Most people might think of California’s Silicon Valley or Boston’s route 128 corridor when they hear the words “venture capital,” but Oregon has quite a few investors and VC-backed companies of its own. The Beaver state currently ranks 18th in the nation for VC investment. Many local venture firms (as well as some from out of state) will be in town for the annual Venture Northwest Conference this week, where companies will come to present their ideas and accomplishments to potential backers. This comes at an uncertain time for venture capital investors since their success depends on new companies’ ability to go public in an initial public offering, or IPO, if they are not acquired by a larger entity first.
How does the current economic situation affect venture capital investment in Oregon? What does it take to entice investors in a new innovation these days? How does Oregon fit into the national VC picture? And what experience do you have with venture capital — as an investor, a recipient, or a supplicant?
- Gerry Langeler: Managing director of OVP Venture Partners
- Emily Mendell: Vice president of strategic affairs at the National Venture Capital Association
- Stuart Cohen: CEO of Collaborative Software Initiative
- Arundeep Pradhan: Director of technology and research collaborations at Oregon Health and Science University