Daily Video

October 10, 2008

Silicon Valley Tries to Weather the Economic Storm

While global financial markets are dropping and most business is slowing in the United States, many in optimistic Silicon Valley are still not very worried.

Credit markets are drying up, but venture capital money often comes from wealthy individuals and institutions, not from banks and the credit market, so venture capitalists can still lend because their money comes from private funding. While venture capitalists will have to be more choosey in their investments many startup projects are still finding funding.

But Silicon Valley is not completely insulated from the market and some say that the lack of credit may start hurting businesses there too; a new report puts venture capitalist confidence at a four year low.

Quotes

“From an entrepreneur’s point of view, I’m not hitting the panic button.” Ashok Narasimhan, Startup CEO

“It’s the sector where the U.S. is still — still has an advantage on a worldwide basis. So, in the short term, yes, everyone’s boat is going down in the water, but, ultimately, the growth sectors tend to recover faster.” Peter Rip, Venture Capitalist

“I think, fundamentally, the way that Silicon Valley has traditionally made money, in the form of selling stock to the public in an initial public offering, or in the form of companies merging, has changed due to a lack of access to capital…in last quarter, there wasn’t a single venture capital-led initial public offering.” Jon fisher, University of San Francisco

Warm Up Questions

1. What is Silicon Valley? Where is it?

2. What is venture capitalism? Can you name any famous venture capitalists?

Discussion Questions

1. Do you think that the people in Silicon Valley should be optimistic? Why or why not?

2. Imagine you are a venture capitalist, what kind of projects would you be funding?

3. Imagine you are an entrepreneur, how would you make your case that you should be funded over other projects?

Additional Resources

Transcript of this report

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