One man's opinion on Venture Capital Basics

Americans won't buy electric cars

USA Today poll shows most folks won't buy an electric vehicle.

There are fears that folks have on buying electric cars. Valid or not, addressable or not, these are fears people have.

Why can't entrepreneurs exit

Why can't entrepreneurs exit.

From the NY Times

A couple of elements I noted were:
The entrepreneur realized that selling to investors, meant that they'd be selling to someone else down the road. And he would lose control over the company.

The investors gave some strategic advice, that the entrepreneur decided to implement.

New Internet Boom?

Usually, when the main stream press gets a story, it's over.

I've probably become too specialized in impact investing to really have a good sense any more on the issues/opportunities of internet companies. I don't see the place for that much money.

While it's great that more companies are focused on break even and profitability, not just eyeballs, the lack of exits will still be an issue.

But if things are picking up, it's good news for many folks in the industry.

I'd still be cautious

Meet Startup America Partnership March 29

Scott Case, CEO of Startup America Partnership and Tom Kalil of the White House OSTP will be at this event on Tuesday.

The event will be held at the French Embassy.

This is the MIT Enterprise Forum's annual event. Members will be charged $45. Non-Members: $85. this event is open to the public.

The French Ambassador François Delattre will welcome the guests.

Dinner will be available, and given the locale, some French wine as well.

Post Mortem on 2010 predictions and 2011 predictions

Post Mortem on 2010 predictions.

This time last year, I wrote the following:

So what will happen in the next 12 months?
We won't feel the effects of the "recovery" unless fundamental growth happens.  Given the current status, unless we go through a lot more pain, there's nothing solid to build upon.

Happy Holidays

Here's a quick email announcement I had sent to coworkers/portfolio and anyone else I needed to inform. However, just in case, I'm also posting it on my blog:

Happy Holidays,

In light of all the progress and opportunities that have occurred in impact investing, I will be dedicating more of my resources to the field this coming year. I am still available at Calvert, but will be decreasing my time as I pursue new opportunities. One project I am working on is bringing foundation PRI money into early stage investing, and another focuses on opportunities in China.

Visited companies

Went to talk with two companies while I was in CA. Solar Red and DripTech.

It is always interesting to hear what the companies have to say. The dynamic of interviewing with others changes the nature of the conversation.

Working with one or two others, or working solo account for different questions, and different listening skills. How the entrepreneur reacts will also be measured in the interview.

SoCap 10 over

Day 3 is done. First two days were fantastic. Able to network, and get a pulse on the social investment crowd.

Lots of activity. Need for more action. But within all the noise and buzz, there are a handful making real changes that are significant.

SVN and Investors' Circle are coming up, it'll be a reasonable gauge on how things actually move in the short-term. Then once spring hits, we'll see if any real developments are on their way in 2011.

unintended consequences

The effort to provide clean drinking water to rural Rwandans can have
unintended consequences.

the challenge with water deal and programs is what happens when you change the social structure of the region. There are political risks, there are power imbalances and other issues to worry about when you mess with something as core as water.

Remember, there is no substitute for water. I can find substitutes for a lot of other things, but as is credited to Mark Twain... "Whiskey's for drinkin' water's for fighting."

MAVA 2010 kickoff

Just got back from the MAVA 2010 season kickoff. People are back to work, summer's over, and deals are being discussed.

For a long time, during my career, the summer was a time to rest. But more recently, it has become apparent that the summer is just one more season where folks get to work.

There used to be an advantage in working through the summer, but with the rough investment season that we're in, working in the summer is now the norm.

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