Modern venture capital traces its roots back to Georges Doriot who, in 1946, created the first fund that accepted capital from sources other than wealthy families, focused on private sector investments in innovation, and had the first home run with his $70,000 investment in Digital Equipment that led to a $350 million IPO. The last half-century has seen the rise of venture capital to become synonymous with innovation and wealth creation.

Since 1980, fast-growing entrepreneurial companies have accounted for the majority of new jobs created in information technology, life sciences, and now clean technology. Kauffman Fellows, a subset of venture capitalists, had by 2004 made $6 billion in venture capital investments, sparking growth in hundreds of new enterprises, $15 billion in annual recurring revenues and the creation of 48,000 jobs.1