Saturday, January 23, 2010
Josh Beckerman writes:
"Big Brother vs. The Banks. President Barack Obama’s administration’s proposed new rules for banks and the potential impact on private equity make the carried interest tax debate seem almost quaint by comparison."
"Eastern European private equity firm BaltCap has signed an agreement with the European Investment Fund to establish a €30m venture capital fund.
BaltCap Latvia is the first venture capital fund manager to successfully complete private fundraising under EIF managed JEREMIE initiatives in Europe."
Friday, January 22, 2010
Venture Funding Moves from Clean Energy to Efficient Lighting and Energy-Management Software : Biotech Leads the Pack
Biotech is on the rise as drug companies seek to offset expiring patents and as investments are being made in new technologies such as genome and cancer research. Less money is going into clean energy and more into projects for efficient lighting and energy-management software.
Tim Mullaney, January 22, 2010 (Bloomberg) , writes:
"Venture-capital funding for startup companies stabilized in the fourth quarter, with investor interest shifting toward drug development and away from clean energy....
Biotech was the largest industry for the quarter."
Thursday, January 21, 2010
"ScienceDaily (Jan. 19, 2010) — A collaborative research project has brought the world a step closer to producing a new material on which future nanotechnology could be based. Researchers across Europe, including the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL), have demonstrated how an incredible material, graphene, could hold the key to the future of high-speed electronics, such as micro-chips and touchscreen technology....Read the full article here on this breakthrough development in electronics.
Graphene is a relatively new form of carbon made up of a single layer of atoms arranged in a honeycomb shaped lattice. Despite being one atom thick and chemically simple, graphene's is extremely strong and highly conductive, making it ideal for high-speed electronics, photonics and beyond.
Graphene is a strong candidate to replace semiconductor chips. Moore's Law observes that the density of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles every two years, but silicon and other existing transistor materials are thought to be close to the minimum size where they can remain effective. Graphene transistors can potentially run at faster speeds and cope with higher temperatures. Graphene could be the solution to ensuring computing technology to continue to grow in power whilst shrinking in size, extending the life of Moore's law by many years."
Venture Funding of Nanotechnology Start-Ups in Life Sciences and Healthcare Increased as Overall Funding Declined in 2009 | NDN
"A new report from Lux Research shows that while overall nanotechnology venture capital (VC) spending was down in 2009, investment in nano-driven healthcare and life sciences increased by 42 percent last year."
Friday, January 15, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
One of the great misconceptions about American capitalism vs. capitalism in Europe is the myth that American capitalism takes more risks - and the blog commenters to this dialogue between Brooks and Collins raise the cutting edge question "at whose cost?"
Make sure you read those comments on this topic - some are quite brilliant.
Our take is that if the current financial crisis has taught one lesson that should be understood by all, it is that the risk-taker is often not the capitalist, and that the credit risks that were taken by the financial establishment did their greatest harm not to the wealthy capitalists or the capitalist institutions themselves but rather was a harm inflicted on the non-risking American taxpayer.
There are clear differences between capitalism in America and Europe, but this has more to do with the culture of venture capital rather than with any capitalistic differences in fact. Silicon Valley is the best example of this. Which "capitalist" there truly risked his neck to get a start-up going? As any real capitalist will tell you, the smart entrepreneur works with other people's money - usually OUR money, that of average citizens - through the financing credit institutions. That is the name of the game.
On an ancillary issue of health insurance, being without health insurance has nothing to do with risk-taking but is rather a social evil which every industrial country in the world has solved decently by national health insurance of some kind. Wrongly mixing capitalism and investment up with taking care the health of a nation's citizens is just foolish and antiquated.
Many people in the United States need to be alerted to the fact that we are no longer in the 19th century and that the entire capitalistic ball game has changed dramatically in the last 50 years. Those who doubt that statement might be interested in the following presentation by Nancy Koehn, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and author of The Story of American Business: From the Pages of the New York Times, October, 2009, who discusses "The Evolution of Capitalism" at BigThink:
"... President Obama today proposed a bank fee on major financial firms in order to reimburse American taxpayers who bore the brunt of the Wall Street bailouts...."
Read the full article and the text of the President's remarks here.
Elizabeth Wine writes (January 1, 2010):
"As investors breathe a sigh of relief that the wild ride of 2009 is over, they're peeking over the parapet to see if 2010 offers more tranquility. Many strategists see the economic recovery continuing and equities continuing to climb. They note that corporations are generally upbeat, continuing to ride the wave of positive earnings reports-more than 70% of the S&P 500 companies beat their earnings forecast for the third quarter of 2009."Read the full article here.
"Assets held in hedge funds increased in 2009, but ... more than 20% of hedge funds shut down in the past two years, as 1,500 funds were liquidated in 2008 and 900 more in 2009.”
"Private-equity fund-raising in the U.S. had its worst year since 2003, with most sectors experiencing steep drops, according to Dow Jones LP Source.
In 2009, 331 funds raised $95.8 billion, down 68% from the $299.9 billion raised by 508 funds in 2008, Dow Jones said. In the fourth quarter, firms raised $20.5 billion in 75 funds, ..."
The Equity Kicker writes as follows and gives us six examples:
"....I am neither a lawyer nor an expert on this subject but I have seen enough startups undermined by spurious patent claims and innovative young media companies stymied by copyright difficulties to convince me that the current system is wrong, wrong, wrong....Read the full article here.
The point of this post is to give some examples of this waste and friction, all culled from a single days writing on Techdirt...."
1. Japanese electronics firms turn to patent fights as Korean companies take the lead in this market....
2. French copyright enforcement agency accidentally steals someone else’s font....
3. Union Square Ventures posted about the need for an independent invention defence against patent infringement lawsuits....
4. Getting legal clearance for films is now painful as samples of third party copyrighted work need clearance....
5. There is a serious debate as to whether software patents should be allowed at all....
6. A company called DigiProtect is sending collection agencies after people it accuses of copyright infringement before they have been found guilty....