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The Voices of Venture Capital 4 leading venture capitalists offer their takes on the ups and downs of VC investment, what captures their attention and the best ways to seek out VC money.

By Gwen Moran

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If your business plan is to start fast, grow big and sell or go public, then venture capital might be the way to fund that plan. In addition to an infusion of capital, you usually get access to the brain trust and contacts at the VC firm, providing experience and leverage for your fledgling enterprise.

The National Venture Capital Association says that 2010 got off to a rocky start, but VC investment was still up more than $1.3 billion over the first quarter of 2009. Still, that's an 18 percent drop from the fourth quarter of 2009--which, overall, was a dismal year.

To help you navigate these ups and downs, we asked four early-stage VCs in various sectors to discuss what you need to know to get a leg up in the competitive VC marketplace.

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