Editor’s note: David Jones is a partner with Raleigh-based

ATLANTA – Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes magazine, says “This recession seems a lot like the early 1970s.” But in his luncheon keynote address at the Southeast Venture Conference on Thursday, he also noted the ‘70s help produce companies like Microsoft, Apple and FedEx.

As for getting out of the current recession?

“The recovery will be uneven.

“Many industries will fundamentally change for the better which will make it harder for us to recognize as recovery.

“Initial public offerings of stock will not be the exit route for startup entrepreneurs and investors.

Thursday morning update:

Merger and acquisition will continue to be the primary means for venture-backed companies to exit, says Greg Ager.

"I think we will see more financial buyers (i.e. private equity firms) become likely acquirers,” Ager said at the in a panel discussion Thursday.

Ager participated in the "Where’s the Exit: Liquidity Challenges in Today’s Market” panel.

Panel includes Ager, partner with Updata Advisors, Robert Power, vice president of NYSE Euronext, Scott Frederick, general partner at Vallhalla Partners, Raymond King of the Toronto Stock Exchange, and moderator by Adam Oliveri at SecondMarket.

Other key points from the SEVC discussions:

• Seeing very creative deal structures in order to get a deal done.

• Lots of discussion around alternative secondary markets, secondary funds and pricing, and limited partners defaulting on capital calls.

Wednesday’s opening-day post:

Attendance is up at the from 2008 with over 700 people. The event, which opened Wednesday, is being put on by the publisher of TechJournal South.

Optimism abounds from entrepreneurs and service providers as the market looks to have two consecutive positive days.

Tim Draper, founder and managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, delivered the opening keynote.

His key messages:

1) Entrepreneurs are the heroes and will be big drivers in pulling us out of the recession.

2) He concluded with leading the entire audience in singing his famous song:

What is interesting to Draper:

1) Personal healthcare – you work with doc on decisions

2) CleanTech – gas stations will be dinosaurs

3) Mobile devices as a PC

4) Moving social networking into the business setting

5) Breakthroughs in power generation