Supply and demand in perspective


The question whether supply or demand is holding back the growth of the venture capital market is not new.1 However, for Germany it has not been contemplated seriously in the literature so far. In terms of the design of an effective public policy aimed at fostering venture capital activity, this is most unfortunate. After all, if we do not even know where the bottleneck lies, how can we design policies to help widen it, other than by relying on pure luck? Even more troubling, it appears that public policy for venture capital has been seriously and systematically misguided in the past. As was laid out in chapter 4.4, all governmental initiatives have so far by and large met with little, if any, success. It is little comfort, then, that similar schemes have not yielded the envisioned positive results on the other side of the Atlantic, either: “In the United States, programs like the Department of Commerce’s Advanced Technology Program (ATP) have disbursed over $1 billion to small high-technology businesses over the past ten years, with few tangible results.”2


Venture Capital Private Equity Venture Capital Firm Venture Capital Industry Advance Technology Program 
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© Deutscher Universitäts-Verlag/GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2006

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