progressing. We also want our CEOs to have a chance to network with the people […]


Increased Taxes on VC Profits – Catastrophe in the Making?

Washington is talking again about increasing taxes on private equity firms, including VC firms, and this could easily be a catastrophe in the making. Such a policy may be OK for hedge funds, but not for VC funds, which are already struggling and which, more importantly, might close shop if they had to fork over […]


Entrepreneurs! Get A New Funding Source Today: The Corporation

With venture capital increasingly difficult to come by as the industry faces consolidation and its own fundraising challenges, entrepreneurs are looking to any and all potential sources of investment capital with which to build their businesses. Turning to angel investors for seed capital is just one example of this “any port in a storm” mentality.

Corporate investors, once again focusing their attention to the start-up domain, represent another potential source of growth capital and, perhaps more importantly, strategic partnerships.


Avoiding Pneumonia When An Investor Catches A Cold

There is an axiom in the venture industry that investor syndicates provide more stability for a young company, by avoiding a single point of failure. While this is true most of the time, it does not mean that from time to time, an investor within a syndicate may not develop a problem (catch a cold) that could create major challenges for an entrepreneurial company.

Today, these “colds” come in the form of sponsoring partner departures (no champion remaining in the partnership) to a shortage of capital reserves for follow-on investing and/or a combination of the two.

For the entrepreneur, a single investor failure in a syndicate can quickly become a financing crisis or “pneumonia.” In many cases, the remaining investors – facing their own reserve limitations – may not be able to cover the pro-rata capital expected from their under reserved compatriot. And if the sponsoring partner leaves, who will be at the table, when the tough decisions are being made to speak on the entrepreneur’s behalf? If the entrepreneur is not represented in this critical discussion, chances are he/she will end up at the bottom of the allocation priority list.


Unleash Entrepreneurs From Obamanomics To Create More Jobs

Historically 70% of job growth in the U.S. has come from the small business sector – including the world of start-ups in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. While small businesses are known for their agility – out of necessity – they are also much more susceptible to the vagaries and uncertainties emanating from Washington, DC these […]


Out of the Abyss: M&A and IPOs Restart the Innovation Flywheel

Only six weeks ago, many of us were wringing our hands about America’s faltering innovation engine. Investments in VC-backed startups had been plummeting for more than a year and American corporations had been slashing internal longer-term R&D spending for decades. Even the federal government has been investing markedly less on basic science and technical research […]


Systemic Risk to Innovation in America: The Federal Government

There is a saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. If that’s the case, the federal government’s current assault on innovation in America must signal Washington’s determined effort to seek canonization for its technocrats.

At a time when our economy is in desperate need of re-invention, the federal government is putting American innovation at enormous systemic risk. Sure, rhetoric calling for innovation is common in many speeches about re-invigorating our economy. Unfortunately, through a series of policy decisions – decisions either already enacted or likely to be enacted – the United States is rapidly becoming a much less attractive host for the twin pillars of innovation — talent and capital.