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Dollar Diplomacy Back in Russia

The U.S. Commerce Department is taking its mission abroad, hoping to spark international pockets of entrepreneurship. A team of government types, academics, technologists and venture capitalists left last week for a week-long trip to St. Petersburg, all in preparation for a two-day forum that was set to begin Sept. 26 with their Russian counterparts and 150 local entrepreneurs.

If all goes as planned, the summit will encourage local investors to do their part in funding startups.

It’s all an attempt to build better trading partners, says Mario Cardullo, a spokesman with the Under Secretary for International Trade Administration who is part of the U.S. delegation in Russia.

Cardullo says the group is making presentations on entrepreneurial training, legal and regulatory requirements and the role of innovation and technology. Slated to speak for the U.S. are Patty Abramson of the Women’s Growth Capital Fund and Jack Biddle, a partner in Novak Biddle Venture Fund. -C.B.

Wiberg Rides Over to ATV

Bill Wiberg found time in his busy schedule last week to sit down with Private Equity Week over breakfast. Wiberg was upbeat despite being brought into New York City for a flurry of meetings while he was also busy relocating his family to Waltham, Mass.

Wiberg, a onetime Orange Ventures general partner, has joined Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV) as a partner. He’ll be working in Waltham, where ATV has its East Coast office. Wiberg currently lives in New Jersey.

Wiberg’s addition will help the firm strengthen its investments on the East Coast, says ATV general partner Wes Raffel, who tagged along with Wiberg in meetings throughout New York early last week. Wiberg showed up on the firm’s radar through ATV general partner Jack Harrington, who knew him from previous investments.

ATV has made 13 new investments so far this year, compared to seven new deals in 2002. Wiberg will focus on investments in communications, IT infrastructure and software. Wiberg joined Orange Ventures last year and left to join ATV with only a weekend between jobs. At Orange, Wiberg oversaw investments in companies such as Bitfone, Danger and WaterCove Networks.

Previously, Wiberg served as a general partner with Bowman Capital Private Equity Group.