The venture capital community has closer ties to President Obama than any other previous president. That could bode well for an industry that has been stuck in a slump since the dot-com crash. Brad Spirrison, a Chicago-based writer who has followed Obama’s career closely, penned a great story in this month’s Venture Capital Journal about the new president’s interest in venture capital.
Entitled “Real Change: New President Gets VC,” the story begins:
Steven Lazarus had just sat down after accepting a lifetime achievement award from the Illinois Venture Capital Association when he was approached by an up-and-coming state senator with an unforgettable name.
It was December 2003 and Barack Obama—who was in the middle of an uphill battle for the U.S. Senate—decided that the most important place to be was the IVCA’s annual awards dinner.
“He came over, pulled out a chair, and spent the next half hour interrogating me on the subject [of venture capital],” recalls Lazarus, co-founder of Arch Venture Partners. “He asked very tough questions. He showed a deep curiosity about the whole process of venture investing and developing technology ideas into businesses.”
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