Anker’s Away at Building Blogs, VCs Gotta Know When To Hold Em –

To say Andrew Anker is a believer in blogs would be an understatement. Anker resigned his post as GP of August Capital in June 2003 (though he formally remains a venture partner with the firm). He then began delving into Weblogs. Anker now has at least five blogs to his name; chief among them is Ventureblog.com, which he launched last year and which features various VC contributors (such as David Hornik of August Capital and Kevin Laws of PacRim Venture Partners).

Anker, who co-founded Wired Digital in the late 90s, is cutting back his editorial duties on the VC blog site, however. He’s busy these days with his new gig as executive vice president for Six Apart, a San Mateo, Calif.-based blog publisher, which he quietly joined several weeks ago. In mid-July, Six Apart announced its new CEO Barak Berkowitz, a former executive of Apple Computer, Logitech and Macy’s.

Six Apart has raised less than $2 million in angel money from a Japanese investor, and another backer includes Reid Hoffman, a former EVP of PayPal and CEO of his own Internet startup, LinkedIn. Six Apart has not decided if it is going to seek venture money, though. If it does, it certainly has enough online connections to get a deal done in a hurry.

The Art of VC

Dick Kramlich of New Enterprise Associates has been a fixture on the venture scene for more than three decades. But it was his personal passion that landed him on ARTnews magazine’s annual list of the world’s most influential and active art collectors. The list also includes the Sultan of Brunei, Paul Allen, Bill and Melinda Gates, and the Fisher family, founders of the Gap.

Kramlich and his wife of 22 years, Pamela, have assembled a 200-piece collection of media art, a genre that’s rich with video and sound and demands all sorts of gizmos and gadgets. Much of it is housed in their San Francisco home. The rest is in a Napa Valley house designed by museum architects Herzog & de Meuron especially to showcase their collection.

Over the Wall

Does China want to become the next Silicon Valley? Perhaps so, because June saw a visit to the communist nation by a high-profile delegation of venture firms. Sponsored by Silicon Valley Bank-and led by the bank’s Vice-Chairman Harry Kellogg- the group included principals from 22 U.S.- based VC firms, including Jim Breyer of Accel Partners; Bob Grady of Carlyle Ventures; Terry Garnett of Garnett & Helfrich Capital; John Doerr of Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield and Byers; Rob Chaplinsky of Mohr Davidow Ventures; Dick Kramlich of New Enterprise Associates; and Don Valentine of Sequoia Capital. The group had 50 meetings with officials such as the Mayor of Shanghai and the Vice Premier of China and with companies such as SMIC, CSMC and Ctrip. Kramlich called the trip “incredibly useful.”

Poker Faces

Investors are known for keeping details close to the vest. And last month, several of them got to put their card-playing skills to use for a good cause.

VCs and execs from the life science industry gathered July 15 to wager and put on their best poker faces to play Texas Hold Em in the first ever Life Sciences Venture Capital Poker Championship, hosted by Karl Handelsman, a GP at CMEA Ventures. The grand champion was Nancy Kamei of Intel Capital.

The fund-raiser, which benefited local charities, was co-sponsored by Heller Ehrman Venture Law Group and Comerica Bank. Among the nearly 60 card sharks were Brook Byers of Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield and Byers; Brian Atwood of Versant Ventures; and Bryant Fong of Burrill & Co.