What makes a great VC

Being a great VC is about more than having a stacked Rolodex, 80-hour work weeks, and lightning-fast response times. It takes community, generosity, and most important, empathy.

Smart grid startups compete for highly variable venture funding

Venture capital industry interest and investment in smart grid startups has been up and down over the past five years, ranging from a peak of nearly $316 million in 2009 to around $100 million or less in 2011 (as of the end of September). There’s reason to be optimistic about the future growth of the sector, however. Powerful fundamental factors — the shift to cleaner, renewable energy sources and market deregulation among them — continue to support growth, as do smart grid proponents and technology providers.

Facebook and the big IPO letdown

Facebook’s IPO has raised hopes in Silicon Valley that the tech industry’s days of wine and roses will soon be back with hundreds of startups going public. Even President Obama seems excited. He recently proposed an “IPO on-ramp” to help young, smaller companies go public.

VCs see tough and exciting landscape for game startups

The game industry has gotten a lot of love from venture capitalists lately. For many years, VCs invested a small amount of money into games compared to other hot investments such as social media. But in the age of Facebook and mobile gaming, that has changed. In 2010, VentureBeat’s own analysis found that 91 game companies raised $1.05 billion in 2010, up 58 percent from a year earlier.