Xconomist of the Week: ATV’s Bob Hower on “A” Startups, IPOs, & the God of VC
The venture capital industry is in flux. A lot of firms and funds are contracting. Big guys are doing more later-stage investments (see GitHub). Little guys are trying to innovate with early stage companies. Fund investors are trying to figure out how to get more bang for their venture buck.
In the midst of all this is Advanced Technology Ventures, the venerable Boston and Silicon Valley firm that invests in a very wide range of companies, from software and IT to healthcare to cleantech. ATV started in 1979 and has more than $1.6 billion under management.
Heading up the firm’s East Coast IT investments is Bob Hower, a general partner and 10-year veteran at ATV (and an Xconomist). Hower is known for his bets on tech companies like Acme Packet, AppIQ, Application Networks, and more recently, Actifio (in business data management) and Apptegic (in marketing tech). Before becoming a VC, he worked at Lotus Development, General Mills, and Priority Call Management, which was bought by LHS Group in 1999.
I’ve recently talked with Hower about the climate in venture and startups. This week, I asked him to go on the record about macro trends in exits, fundraising, and a couple of his local portfolio companies. Here’s a lightly edited transcript of our exchange via e-mail:
Xconomy: You have quite a track record with companies that start with “A”… so tell me about how Actifio and Apptegic will change the world (and be great investments for your firm).
Bob Hower: Actifio’s promise is simplicity (Apple-like interface) and the ability to recover anything instantly for up to 90 percent less. The beauty of a big, broad value proposition is that people can … Next Page »