Venture capitalists' confidence drops sharply

The confidence level of venture capitalists has sunk to a new low, according to a survey of Silicon Valley venture capitalists, the New York Times reports.

The survey findings appear in a report released by Mark V. Cannice, founder and director of the University of San Francisco Entrepreneurship Program, which conducts the quarterly survey.

Cannice asked venture capitalists how confident they are about the high-growth entrepreneurial environment over the next 6 to 18 months, on a scale from one to five, with five being the highest confidence. In the third quarter, their confidence level was 2.89, the lowest it has been since he began the survey in 2004 and a fourth consecutive new low.

The reason most cited for the pessimistic outlook was the unprecedented deterioration of the economy and the resulting impact on the venture business model, Cannice said. The initial public offering markets are shut off to venture-backed start-ups. Only six have gone public this year, the lowest number since 1977, according to the National Venture Capital Association.

The survey measures and reports the opinions of professional venture capitalists in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley. Many of those surveyed invest in information technology start-ups.

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