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Venture Capitalists' Outlook For 2005

Anoop Kumar and Anil Saigal

Tie Boston hosted a panel of senior executives from top-tier firms at the monthly dinner meeting held on 2nd February at Burlington Marriott. Larry Bohn, Managing Director, General Catalyst Partners, Paul Meader, Managing General Partner, Highland Capital Partner,  Lou Volpe, Managing General Partner, Kodiak Venture Partners and Daphne Zohar, Founder and Managing General Partner, PureTech ventures presented their perspectives on trends in information technology, telecommunication and life sciences industries. The panel was moderated by  Scott Kirsner, columnist of Boston Globe.

Outsourcing of some sort was part of the most recent deals carried out by the panelists. They funded projects which outsourced medical claims process, billing for suppliers dealers, etc.  They felt that outsourcing can definitely cut down the operating costs for the business and felt comfortable funding companies involved in outsourcing of some kind.


The Venture Capitalists then explained the trends in Boston Area. “West coast has more has more senior executives. Taking a company public is different, new and challenging,” said Volpe. Considering all the challenges and hurdles involved in taking companies public VS and CEOs have been selling companies to larger companies. Boston VC community has been good at nurturing and selling companies to larger companies. “There is not too much money, but there are too many Venture Capitalists,” said Maeder.  All of the panelists felt that there are many venture capitalists in Boston area and there are very good first time entrepreneurs.  They felt that venture funding system need ‘little more correction’. 


They emphasized the importance of Venture capitalists during the initial stages of  a company.  VC can not only train young entrepreneurs but also help find people to make a successful company.  Some times obtaining funding and support and funding from VCs can also provide credibility.


Disk drives, security, wireless, healthcare, financial services, IT infrastructure and virtualization are some sectors venture capitalists interested.   They are also interested in funding companies involved in funding companies that use IT for areas where it was not used before. On the life sciences front  VC are looking to fund in following areas:  therapeutic, aging related disorders, Oncology, Protein misfolding area, etc.


Vinit Nijahawan, President of TiE introduced the panel.  He encouraged attendees to take part in TiE Boston’s activities including TiE Conference 2005 to be held from April 28-30th.  More information about TiE can be found online at www.tie-boston.org



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