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Ready, Set, Flow

Optimistic entrepreneurs are testing the VC waters now that the market's future looks brighter.

This story appears in the May 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Oliver Curme sums up the current venture capital climate-and the outlook for 2004-in five long-awaited words: "Happy days are here again," says the general partner of Battery Ventures, a VC firm in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

You wouldn't necessarily know it was time to celebrate just by looking at the numbers. VC investments in 2003, at $18 billion, declined by 15 percent over the previous year, according to the most recent "MoneyTree Survey" from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Thomson Venture Economics and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). First-time funding was also down in 2003: 624 companies got $3.4 billion, compared with 2002's 792 companies that got $4.3 billion.

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