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March 06, 2009

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The panic is overblown because the U.S. (compared to other nations) still has the best universities in the world.

The panic is not overblown because the new science and engineering done at these universities has not been flowing out to entrepreneurs as efficiently as it did immediately after World War II.

We have a great system in place to make this happen in a decentralized way. Only a few, relatively minor tweaks need to be made to get the pipeline flowing freely again.

Everybody knows there is a gap in proof-of-concept funding. There are no private investors with time horizons long enough to bridge the gap from R&D at universities to VC work. And VCs (especially now) are not interested in taking on more risk.

What we need is a public-private collaboration between universities and private equity that will reopen the pipeline.

And here's a safe prediction: If that pipeline does reopen, there won't be twenty different teams pitching the same business plan at the same time anymore. There will be twenty different teams with twenty different business plans.

I work in a research area of the US Government. 70 to 80% of the research is wasted and politically motivated. Give it back to the private sector. We will all be more wealthier. The Military is a different focus. That is why we give the government a monopoly on force.

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