In today's economy, it's easier than ever to start a company: with the rise of angel investors and crowdfunding, raising money has never been easier -- while technological changes mean startups need only a fraction as much cash as they used to. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean there's less risk.

In fact, the risk equation has simply moved from the startup phase to the endgame. As IPOs become increasingly rare, more and more emerging companies are looking to be acquired - but there can't possibly be buyers for them all.

So we asked 6 of the most prominent venture capitalists what today's startups and high-growth companies can do to manage risk and boost their odds for eventual success -- and to back up those insights with real-world examples from their portfolio companies.