But there is no single blueprint or framework for guiding an idea from its beginning as a lightbulb over an inventor’s head to its ultimate destination — the assembly line, drugstore, or desktop. One such framework, the venture capital industry, is a unique contribution of the U.S. financial system, although one that is increasingly being copied around the world. The central role of venture capital in some of the best known success stories of recent years — Microsoft, Genentech, and Federal Express, to name just a few — has put the industry in the headlines.

This article appeared in the January/February 1998 edition of Business Review.

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