The Truth About Venture Capital

One expert estimates that VC firms fund only one of every hundred proposals they get. And certain industries have a statistical advantage

The possibility of landing a venture capital deal entices many aspiring entrepreneurs, but the reality is harsh. Although VCs invest significant amounts of money, the number of companies that get funded is tiny. In 2007 there were 3,813 deals that totaled $29.4 billion, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers/National Venture Capital Assn. MoneyTree Report, which measures VC activity in the U.S. Data are scarce on what proportion of companies that seek venture funding actually get it. But anecdotally, National Venture Capital Assn. spokeswoman Emily Mendell estimates that of every 100 business plans a venture firm receives, 10 get a serious look, and one gets funded.

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