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Dan and I were on the same page this morning...
Even though not all Senators believed him last month when he told a Senate subcommittee why venture capital funds should not be regulated like other private equity funds, Flywheel's Trevor Loy was back in D.C. last week to continue to hammer on his points. Here's his testimony before the House Committee on Small Business, explaining how the Form D that VCs already have to file with the SEC could be modified to satisfy regulators who are worried about another meltdown of the worldwide financial system:
Per Dan's post this morning on entrepreneurs' anger at venture capitalists, here's a paper from a couple of professors who analyzed entrepreneurs' comments on TheFunded, a VC-rating site. Their findings -- entrepreneurs value independent VCs more than they do corporate or government VCs, but they don't value better track records or more experience. They do give higher ratings to VCs who give them money. Authors are Ola Bengtsson at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Frederick Wang at Cornell.
Two Georgia Tech professors -- Dan Breznitz and Mollie Taylor -- examine why 40 percent of Atlanta's high-tech start-ups flee for other states within three years of being founded, despite the area's top universities, educated workforce and other natural advantages. Read it here.
Capital is tight for clean tech, and it's not just because of the economy -- investors are also being asked to back some pretty long-term technologies, and not everyone wants to be first to assume the risk. Consider Potter Drilling, which has the potential to solve a very big problem. With enough financial backing, it could supply enough clean energy to equal 2800 times the current consumption of the U.S. -- if it can drill enough 10-kilometer-deep holes to extract the heat that's trapped in the rocks below the surface of the earth. Every town could have its own hole, says CEO Jared Potter -- and it's own little power plant. It's a tantalizing picture, but now, drilling a well that's only 30,000 feet (9.1 kilometers) deep costs over $200 million with today's technology. Asking investors to bet on a vision has been tough.
Vinod Khosla just raised the biggest first-time funds of any venture capitalist since 1999 -- over $1 billion in two funds -- but he doesn't encourage his clean tech companies to get to market quickly. One of them, Stion, which builds solar voltaic thin-film modules, could be selling products right now, he said on-stage this morning at the AlwaysOn GoingGreen conference in Sausalito. Some of its competitors already are. But he told them to wait.
Coller Capital, HarbourVest Partners and DFJ Esprit — part of the global network of the Menlo Park-based VC, Draper Fisher Jurvetson — paid around $217 million (130 million pounds) for the portfolio, which includes stakes in telecom, media, healthcare and technology companies in Europe. Coller and HarbourVest were reported last April to be considering bids. […]
Foster City-based startup VitaPath is working on a cheek-swab test for women that detects the genetic mutation that causes spina bifida, a birth defect that strikes around 1% of babies born in the U.S. and is epidemic in some third-world countries. By the time it's detected in the fetus, it can't be cured, but women who take the test can prevent it by taking large doses of folic acid before they get pregnant, said CEO Bruce Cohen. Folic acid makes the defective gene function correctly. VitaPath's test is based on research done at UC Berkeley by Jasper Rine, a professor who studies the frequency and functions of mutations in genes that perform central metabolic functions. Some of these

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