The paper summarizes the findings obtained during the first year of the Venture Fun project, carried out in an EU Network of Excellence PRIME and funded from the Sixth Framework Programme. The paper defines the central concepts of the project, identifies questions for further elaboration and study, and finally provides a rough idea of the different profiles that the studied countries (Finland, Israel, France, Italy, and the UK) evidence in the organization of their VC industries. One of the conclusions of the paper is that Israel, and to a lesser extent, Finland, has succeeded in developing a specialized, independent VC industry oriented to the early phase finance and support of ICT start-ups. By contrast, though the UK has a strong Private Equity industry, it is, however, not focusing on early-stage or high tech areas. Italy and France showed a significant presence of Venture Capital and Private Equity industries (public/private organisations), but in Italy an early phase VC industry has almost disappeared after 2001. The paper further summarises factors that have influenced the development of VC industries in the studied countries.