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Silicon Valley's engine chugs on

Here's another example of what makes this place so dynamic. Stanford scientist, KJ Cho, developed a great nanotechnology method, but didn't know how to make a business out of it. He meets a veteran like Bill Miller, who helps him throw a business plan together -- and within 18 months, the new company, Nanostellar, has gotten $3 million in venture backing and already cranked out a prototype for a new catalytic converter that aims to undercut prices of existing models, and help save the environment too. Worst case, it may end up one of the nine of ten start-ups that eventually fail -- but hey, better the idea is given a chance to fly than to let it die in the labs.



Comments

The article in today's paper about Nanostellar brought to mind your recent blog items about companies trolling publicly for VC money. Note the comment in the article:

"Cho and his colleagues plan to raise a bigger round of venture capital shortly, but declined to talk about the details."

If these guys have a technology that will replace platinum in catalytic converters, why do they feel the urge to mention their need for more funding in the newspaper?

Alison Chaiken on January 19, 2005 7:54 PM
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Maybe the reported asked.

Anon on January 22, 2005 3:45 PM
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Good point Alison. They did mention they were looking for capital, but as Anon suggests, it was already after I started talking with them. It was their technology play that first grabbed me. To double-check this, I went back to read my first email pitch from them, and it mentioned nothing about raising capital. It simply invited me to cover a visit by Representative Mike Honda to the company last Wednesday. It also told me a bit about the company's technology, and so we started talking. That's a bit different from trotting out a story simply because a company says its looking to raise money.

Matt Marshall on January 22, 2005 3:59 PM
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