We all know that politics makes for strange bedfellows, but the degree to which venture capital is making its way into the political spectrum today is a bit alarming.
Sure, maybe there’s a perceived quid pro quo after VCs dodged a regulatory bullet. Or maybe the lack of exits and LP love, and the tough economic climate is making venture capitalists feel like Washington’s grass is a whole lot greener than their own.
This would all make sense if it were the VCs rushing for shelter under the growing political awning – and in some cases, surely, it is.
But more often it appears that the opposite is true. Politicians are – gasp – going out of their way to align themselves with the venture capital community. What would cause our political leaders to offer an olive branch to their former enemies (especially ones with such an interest in reinforcing the status quo)?
The more cynical among us would point toward political expediency – venture investment in some cases represents the last wildcard for endangered leaders. A sort of whistling past the graveyard of the November elections.
But in other cases, it seems that governmental belief in salvation through venture investing is truly heartfelt. So much so that universities, developing nations, even U.S. government itself (indirectly) all appear to be pinning their hopes on it.
But the truth is, it’s probably just a simple case of empathy. Now that government has had a chance to examine its venture brethren more closely, it’s realizing that they both face a similar future.
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