Scared of shadows?

On the eve of Groundhog Day in the US, we are hoping that investors bear little resemblance to groundhogs.

On February 2, millions watch as Punxsutawney Phil, a groundhog in northern Pennsylvania, emerges from his winter burrow. If the sun is out and he sees his shadow, the story goes that he will be frightened back underground and we will see 6 more weeks of winter.  The movie Groundhog Day referenced the tradition for its reality-bending and repetitious plotline.

Some recent reports are showing that – like the groundhog – investors in early stage companies are beginning to poke their heads up.  Could these be signs of a long-awaited economic thaw or an early spring? Will we soon be seeing the welcome sight of many more green shoots on the entrepreneurial front?  In our Portland office, we’re certainly noticing a certain something in the air, as angel investment opportunities increase for local companies, enabled by our favorite local entrepreneurial organization, OEN.

This local entrepreneurial energy is set against a larger backdrop. Recently this research,  focused on investments in the mobile industry, saw a good jump for investments in 2010: http://moconews.net/article/419-mobile-vc-investment-was-a-massive-6.1m-in-2010.-google-intel-led-the-w/

The momentum appears to be building in 2011, as is the momentum for IPOs. Another report reveals that the respected venture firm Sequoia Capital raised a sizable new fund for early stage and growth company investments: http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/01/25/sequoia-capital-raises-more-than-1-3-billion/.

Hopefully, this means that the economic thaw we’ve been hoping for is around the corner. Unless investors bravely step forward, we might just find the financial winter we are facing will go on and on and on

Jody Peake, CEO  –  OnPR, Inc

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