EPVC’s Bill Stensrud Leaves VC for Entrepreneurship

There was an interesting press release out from Enterprise Partners here in La Jolla yesterday. It’s not often you have a (relatively) young guy near the top of the Forbes Midas List of VC dealmakers retire from the business:

William Stensrud Announces Retirement

Enterprise Partners General Partner to Retire From Venture Capital Investing

SAN DIEGO, CA — (MARKET WIRE) — November 21, 2006 — William Stensrud, a Managing Director and General Partner of San Diego’s Enterprise Partners, announced today that he plans to retire from active venture capital investing.

Bill joined Enterprise Partners in 1997 with a focus on networking, telecommunications and, over the past few years, digital media. For the past 18 months, Stensrud has also been acting CEO of Muze, a digital media company and an Enterprise Partners’ portfolio company.

Bill said, “I have great admiration, respect and affection for the team at Enterprise and I wish them all the best. For me, however, it is time to move on. While the venture capital industry has been an interesting challenge, I have spent most of my career as an entrepreneur. This is where I plan to return.”

Over the past two years, Enterprise Partners has led investments in over forty transactions, raising a total of $667M, of which $240M came from Enterprise funds. During the same period, the firm invested in seventeen new companies and has seen eight acquisitions and two IPOs.

I know Bill and like him a great deal — you can watch my interview of him here — so I’m delighted to see him returning to his entrepreneurial roots. Bill has wonderful instincts for IT/telecom investing, so what he does next will be instructive to watch.