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Three hundred angel investors, early and seed stage venture capitalists, economic development and technology transfer professional services, gathered for the annual National Association of Seed Venture Funds ( conference, listened to some of the country's top experts on early stage investing, economic development and technology transfer.

On the first day of the conference, members were polled on variety of topics related to the direction of the economy. The attendees are optimistic about the economy and the performance of the Obama administration.

In a survey conducted at the conference, 54% of attendees said the companies they support are hiring again, 73% of the attendees felt the economy was improving and 61% gave the Obama administration high marks for managing the economy.

James Jaffe, president/CEO of NASVF, said the mood of the attendees was very upbeat compared to a year ago. “Our members, who comprise the early and seed stage investment and support community, see light at the end of the tunnel,” said Jaffe. “There is great upside because there are significant investment opportunities and valuations are low.”

Other survey results that point to an improving economy included:

73% don’t believe the proposed health care legislation will slow entrepreneurs from starting businesses.
61% didn’t think the Cap and Trade legislation would negatively affect entrepreneurship.
87% believe greater tax incentives to invest in early stage companies will spur growth.

According to the survey, the three industries that will attract the most entrepreneurs and capital are biotechnology, clean technology and healthcare. The industries that will have the hardest time raising capital will be electronics, financial services and manufacturing.

Not all of the news was good. Sixty percent of the attendees are concerned about the proposed health care plans and increased corporate and personal taxes. A greater short term concern was that 60% of the attendees said raising capital is no easier now than it was six months ago-- this is surprising considering the amount of capital the Federal Reserve injected into banks and the apparent rebound of some major banks who are returning the government’s capital with interest.