VC65 to Feature Tales of Great VCs and Entrepreneurs—Come Wish Venture Capital a Happy Birthday at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium

3/8/11Follow @bbuderi

Great venture capitalists and entrepreneurs aren’t in it for the money or fame—they are out to build outstanding companies that make the world safer, healthier, more productive, more accessible, or just more fun. And, usually, it takes a great partnership between investors and entrepreneurs to pull that off.

Celebrating such successful partnerships is the main focus of a tremendous event Xconomy is proud to have taken a leading role in organizing. It’s called VC65, and it marks the 65th anniversary of the birth of venture capital in America, as embodied by the formation of American Research and Development, the pioneering venture capital firm formed by Harvard Business school professor General Georges Doriot in 1946. This gathering, which will feature leading venture capitalists and entrepreneurs from around the country, will take place the afternoon of April 6, in MIT’s Kresge Auditorium.

The power-packed lineup for VC65 features keynotes from legendary entrepreneur and investor (now professor, read on) Bob Metcalfe and pioneering venture capitalist Henry McCance of Greylock Partners; a series of VC-entrepreneur stories designed to bring out key lessons or insights about building great companies; and lightning panels about the future of venture capital and entrepreneurship. There’s more on the program below, and you can find the full agenda here.

To put on VC65, Xconomy has partnered with the National Venture Capital Association and the MIT Museum. On the afternoon of April 6, some 600 venture capitalists will make their way to Kresge following the first session of the NVCA’s annual meeting, which opens that morning in Boston. They will be joined at the VC65 conference, which is open to the public, by New England entrepreneurs, technologists, student, and other members of the innovation community—in short, by you, Xconomy’s readers. Then, after a great session with some special surprises soon to be announced, everyone will walk down to the MIT Museum for a reception in the recently opened MIT 150 Exhibition, which celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Institute.

It promises to be a fantastic day of sharing big ideas and networking. The early bird rate ends Thursday, so get your tickets now at VC65.eventbrite.com.

The afternoon’s festivities will include:

—An opening keynote talk by Metcalfe, inventor of the Ethernet and co-founder of 3Com. In 2001 Metcalfe became a partner at Polaris Venture Partners, and has now joined the University of Texas at Austin as Professor of Innovation. He knows both sides of the VC-entrepreneur partnership personally.

—Henry McCance of Greylock will talk about his firm’s four principles of building great companies, and how he is hoping to apply those principles to cure disease.

—Howard Hartenbaum of August Capital, who was the founding investor in Skype when he was with Draper Richards, will share details from the Skype story.

—Mick Mountz, founder and CEO of robotics company Kiva Systems, will be taking the stage with lead investor Ajay Agarwal, managing director of Bain Capital Ventures. Their story is called Fulfillment 2.0, and it is about a new era of robotics enabling e-commerce growth.

—Scott Kupor, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, will talk about his firm’s new model for doing venture investing. The upstart venture firm was co-founded by Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and inventor of the first widely used Web browser.

—Bob Langer, the most prolific inventor in America today, will be joining Terry McGuire, co-founder of Polaris Venture Partners, to talk about their great collaborations, which have resulted in some 14 biotech companies at last count.

And that’s hardly all. Other speakers at VC65 include Tim Draper of Draper Fisher Jurvetson; Theresia Ranzetta of Accel Venture Partners; Jason Mendelson of Foundry Group; Bryan Roberts from Venrock; Peter Brooke, founder of Advent International; Noubar Afeyan of Flagship Ventures; Linda Rottenberg of Endeavour Global; and William Sahlman, a professor at Harvard Business School.

And as I mentioned, we have a few more treats in store, to be announced in the days ahead. But get your tickets now to take advantage of the early bird rate.

Bob is Xconomy's founder and editor in chief. You can e-mail him at bbuderi@xconomy.com, call him at 617.500.5926. Follow @bbuderi

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