I have been a venture capital investor in technology companies since 2000 (hence the name of this blog). I retired in 2013 from being a general partner in two VC funds.
The first fund was created in 2000, was fully invested by 2005 and returned all the cash and profits to investors by 2013. There were not any “household names” in the group of companies in which we invested, but one company went public on Nasdaq and several were acquired by large corporations for very nice valuations. I’m proud of the new technologies that we helped create, the jobs that we helped create, and the profits that we generated for our investors.
The second fund was created in 2006 as an innovative partnership with a government agency in order to find cutting-edge technologies that could assist that agency in its attempts to “go where no man has gone before” (actually, to go back to where 12 men have gone before, but you get the idea).
Unfortunately, the second fund was prematurely cut off at the knees due to a high-level government decision that private equity investing should be in the private sector (with no connections to the public sector). This led to a prohibition of government participation in venture capital as an investor. At the time, we had only made one one investment, but had introduced our government-agency partner to over 200 innovative companies developing technologies in the private sector – technologies that could help advance the space program. That one investment was in a marvelously innovative company called AlterG, which has had great success both as a training tool for elite athletes and as a medical device. You can see an athlete (Andrew Bynum of the LA Lakers) working on an AlterG machine at the LA Lakers web site. AlterG continues to grow, and I continue to actively work with it at the board level.