Venture capitalists, startups hope to hit Sin City jackpot

The world's technology showcase has long been a vibrant meeting place for industry executives, consultants, fund managers, analysts and bloggers. But in the past five years, entrepreneurs, and the venture capitalists they depend on have joined the club. Howard Morgan, a partner at First Round Capital, said CES gives him a chance to connect his portfolio companies with retailers. One of his portfolio companies Ambient Devices, which makes weather forecasting gadgets, reached a deal for Brookstone stores to sell its products after an agreement struck during a previous show. Another deal that Morgan was able to broker at a CES show was with Best Buy. CES has become a mandatory event on the calendar for VCs lured by the promise of connecting fledgling startups with the tech world's biggest companies. Although Apple, the industry's largest company, did not have a exhibit at CES, a source familiar with the company's plans said more than 250 Apple employees registered for the week-long convention.

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