Boom Time in Venture Capital

Moneymen are risking more cash than ever on daring entrepreneurs

The most elite club among American financiers is the strong fraternity of some 1,000 people running venture capital firms. These are the investors who typically will give $1 million or more to often untried businessmen to form companies in microelectronics, genetic engineering, robotics or other industries. The field is highly risky; an estimated half of all such initial investments are eventually written off as tax losses. But for winners the payoff can be huge: a $1 million investment might return $100 million.

Venture capitalists...

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