The number of venture-backed IPOs has declined precipitously from its late 1990’s peak, and smaller-cap IPOs are virtually extinct. Meanwhile, venture-backed firms can remain private at higher valuations for longer than ever before. These conditions, combined with developments in the M&A market, fundamentally alter the calculus of the IPO decision. This panel will analyze the
go-public/stay- private debate, address regulatory modifications that might invigorate the IPO market, and describe potential innovations in the going-public process, including direct offerings.