The Matchmaker of the Modern Economy by Spencer Ante

TL;DR - Georges Doriot founded venture capital firm ARD following WWII, in a watershed moment for the VC industry.

Helpfulness - 4

Tags - notable investors, early vc, regulation

Questions addressed:

  • Who was Georges Doriot?
  • How did he shape the development of VC?

Summary:

  • Georges Doriot founded the first public venture capital firm, American Research and Development (ARD), following World War II.
    • Prior to that, most investment capital came from families rather than institutions.
  • Doriot and others felt that the current economy and investment structures were too “riskless.”
  • Doriot was an advisor to many companies while professor at HBS before starting ARD.
  • VC was new enough in 1946 that ARD’s founders had to reshape financial regulations before it could properly function.
    • Exemptions from the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the SEC.
  • World War II was also a surprising catalyst for entrepreneurship (Doriot was a general during the war).
    • War showed the benefits of taking risks on new technologies (e.g. rubber).

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