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Preface

Preface

Over the past decade, thousands of new ventures were established every year around the world, and tens of billions of dollars were invested by venture capitalists. Technological vision, an entrepreneurial spirit, and success stories of other entrepreneurs and investors have led many talented people to get involved in the technology-intensive, or high tech, industry as entrepreneurs, investors, or consultants. The far-reaching changes experienced by the global economy, and in particular, the introduction of the PC and the Internet, have dramatically accelerated the pace of development of new ventures, and their number. Furthermore, during the second half of the 1990s, the technological changes and vast resources invested in many high tech ventures, in both the private and public markets, have caused many to believe that the ratio of risk to return was never as low as during that period.

The unprecedented prosperity of the U.S. stock markets in the 1990s led to enormous financial investments in venture capital and in promising startup companies around the world. Such a volume of funds, unmatched in human history, supported thousands of new and existing ventures every year.

The severe economic crisis that befell the capital markets and started in the year 2000 symbolized, for many, the end of an era in capital markets and entrepreneurship. For us, this was an expected awakening after several years of euphoria in the market. We are confident the high tech industry will continue to supply the global economy with developments that will streamline business systems, decrease production costs, and improve the quality of life of citizens worldwide.

Despite the substantial slowdown in the capital market, technological changes have not come to a halt, and companies are being established, developed, and have raised capital. Technological progress is visible everywhere in fields such as communications, electronics, hardware, software, information technologies, biotechnology, genomics, and medical devices.

From Concept to Wall Street was written to fulfill the need for a central source of information for entrepreneurs, investors, consultants, employees, and anyone involved or interested in entrepreneurship and the venture capital industry.

In this book we combine our practical and academic experience, with the experience of leading experts in their respective fields, to communicate a mass of material in a manner that is as coherent and straightforward as possible, without sacrificing depth.

The book describes the lifecycle of the venture, from its establishment, though its various capital raising activities and its venture development process, including strategy formulation, business planning, and implementation, up to the IPO or acquisition by another company. The book addresses all the material aspects, theoretical and practical, of venture capital investment, venture creation and development, through the eventual investment realization.

The focus is on venture capital-backed companies (independent or part of larger organizations) and issues pertaining to their value maximization. At the same time, the book details the types of investors in those companies—their nature, method of operation, and the manner by which they are organized.

In the past few years, the venture capital process has changed dramatically, first with the dot.com explosion, again with the dot.com collapse, following by the collapse of the tech sector. These changes have underlined the importance of deep understanding of the venture process in order to guarantee the construction of economically solid entrepreneurial companies, leading to the successful fund raising for these firms, to their rapid and sustainable growth, and finally the success for their investors.

From Concept to Wall Street is the first book on venture capital and entrepreneurship to reflect these radical transformations and their impact on venture creation and development. Leveraging our experience and benefiting from the insights of countless experts, this book covers all you need to know to succeed in this industry—whatever your sector and whatever your role.

Dr. Oren Fuerst   Dr. Uri Geiger
New York, July 2002

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