Monthly Archives: April 2009

EntoGenetics to produce spider silk in scalable form

EntoGenetics is a truly remarkable business concept. Five times stronger than steel, two times stronger and ten times more elastic than Kevlar, spider silk is a natural marvel that eluded exhaustive attempts by science to replicate until recent breakthroughs by the scientists of EntoGenetics. This team of Duke MBAs won the Duke Start-Up Challenge. As you can see from the video, their product is quite fascinating. Let’s hope that they can successfully execute on their strategy.

By: Jonathan Lee
Twitter: @hi5at5
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U.S. News Names Babson’s MBA Program #1 In Entrepreneurship – 16th Year In A Row

I am proud to say that the MBA school at my alma mater, Babson College, has been ranked #1 in Entrepreneurship for 16 years in a row. While I was not an MBA student at Babson (I did my undergraduate there), I can say with certainty that the entrepreneurial culture at Babson is absolutely contagious. The excitement around entrepreneurship is palpable on campus and everyone talks about his or her next BIG idea. The undergraduate program has been ranked #1 in entrepreneurship since U.S. News started ranking that specialty. Obviously, the rankings are very subjective, but I think they are at least directionally correct.

Here’s an excerpt of Babson’s press release:

“U.S.News & World Report magazine has ranked Babson College the #1 MBA program for entrepreneurship for the 16th year in a row. Besides Babson, other top five entrepreneurship programs are Stanford University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan).”

By: Jonathan Lee
Twitter: @hi5at5

How to Get a Job in Venture Capital

Take a quick read through this article Seth Levine wrote on his blog if you are interested in landing a job at a VC.

By: Jonathan Lee
Twitter: @hi5at5

Wiggio makes it easy to work in groups

I finally found a cool pre-mba internship! I’ll be working for Wiggio this summer before heading off to b-school. Wiggio is a fantastic online startup that makes working in groups very easy. On Wiggio, you can share and edit files, manage a group calendar, poll your group, post links, set up conference calls, chat online and send mass text, voice, and email messages to your group members. Each group member can define how they want to keep informed of group activity. Wiggio has a wicked cool user interface and is easy to use. As you can tell from the description, it’s much more practical than google or yahoo groups. I think this company has a great potential, which is why I decided to join. I was skeptical when I first heard about it, saying to myself, “C’mon. That’s what google groups are for.” Well, I was wrong. I gave it a try and was immediately sold on the idea. Here’s a video demo:

I’ll get to wear many hats at Wiggio this summer. I’ll help Wiggio solidify its strategy and think of creative ways to increase its user-base through implementing outreach efforts. Check out some of reviews of Wiggio on cnet, college mogul, and TechCrunch.

By: Jonathan Lee
Twitter: @hi5at5

Andreessen and Horowitz Target $250 million

This shouldn’t be news to anyone (see my posting on 4/18). It looks like their fund is getting a lot of buzz. Dan Primack, as usual, isn’t shy about sharing his opinion.

Andreessen & Horowitz Target $250 Million

Posted using ShareThis

By: Jonathan Lee
Twitter: @hi5at5

2009 1Q US Venture Capital Investing

This past Saturday, NVCA released the 1Q US venture capital investment numbers for 2009. According to NVCA, quarterly US venture capital investment activity was down 47% in dollars and 37% in deals since 4Q08.

What’s worth noting is that clean tech saw a huge drop with $154 million going into 33 deals, representing a 84% decline from 4Q08. That’s significantly greater than the overall decline of 47%. I’ve come across different numbers from different sources, but they all agree that investment in cleantech has hit its lowest since 2005-2007. It’s interesting to note also that other sectors didn’t take as much of a hit. This probably has to do with investors being cautious and not funding capital intensive companies that take a long time to exit.

I also did an analysis to see which regions saw the largest decline from Q408 to Q109. The result is quite interesting. In terms of decline in dollars invested, Silicon Valley and NYC (#1 and #3 in absolute $ invested) saw a lesser decline than the overall decline of 47%, whereas New England and Texas (#2 and #5 in absolute $ invested) saw a greater decline.

That said, looking at the historical numbers, we can see that the Valley has seen the greatest decline in investment dollars since 2004 (probably because it saw the biggest ramp up in $ invested and # of deals). Since Silicon Valley and NYC saw a lesser decline than some of its peers, does this mean that they’re heading toward normality faster than the other regions? Probably not. I’ve only done a Q2Q comparison, but it would be interesting to see if there’s any trend throughout the year.

It would also be interesting to see a breakdown of deal type by region (e.g. % cleantech and % IT deal by region) to see where certain deals are being sourced and how they’re affecting investment dollars in those regions.

By: Jonathan Lee
Twitter: @hi5at5

Andreessen interview with Charlie Rose

Marc Andreessen talks about the first institutional fund he and Ben Horowitz are launching and also shares his views on newspaper, cloud computing, social media (ning, facebook, twitter, etc.), and the next big thing. Check out his interview with Charlie Rose.

By: Jonathan Lee
Twitter: @hi5at5