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Tech stocks are down. Funding is scarce. So it's the perfect time to start a company, says Ruthann Quindlen, a venture capitalist who helped take Microsoft public. Her new fund is Ironweed Capital.Why invest only in novices?

They make the most successful companies. America Online, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, eBay, Excite. It's more risky for us, but first-time entrepreneurs do better because they take more risk.How does the dot-com bust affect them?

The tourists are going home. The real people are sticking around to see what's going to happen. This is a great time to start companies. You're not going to have 52 competitors in your sector.What size investments will you make?

It could start with a couple hundred thousand, and then we could do a pre-negotiated first round when the company hits certain milestones. The average could be $6 million overall.Edited by Kimberly Weisul

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