Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Investing In Nanotech

Still working on my business site, so today I would like to point you to an interview I did with Douglas Jamison, Vice President of Harris & Harris Group.

RR: What is your definition of nanotechnology?

Harris & Harris Group, Inc. invests in tiny technologies, which we define as nanotechnology, Microsystems and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Our primary focus is nanotechnology. One must remember that we invest in what we hope are good business opportunities, not definitions. It just so happens that we focus on business opportunities that leverage proprietary technologies that happen to be at the nanoscale. With that in mind, we tend to define nanotechnology as the creation of useful materials, devices and systems through the engineering of properties at the nanoscale and the unique properties and phenomena observed in this size regime.

RR: What are the typical sources for deals? Outside referrals? Referrals by associates? Conferences & events networking? Blind submissions by Internet or mail? Other?

We have looked at over 225 business opportunities in 2004. These opportunities come from research institutions, other venture capital groups, the companies themselves, our directors and associates and through unsolicited channels. I believe that because we are active in the space, nanotechnology companies know that their plans will have an audience from Harris & Harris Group. Access to quality deal flow is essential for venture investors, and it is important to remember that we have seen over 225 business opportunities but only invested in five in 2004.

RR: Overall, what do you like about nano as an investment area?

I like the opportunity to invest in the research coming out of a few of the premier research labs in the country in an emerging area of science that often provides for broad intellectual property coverage before too much capital chasing too few deals has led to capital market myopia. Just as in the early days of biotechnology, the quality of people is astounding, and I spend most of my days being the dumbest person in the room, which means I am always learning something.

Read the entire interview, here:

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