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Alsop's long start-up

Becoming a venture capitalist may offer the prospect of fabulous wealth, but when Stewart Alsop joined New Enterprise Associates in 1996, he kept a foot in his former, decidedly less lucrative profession: He penned a fortnightly technology column for Fortune magazine.

Now the 51-year-old scribe is finally an unadulterated venture capitalist.

Alsop took a hiatus from writing in July to undergo hip surgery and then decided last month not to resume his column, "On Infotech." "I can show that I'm a venture capitalist without hanging on to the writing," he says. In the past he worried that "if I stopped writing, I'd stop being a human being who makes a contribution." Alsop, who ran InfoWeek before joining Menlo Park, California­based New Enterprise Associates, says he could still bang out a magazine column in two hours, but only after 24 hours of angst. He'd prefer to channel that energy toward helping young companies.

Alsop's decision to leave journalism was not without misgivings. His father, Stewart, and uncle, Joseph, were influential political and foreign-affairs columnists for such major publications as the Saturday Evening Post and Newsweek in the decades after World War II.

As a general partner at New Enterprise, Alsop helps oversee a $5 billion portfolio and is a director of online music service FullAudio Corp., among other portfolio companies. "We're very pleased," says firm co-founder Richard Kramlich, who adds that Alsop has "been in the business long enough to understand how time-consuming it can be."

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