Topinka makes clear venture capital's value
December 12, 2005
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
State Treasurer and
Republican gubernatorial candidate Judy Baar Topinka makes it
clear she believes in venture capital and technology entrepreneurship,
because they create high-paying, high-quality jobs.
the opening remarks at the Illinois Venture Capital Association's
annual dinner last week. She praised the 500 attendees for their
efforts at funding and launching companies in Illinois. "You
are going to create the most important thing that we can offer
in this state and that's jobs, jobs, jobs and more jobs,"
said Topinka. "Thank you for what you are doing."
no doubt she'll be touting her $50 million Technology Development
Fund on the campaign trail. She praised Illinois state senators
Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston) and Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) for
sponsoring legislation that enabled the fund.
legislation gave us the ability to put 1 percent of our portfolio
into venture capital so that we could get jobs here in Illinois
and start dealing with the 21st century," added Topinka.
"We want Illinois to be at the forefront of the technology
industry bringing in high-paying jobs."
Blagojevich's $200 million Illinois Opportunity Fund see new life
or will the Democrats cede the venture capital job creation issue
to the Republicans? The Opportunity Fund has been bottled up in
the Legislature. Time will tell, but Topinka appears to have her
message ready for the campaign trail.
named CEO of the year
Ed Zander bested a field of more than 30 CEOs to win top honors
from the editors of MarketWatch, who named Zander CEO of the Year.
each CEO through four criteria," says MarketWatch editor-in-chief
David Callaway. "How did they perform for shareholders, for
customers, around corporate governance and for employees?"
"What really tipped it for Ed was the way he got Motorola
talking to its customers again," Callaway says. "Here
was a company that a few years ago was on its way to becoming
the next Lucent. He got the company focused on customers. The
marketing of the RAZR is a great example."
How did Zander
react when Callaway called to make the award? "He was thankful,
humble and happy, and pointed out it was a team effort,"
tomorrow's entrepreneurs is a burgeoning cross-town effort in
Chicago. University of Chicago Professor Steve Kaplan has grown
the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship on the South Side. On the
North Side, Kellogg School of Management Professor Steven Rogers
is proud of the Larry and Carol Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial
the West Side? On Wednesday, University of Illinois at Chicago
Professor Rod Shrader will get into the action. Shrader's UIC
Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies hosts Concept2Venture, its
first campus-wide business plan competition. It's a serious competition
with 11 teams vying for $20,000 in prize money. A group of leading
entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, attorneys
and CFOs will judge the competition.
is open to undergraduate and graduate students from UIC's 15 colleges.
persuaded engineering students, MBA candidates, medical students
and liberal arts undergrads to participate.
intent is to stimulate a more entrepreneurial culture not only
at UIC but around Chicago," says Shrader whose campus boasts
leading researchers in biotech, nanotech and information technology.
working closely with UIC's Office of Technology Management to
identify high potential technologies that have commercial viability.
the right thing to do, and this is the time to do it," says
Shrader. "Universities have left a lot of R&D lie dormant."
Now there's a professor who has the right attitude.
Technology Development Alliance and ARCH Development Partners
host their Monday Morning meeting today at the University of Chicago
Gleacher Center. The meetings showcase emerging companies, including
Evalubase Research, a service that analyzes IT
users' experiences; SixtySeven Kilohertz, which
markets tools for adolescents with chronic illnesses; and Therapeutic
Proteins, a developer of bio-generic products produced
using recombinant DNA techniques.
Krauss is a Chicago area tech writer and consultant.