venture capital

PitchBook: Alumni of Top 10 Universities for VC-Backed Entrepreneurs Attract $33.5B in 2010-2015

Undergraduate alumni from the top 10 universities for venture capital-backed (VC-backed) entrepreneurs launched over 3,000 companies that were able to attract $33.5 billion in VC funding from 2010 to 2015, according to the third edition of PitchBook’s Universities Report 2015-2016 Edition. Four public research institutions, UC-Berkeley, University of Michigan, University of Texas, and University of Illinois, finished in the top 10. The authors conclude that public research institutions that ranked among the 50 top VC-backed undergraduate entrepreneurs represent the intersection of emerging or maturing startup ecosystems and academia. In addition to ranking the top 50 universities for VC-backed undergraduate entrepreneurs, PitchBook also ranks the top schools for M.B.A. students and female entrepreneurs in regard to their alumni’s ability to attract VC-backing. With regard to female entrepreneurs, the top 10 is driven mostly by private universities with only UC-Berkeley and the University of Texas cracking the top 10. The data presented in this report was tracked from PitchBook’s VC database of more than 25,000 valuations, 970,000-plus people, and over 78,000 VC-backed companies. Download the report…

New York Ventures to Oversee State’s Innovation Investment Funds

This week marked the launch of New York Ventures, an Empire State Development program dedicated to encouraging innovation and fueling economic growth in communities across New York. The program is derived of three separate funds: the $100 million New York State Innovation Venture Capital Fund; the $45 million Innovative NY Fund; and, the $2 million Minority- and Women-Owned Business Investment Fund. As part of the New York Ventures launch, Empire State Development also announced the NYS Innovation Venture Capital Fund’s close on financing for two New York-based tech companies.

USDA Announces Investments in Projects to Support Rural Prosperity, Facilitate Private Investments

Last week, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) held a special meeting that include approximately 100 investors and venture capitalists to help stimulate private sector investments in rural infrastructure projects with the potential to spur economic development in small towns and rural communities across the country. Through its U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund, the USDA has helped to facilitate the investment of nearly $161 million in private capital toward 22 critical water and community facilities projects in 14 states.

Newark Venture Partners to Launch $50M Investment Fund, Accelerator for City’s Startups

Located just a 20-minutes from New York City, Newark has long existed in the shadow of its much larger neighbor. Despite this, Newark’s downtown received an important boost to its innovation ecosystem this week with the announcement of Newark Venture Partners, a venture capital fund and accelerator. Seeded with funding from and Prudential Financial and backed by city and state officials, Newark Venture Partners announced its intention to raise $50 million to form an investment fund dedicated to supporting local tech startups.

Software Deals Drive Venture Capital Surge to Dot Com Era Levels

Venture capital (VC) firms invested more than $17 billion in 1,189 deals in the second quarter of 2015, the highest level of activity since 2000, according to the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC). Megadeals (deals greater than $100 million) in the software sector drove much of the growth, with 26 deals such deals, including one that exceeded $1 billion. With $7.3 billion in investments, software deals in the second quarter exceeded total investment across all sectors in 51 of the last 82 quarters. The industry is on track to surpass the $50 million invested last year. Read the NVCA/PWC release…

Venture Investors Flock to Silicon Valley Biotech

Biotech is in the midst of an investment boom, at least in Silicon Valley. In the first quarter of this year, biotech firms in the region raised $574 million, the third highest quarter on record, according to data from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and reporting by the San Jose Mercury News. This peak represents a 103 percent increase over the same quarter the previous year. Nationwide, the sector is poised to attract a record-setting $7 billion this year, according to Bloomberg Business. However, Silicon Valley's biotech boom is less apparent in other parts of the country.

SBA: Venture Investments Grown More Than 150 Percent Since 2010

This may be one of the best environments for tech companies to receive funding since the extreme financing figures recorded during the tech boom in 2000, according to a new Small Business Administration (SBA) factsheet. In Q1 of 2015, venture capital (VC) investments totaled $13.4 billion making it the fifth straight quarter to see over $10 billion in VC investments. This trend is part of a sizeable post-recessionary rebound in VC evidencing major growth – VC investments have grown by more than 150% over the last five years. However, this increased VC activity is not benefiting many early stage startups because VCs are shifting away from funding startups as they are just developing. Most VCs are making targeted investments in more mature tech companies in order to potentially jump in before companies go public. The result of this trend of late stage investment by VCs has caused a reduction in the availability of risk capital for promising startups. Read the factsheet…

New Initiative Intended to Support the Growth of Startup Capital in Kansas City Region

Kansas City is leaving millions of dollars on the table, funding that could fuel early-stage startups that are the key to creating jobs and economic growth, according to a new report from KCSourceLink and its partners. The report will serve as a roadmap to a new capital initiative led by the Kauffman Foundation; several regional economic and community development organizations; and, other stakeholders in the Kansas City metro region. The new initiative – We Create Capital – aims to increase the availability of microfinance, angel, seed stage, and venture capital for startups by creating better connections between investors, attracting venture capital to the region, and cultivating a deeper talent pool of people to manage venture capital funds. The plan also calls for increasing awareness about available startup funding sources including federal, state, local, and private sources. Read the strategy...

More Women Than Ever Seek Startup Capital, But Barriers Remain

In 2009, only 9.5 percent of venture-backed startups had a female founder, according to a research by CrunchBase. By 2014, that figure had almost doubled, reaching 18 percent. During that period, the absolute number of companies with a female founder quadrupled. More women are also seeking early stage funds. The University of New Hampshire's Center for Venture Research (CVR) reports that more than a third of entrepreneurs seeking angel capital in 2014 were women. Despite this progress, women entrepreneurs remain underrepresented in high-tech entrepreneurship. A recent academic article found that women often have to rely on their technical resumes and personal referrals to overcome the biases of investors.

Venture-Backed Exits Fall to Two-Year Low

Only 17 companies had initial public offerings (IPOs) in the first quarter of 2015, the lowest number since the beginning of 2013, according to data from Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). This is a significant drop from the 37 IPO exits in the first quarter of 2014. Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) were also down, with 86 exits, compared to 115 in Q1 2014. While 2014 was an unusually active time for venture-backed exits, the current data appears to be a return to recession-era levels of deals and disclosed values.


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