Draper revs up Wharton conference

Tim Draper, who delivered the opening keynote at last month’s Wharton Private Equity Conference in Philadelphia, spent much of his time reflecting on the power of new technology. Specifically, he predicted that writing could become obsolete in one or two generations.

What will replace the printed word? Video, says Draper, who’s firm is an investor in video sharing website Revver. He notes that when his son was recently asked to write 1,000 words about why he should be accepted into a film school, he didn’t write a word. Instead, he pasted in a picture.

VC Paul Kedrosky begs to differ. “Nope, even if the ‘Revver-invested’ Tim Draper wishes that were true,” he writes in a blog post. “Teens are almost certainly doing more writing today than they were 20 years ago, not less. When you add up SMS, email and chat, the total more than compensates for any supposed contraction in essay-writing, or the like.”

Swing for the fences

Emerging managers continue to pop up. The latest one to catch our attention is .406 Ventures. No, it isn’t named after Montana’s area code. Baseball aficionados, especially those who reside in Boston, will recognize the number as Ted Williams’ 1941 batting average.

As its name suggests, .406 Ventures is made up of heavy hitters. The team includes Guardent co-founder Maria Cirino, former ThingMagic and CCBN.com CFO Larry Begley, Arcadia Partners co-founder Liam Donohue, and former Arcadia Associate Kara Sweeney. They hope to raise between $100 million and $150 million. Donohue declined to comment.

The move by Donohue and Sweeney to the new fund signals the end for Arcadia, which had focused on the education space. General Partner Jane Swift, a former governor of Massachusetts, has moved into the consulting arena by hanging an education-focused shingle called WNP Consulting. Arcadia’s other co-founder, Andrew Hallowell, recently took over as CEO of portfolio company KnowledgePlanet.