MIB: Missing from Venture Capital: Uncle Sam

Bill Janeway is known as a “key creator of modern venture capital.” helped to created BEA Systems, which connected software applications to databases across much of the Internet. The initial cash investment of $54 million became a payout of $6.5 billion within six years.

Venture capital works best at the intersection of technology, finance, and public policy. He discusses how much of America’s innovative technologies began with a helping hand from the U.S. government. Transistors, ARPAnet (the predecessor to the internet), semiconductors, cellular technology, microwaves, even stealth technology, got their start as government research projects. Janeway explains how important it is to keep that 3-player dance going.

It is important that we lay the groundwork for future economic expansion. We may be forgetting this lesson, but China is not. They have adopted the model that made America the economic powerhouse it was in the 20th century for themselves. The risk is that we sit on our laurels, thus allowing China to dominate the 21st century.

Janeway updated his book on the subject, “Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Reconfiguring the Three-Player Game between Markets, Speculators and the State,” in May.

A few favorite books are referenced here. (Transcript will be forthcoming)

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunesBloombergOvercast, and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be found at iTunesStitcherOvercast, and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak with Eldon Scott, President of Urban Space.