June 13, 2001
Unique Alliance of Early Stage
VCs Convene to Discuss New Strategies at Annual Meeting of the EARLY
STAGE VENTURE CAPITAL ALLIANCE (ESVCA)
Woodside Fund to Chair 13th Annual Meeting of the
ESVCA on June 21, 2000
Redwood Shores -- June 13, 2001 – After close to a decade
of smooth sailing for early stage investors, the recent retrenchment
in the private equity markets has caused some unique challenges
for early stage venture capital firms. The Early Stage Venture
Capital Alliance (ESVCA) is a national community of more
than 150 seed and early stage venture capital firms that meet annually
to openly discuss common challenges, practices and other critical
aspects of their business. This year’s annual meeting of the ESVCA,
entitled ‘2001: Back to Reality’ will focus on the early
stage investors’ creative approach to the dramatic changes in their
marketplace. The meeting will be held June 21 in Palo Alto, California.
"Since 1990, we have always had provocative subjects to discuss.
However, we didn’t have dot com’s in 1990 and NASDAQ down 65%,"
stated ESVCA chairman Vincent Occhipinti. "Today, more than
ever, we need to share our collective experience: what has happened
and, more importantly, what we need to do going forward," adds
Mr. Occhipinti. Vincent Occhipinti has provided leadership for the
Alliance for the last ten years. He is a founder and Managing Director
of Woodside Fund, a leading venture capital firm in Silicon Valley
that focuses on early stage investments in Internet Protocol infrastructure
and e-Commerce infrastructure.
The featured key note speaker at the event will be Steven Milunovich,
Technology Strategist andCoordinator of Global Technology Research
at Merrill Lynch Co., Inc. Mr. Milunovich is responsible for synthesizing
the views of all 110 technology analysts at Merrill Lynch into common
trends and themes while recommending sector weights and creating
the Merrill Lynch Techfolio. He will lead ESVCA conference attendees
in a provocative discussion on the Best Sectors for Future Investing.
During roundtable discussion over the course of the day, managing
directors of many leading early stage venture capital firms will
share investment experiences and discuss ideas for new strategies
in all areas of business practice. Discussion topics include: investment
pace and deal flow, valuations in the current environment, the competitive
climate for seed and early stage deals, new strategies for fund-raising
and leveraging captive resources, evolving fund structures, the
best sectors for future investment, how to exit portfolio companies
given the anti-IPO sentiment, and best practices.
While the venture community provides a host of conferences on venture
capital investing for VCs and the entrepreneurial community, none
existed specifically for early stage venture capitalists until 13
years ago when ESVCA was formed. The original idea for ESVCA was
to create a confidential atmosphere where managing directors of
venture firms could freely exchange candid observations and information
on the most sensitive and timely topics facing their industry. Today
the Alliance maintains this same atmosphere that fosters effective
communication among its members.
About Woodside Fund
Founded in 1983, Woodside Fund has one of the longest and strongest
track records of success in early stage venture capital investing.
All Woodside Funds have performed in the upper quartile of the industry
for venture capital partnerships formed in their respective years.
The firm has grown to four funds with over $200 million under management.
Woodside Fund's latest partnership, Woodside Fund IV, which had
its final close in March 2000, invests between $6 and $12 million
in early stage ventures in network and e-Commerce infrastructure
in Northern California and the West Coast. The Fund serves as the
lead or co-lead investor in its portfolio companies.