Daily Roundup for 2008-03-21

  • The Washington and Baltimore region was the nation’s fifth fastest-growing area for venture capital funding in the last decade, according to a report released Tuesday. In 2007, 180 Washington and Baltimore companies received nearly $1.3 billion in venture capital backing, the MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Thomson Financial and the National Venture Capital Association said. That number is up 130 percent from $558.24 million put into 105 companies in 1997.  The report lists Timonium, Md.-based Grotech Capital Group and Chevy Chase-based New Enterprise Associates as the most active investors in the region. The top industries for investments around the region were software, life sciences and telecommunications.
  • The rate of affluent US Internet user participation in online social networks increased dramatically to 60% in January 2008, from 27% in January 2007, according to The Luxury Institute’s latest WealthSurvey "The Wealthy and Web 2.0."  "While some in the luxury industry are still debating e-commerce, search and banner ads, the majority of their customers have leaped into the online dialogue," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. "Luxury needs to catch up quickly."

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Daily Roundup for 2008-01-15

  • Bob Greene, co-founder of Contour Venture Partners in New York, wants you to know that venture capitalists aren’t half as tough as their reputations would have you believe. "A lot of entrepreneurs think VCs are haughty or arrogant," says Greene, who earned his bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School in 1982. "All the VCs I know, we do it because we love it. We want to see entrepreneurs succeed. If the wrong impressions get cast, it’s because we get inundated with requests for review and capital."
  • The most important advice Jeff Fluhr, W’96, Eng’96, got as a young entrepreneur was to go with his gut. Fluhr, founder of online ticket sales website StubHub, says he had to stay focused on his vision for the business even while others who became involved in the business advised differently. “I learned that it’s important to listen to what others have to say,” said Fluhr. “But you have an obligation to do what you think is right.” Fluhr co-founded StubHub in March of 2000 and was responsible for setting the overall strategic direction. As CEO, he led the company to its position as the fan’s top choice when looking for a safe and trusted way to purchase or sell event tickets online, attracting A-list investors and advisors including major league sports teams, NCAA universities and top performing artists. StubHub was sold to eBay in early 2007.

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