I’m an unabashed fan of venture capital. Frankly, I think it is a job-creation machine.
You may have read about Rhode Island’s $75 million loan guarantee to 38 Studios, a video game start-up that went bankrupt. Or, you may recall the $535 million of loans to the now-insolvent Solyndra, and for which the U.S. government is on the hook. The government isn’t good at creating jobs.
But, venture capital can be magical. We have 10 companies in our portfolio currently with over 200 jobs created. Eight started as seed projects (a few founders and a raw idea), and the others started as Series A investments.
These jobs would not exist without venture capital.
Also, when companies exit at good to great prices, it puts a lot of capital into people’s hands. With that, a developer can help support his/her friends’ new start-ups. Employees can now contemplate being founders and boot-strap their own companies.
I know it’s fashionable to beat up right now on VC. But, when done well, it produced consistent 20%+ annual returns to investors and created significant pools of capital that in turn spurred on the economy.
Let’s not forget that.
The good news is that the VC industry is going through tremendous innovation. I’ve written about it in the past and call it “VC 2.0.” It means more choices for entrepreneurs, and that is a good thing.