Navigating Venture

Monthly Archives: September 2010

Communicating good news and bad

In this brief MarketWatch interview S.P. Kothari, deputy dean of MIT’s Sloan School of Management, offers advice on how boards can “tease out” better information from their management teams.  Although Mr. Kothari is speaking about publicly traded companies, we do see some similarities that apply to private company boards as well. Management teams often feel implicit pressure to sugarcoat negative events or downplay bad news.  As a result, Mr. Kothari argues, board members … Continue reading

Watermark Medical featured in the NYT

Our recently-added portfolio company  – WaterMark Medical – was featured in a New York Times piece on emerging trends in health care.   We’ve enjoyed a long term relationship with Sean and Charlie, and backed their previous company – PDS Heart – which successfully capitalized on the same trends in health care.     High-Tech Alternatives to High-Cost Care By STEVE LOHR   MENTION health care reform and the image that instantly comes to mind is … Continue reading

Tax break proposed for federally backed startups

The Austin Business Journal reports (subscription required) on proposed federal legislation to  provide small tax credits for equity investments made in companies which have already qualified for  federal grants. In July we blogged about Rhys Williams’ testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee – Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion, during which he made several excellent recommendations.  The proposed tax credit sounds like a close cousin to two of Rhys’ … Continue reading

Company Valuations: What is my company worth and how is that determined?

On October 13 Matt Rice will represent the venture industry in a panel discussion on company valuations.  The panel, hosted by the Florida Venture Forum and the Gulf Coast Venture Forum, will be held from 5:30-8:30 at the Hyatt Regency in Sarasota.  Details can be found here. Other panelists include Rob Campbell, CEO of Voalte, Nelson Castellano, Attorney with Trenam Kemker, and Brian Zophin, CPA, Senior Manager with Cherry, Bekaert … Continue reading

Startups or Behemoths?

Vivek Wadhwa reports that a new study from The Kauffman Foundation demonstrates that not only are new businesses the engine of job growth (while existing firms shed jobs), but the cumulative job creation is remarkably sustainable despite the high failure rate of new firms.  Those that do succeed dwarf, in job creation, the many that fail.  When a given cohort of startups reaches age five, its employment level is 80 percent of … Continue reading

America’s hodge-podge of scientists, institutions, and funding

Fred Schwarz, in The Uncertainty Principle, argues that an economy’s ability to generate innovative companies results not only from the availability of seed capital, but the structure of the early-stage investing ecosystem: While scientific research in other industrialized nations is centralized, hierarchical, and bureaucratic, in America it is competitive and entrepreneurial.  This is not to say that politics plays no role in deciding how American science is funded; far from … Continue reading

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