As 2012 comes to a close, CEOs and venture capitalists are both heading into the new year with cautious optimism. According to the National Venture Capital Association's seventh annual predictions survey, both sides of the start-up world expect small, but notable growth for small businesses and investors alike.

The survey polled more than 600 CEOs of venture-funded start-ups and venture capitalists between November 26 and December 7 of this year. Turns out both groups generally saw eye-to-eye on a number of topics, especially when they involved acquisitions and venture spending.

Here are the top findings from the report:

1. Rise of the acquisitions. More than half of the venture capitalists and CEOs polled thought that there would be more start-up acquisitions next year, with the majority of each group seeing the most acquisitions in the tech industry. On top of that, 35% of CEOS and 40% of venture capitalists thought that the quality of acquisitions would improve.

Comparatively, both CEOs and venture capitalists are putting less faith in the IPO. Only 40% of venture capitalists thought that more companies would go public in 2013, while 29% of CEOs felt the same way. 

2. 2013 will be the year of the venture capitalist. When asked who would have a better year—CEOs or venture capitalists—both parties agreed that venture capitalists would fare better in 2013. Specifically, 65% of the venture capitalists polled thought they would have a better year, while 56% of the CEOs felt the same way.

In addition, 42% of the venture capitalists polled thought that venture firms would invest larger amounts of funding to a smaller batch of companies. With this strategy in mind, 50% of venture capitalists thought that their investments would have a higher return rate than last year.

3. Not a lot of faith in the U.S. economy. The only discernible pessimism that the groups shared was for the U.S. economy. Only 49% of CEOs and 42% of venture capitalists predicted that the U.S. economy would improve in 2013, showing slightly less hope than they did when polled last year.

4. Hiring will be up.  In one question, 83% of CEOs said that they expect to hire more employees next year, while 46% of CEOs said in another question that hiring would be “achievable” based on their company’s needs.

5. IT start-ups take the spotlight. Venture capitalists predicted that IT start-ups would receive more funding than necessary next year, with 62% saying that the sector would be "over-funded."