This PRIME conference was organized in Milan by Politecnico di Milano. The conference was attended by about 50 delegates from universities, research institutes, private firms, associations and public institutions. The idea of organising mixed panels with practitioners, policy-makers, and academic scholars was very successful. The conference started with a brief speech by M. Colombo (Politecnico di Milano) and T. Luukkonen (ETLA) on the results of the Venture Fun project and on the future avenues of research on venture capital (VC). Two thematic sessions introduced the first day, dealing with (i) the impact of venture capital on the performance of firms (presentations by M. Colombo and M. Da Rin from Tilburg University) ; and (ii) the role of VC in adding value to portfolio firms (with presentations from T. Luukkonen, M. Knockaert from the Vlerick Business school and Alessandro Rosiello from Innogen). The last session enabled practitioners (venture capitalists, business angels and owner-managers of investor-funded firms) and policy makers to discuss in a round table the relative importance of the scouting, coaching and signalling activities performed by VC investors to the benefit of portfolio firms.
The second day of the conference focused on specific issues. In particular, P. Petit (CNRS) focused on the role of technology-transfer offices and public incubators in enhancing R&D financing ; and A. Rosiello (Innogen) developed a new framework for VC policy. The final roundtable saw delegates from different institutions discuss policies which might help the emergence of a VC industry.
A selection of the papers presented at the conference has been published in a special issue of Venture Capital, vol 12, Issue 4, 2010.