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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.






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