The Great Hunt For Hot Ideas

What starts with a bagel may end with another Yahoo!

The art of the deal begins, in Palo Alto, Calif., with breakfast at Hobee's. By 7:30 a.m., Geoffrey Y. Yang, a 38-year-old venture capitalist, has settled into his table, this morning with entrepreneur Kingston Duffie. The two seem like old friends, which isn't so surprising: Yang's Institutional Venture Partners made $10 million, a 250% return, in April when Duffie, a 36-year-old engineer, sold his first company, Whitetree Inc., to Ascend Communications Inc. for $66 million. Now, they are hashing out Duffie's vision for a second startup, another telecom concept, and their conversation bubbles with talk of NSPs, DSPs, and IDSLs.

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