The HBS Venture Capital/Private Equity Club (VCPE) successfully held its 13th annual VCPE conference last Saturday, February 3, 2007. The conference was well attended with a record 750+ attendees who came to listen to over 20 panels and two keynote speakers. Over 200 industry professionals attended the conference and the events were covered by Henny Sender from the Wall Street Journal.
Through keynote addresses by distinguished industry leaders as well as numerous topic-specific panel discussions, the VCPE conference addressed key issues and trends relevant to venture capitalists, private equity investors, entrepreneurs and those who support the venture capital and private equity communities. Attendees had the opportunity to gain insights from, pose questions to and network with leading investment professionals representing a diverse group of firms, markets and geographies.
Hamilton James, President of the Blackstone Group and keynote speaker for the conference, discussed with HBS’ very own professor Felda Hardyman Blackstone’s strategy to compete for deals and talent in the current environment. Conference attendees also heard from Anthony DiNovi, Co-President of Thomas H. Lee Partners and keynote speaker, who provided justification to debunk the notion that there is too much money chasing too few deals. DiNovi also shared his optimism on the future of the private equity industry.
Throughout the day, conference participants attended speaker panels including leading experts from the academic and professional disciplines. The panels touched on a variety of topics ranging from healthcare venture capital to large cap private equity. Conversations buzzed with shop talk as students and professionals alike mingled in between panel sessions and over lunch. “It’s rare to find one place where so many industry heavy hitters are under one roof. My hats off to HBS for being able to pull this together,” noted Grant Calder, and industry professional with Deutsche Bank’s leveraged finance group. “This is an event that anyone interested in private equity should attend.”
The day ended with a social hour where students had an opportunity to network with professionals who tried to relax before heading back to their lives in venture capital and private equity. Another VCPE conference come and gone, but hopefully many relationships built and more people looking forward to next year’s 14th annual Venture Capital/Private Equity conference.