Crossroads Venture Fair Draws Over 500

April 30, 2004
The New Haven Register, April 29, 2004
Crossroads Venture Fair draws over 500
 
by Kimberly S. Johnson 

Investors and entrepreneurs showed up in full force Wednesday at the 11th annual Crossroads Venture Fair.
 
More than 500 venture capitalists and company executives packed the mezzanine of the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale.

Start-up and early-stage companies had the chance to present their business plans and sales track records in an effort to attract funding.
 
"Investors say they are going to be investing more this year than last, and they’re putting their money where their mouth is," said Mike Roer, president of the Connecticut Venture Group, which sponsored the two-day event Tuesday and Wednesday.
 
Half of the 50 companies attending the all-day presentations and exhibition were headquartered in Connecticut. Other companies from as far west as California attended.
 
Christopher Penner, founder of Deviant Technologies in Guilford, said investors appeared more interested this year than last. His company, started last July, develops secure instant messaging appliances for businesses.
 
"There’s a lot more interest for early-stage companies this year than last year," he said.
 
"But they (investors) also want to see you farther along in your business and sales cycles."
 
For Leo Goodrich, founder of Eagle Biotech in North Haven, this is his first opportunity to meet with investors. With a doctorate in molecular biology and pending MBA from Quinnipiac University, Goodrich is looking for seed money to launch his customized protein production company.
 
"I’ll get a chance to present to whoever’s interested," he said.
 
Many investors spent the last few years "sitting on capital" that they must now invest, said Frank Marco, partner and chairman of the emerging companies group for the Wiggin & Dana LLP law firm in New Haven.
 
"The last few years, investors have been more passive than they have been this year," he said.