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Venture Catalyst
The Five Strategies For Explosive Corporate Growth

"To hell with leadership. Where's the growth?" So demands Lew Platt, the former chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, in an interview with Venture Catalyst author, Don Laurie. Platt's audacious question captures the essence and spirit of this book-a powerfully eye-opening approach to achieving spectacular corporate growth, regardless of economic boom-or-bust cycles.

Aiming right at the heart of the matter, Laurie reminds us that business leaders are charged with two mission-critical responsibilities: they must meet (or exceed) Wall Street's expectations on a quarterly basis, and they need to foster a steady flow of new technologies and products to fuel continuous double-digit growth, rolling three to five years into the future. The tension between balancing short- and long-term goals often leads companies to play it safe, managing growth with traditional strategies-organic growth through product line extensions and international expansion or acquisition-with lackluster results

In Venture Catalyst, Don Laurie presents a dynamic alternative, drawing on extensive interviews with corporate pioneers as diverse as Roger Ackerman of Corning and Ralph Larsen of Johnson & Johnson, venture capitalist luminaries such as Tim Haley of Redpoint Ventures and Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital, in-depth company profiles, and his own expertise as a high-level advisor. From Thermo Electron's launching of technology spinouts to GE Equity's channelling of resources to fund internal start-ups, Venture Catalyst identifies five key strategies for creating the next billion-dollar business: invent, invest, venture, partner, and integrate. For each strategy, Laurie details the obstacles and advantages, along with the fundamental "preconditions" and "value-added activities" necessary to achieve success.

Reaching far beyond the mechanics of analysis and the details of corporate-venture implementation, Laurie addresses the cultural issues that can either impede or facilitate the path to wealth creation. He argues that five years from now, nearly half of corporate revenues should come from products and services that don't yet exist, and he challenges corporate leaders to be aggressive, embrace risk, and mobilize people and resources to meet the future. Showing how ventures can maximize intellectual property, stimulate innovation, and identify and provide speedy entry to emerging markets and businesses, Laurie builds a compelling case for ventures as creators of shareholder value.

In stark contrast to the mindless frenzy that fueled the dot.com bubble, Venture Catalyst offers a rigorous and field-tested perspective. For executives and managers, venture capitalists and investment bankers, and entrepreneurs alike, this book will become an essential strategic resource.

Praise for Venture Catalyst

This book really provides major insight about high-growth companies and how they stay that way.
Joe Schoendorf, Executive Partner, Accel Partners

Calling on his extensive real-time experience, Don Laurie has written a hands-on book that should be required reading for all serious entrepreneurs, corporate strategists, and investment professionals, alike. Whether you are engaged in developing corporate venture funds, managing technology spinouts, investing in early stage ventures, helping entrepreneurs maneuver through unexpected turns in the road, or working with venture capitalists, this is the book for you.
D. Quinn Mills, Alfred J. Weatherhead Jr. Professor of Business Administration,
Harvard Business School

Don Laurie presents a unique perspective on the corporate challenge to innovate, demonstrating how a diverse assortment of global companies fuel growth through new products, business creation, and entrepreneurial ventures. Access to technology is important to every industry, and Laurie's practical recommendations for corporate action make this one of this year's most insightful and valuable management books.
James G. O'Connor, President, Ford Division of the Ford Motor Company

To be a cutting-edge company today you need to be creative about using all resources at your disposal to constantly create and grow shareholder wealth. New ventures and private equity are frequently overlooked sources of growth. This book is the best guide on how to leverage them for explosive corporate growth.
Lodewijk J.R. de Vink
Former Chairman, President, and CEO, Warner-Lambert Company
Chairman, Global Health Care Partners & Credit Suisse First Boston Private Equity

If you have the courage to grow your established corporation with new or riskier ventures, yet you don't want to waste years and dollars figuring out how, then take a look at Venture Catalyst. Mr. Laurie details five different paths for venturing and draws the key lessons learned and applied by the companies that have been most successful with each strategy. Venture Catalyst is filled with practical advice that can be applied immediately.
David Witherow, President and CEO, VentureOne

Don Laurie has spent years teaching global corporations what venture capitalists have learned the hard way: when it comes to creating high-growth businesses, money is rarely the critical factor. Every venture needs a catalyst. Laurie's strategic framework for corporate venturing programs that fuel growth and accelerate enterprise formation for extraordinary financial returns, makes Venture Catalyst a must-read book for CEOs and other business development professionals.
Paul Kelley, Senior Managing Director and Chief Executive, Zero Stage Capital

Technology and distribution partnerships with large corporations can accelerate corporate growth and ensure the success of early- and later-stage ventures. Don Laurie's conclusions and recommendations are critically important for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Ric Fulop, Founder, Into Networks and Chinook Communications
(Red Herring Magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year, 1999)

For today's corporations, traditional internal expansion and acquisitions are no longer sufficient sources of growth. The most successful companies are those that have developed aggressive venture strategies. Don Laurie shows not only how they do it, but also how you can learn from their experience. You can't afford to miss this practical guide to venture growth.
Peter Pao, Vice President, Raytheon Electronic Systems

Growth is the Holy Grail of market value. Venture Catalyst helped me understand the venture process in terms that are applicable to my businesses. His detailed presentation is an important and unique contribution, particularly in today's post-bubble era.
John W. Humphrey, Chairman, The Forum Corporation

Corporate venturing is about to expand enormously. Don Laurie's splendid book explains why.
Richard Koch, author of The 80/20 Principle
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