Venture Investors and Entrepreneurs Optimistic

Extracted 22NOV2011 from

Despite seemingly endless financial turmoil in Europe and gridlock in Washington, venture investors and entrepreneurs found reason to be optimistic Friday at MIT’s annual venture capital conference.

North Face founder Kenneth “Hap” Klopp told the Cambridge, Mass., audience that “the economy is turning around” and “the next 10 years will be the best of your life.”

The country is paralyzed, he said, and “when everyone is going slowly, if you go fast, you can make a difference.”

“I’ve never seem a more healthy time for innovation than right now,” said David Skok, a general partner at Matrix Partners, as he led a panel on emerging technologies. “This is a fabulous time to be an entrepreneur.”

It’s no secret that social media, mobile technology and an exploding amount of data are creating huge opportunities in information technology. Markets matter, and in dynamic ones like IT, being in the right place at the right time is crucial, said keynoter Chris Gabrieli, a senior partner at Bessemer Venture Partners and a Bay State civic leader...

Brad Feld, co-founder of venture firm Foundry Group, who said he agreed with Skok about the incredible acceleration of innovation, offered advice on creating sustainable entrepreneurial communities, something he’s writing a book about. They have to be led by entrepreneurs, have a 20-year vision, be easy for newcomers to access and do things “that engage the entrepreneurial stack from top to bottom,” such as TechStars, which Feld co-founded.