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Byline: Katherine Goncharoff
When venture capitalist Bryan Roberts hits Washington, D.C., next week for a landmark biotechnology conference, he'll be in good company. But that wasn't always the case.
"In 1999, I felt like Don Quixote while everyone else seemed to be very involved in IT investment," said Roberts, a general partner with Venrock Associates. "Now it appears that IT investing is a far less interesting place to be."
Venrock, a diversified VC investment fund formed by the Rockefeller family in 1969, will be among dozens of funds vetting 92 biotech startups for a two-day conference starting Oct. 3. It's the first venture capital conference hosted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, a 8-year-old group that represents 1,000 biotech companies, academic institutions and state biotech centers throughout the U.S. and in 33 countries.
Venrock has been an active life sciences investor since the 1980s, unusual among its peers.
Among others, the fund has helped bolster Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., Caliper Technologies and Illumina Inc., once fledgling …