Superpower vs Upstart: The Super Bowl’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

by & filed under NVCA Blog, Research, Venture Investment.

Devin Miller

On Sunday night, the New England Patriots clash with the Atlanta Falcons in a Super Bowl matchup that pits two football franchises with wildly different recent histories.  The Patriots come into the game as the most successful, and to some infamous, NFL franchise over the last 16 years.  The coach/quarterback combination of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady has created one of sport’s most impressive modern dynasties, with a combined 7 Super Bowl appearances (including 4 wins so far), 14 division titles, and 214 combined regular season and playoff victories.

The Falcons by comparison have had spikes of success over the last decade and a half, with peaks of 7 playoff appearances over the last 16 seasons, but also significant valleys in 8 seasons without a winning record.  However, this season the Falcons were the second seed in the NFC Conference and had one of the most explosive offenses in NFL history, rivaling the offensive firepower of the 2007 Patriots team that went undefeated in the regular season that year.

This dynamic sets up the Super Bowl as a contest between a perennial heavyweight and a scrappy contender, an empire against a rebellion, or whatever other David vs Goliath metaphor you can think of. (more…)

Action Needed: Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration

by & filed under Immigration, NVCA Blog.

Bobby Franklin

Like you, we have had time to digest the executive order “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” issued by President Trump last Friday.  Under the order, the president indefinitely barred Syrian refugees from entering the U.S., implemented a hold on all refugee admission for 120 days and blocked entry of citizens from seven predominantly Muslim nations into the U.S. for 90 days.

The consequences of the late Friday order sent ripples across our country, leading to chaos and confusion at airports, surprising detentions, mass demonstrations, and global outrage.  As the impact of the order became better understood, the criticism has only increased.

I am troubled about the uncertainty that President Trump’s executive order brings to the U.S. entrepreneurial ecosystem.  America’s traditions of openness, collaboration and inclusion, have been critical elements to our success as a nation, and are particularly important to the health of entrepreneurship.  When NVCA looks at changes to immigration policy, we must consider whether those changes would attract or repel the best and the brightest from around the world.

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Reflecting on 2016: Five Takeaways from the Q4 2016 PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor

by & filed under NVCA Blog, Research.

Maryam Haque

Earlier this month, we released the Q4 2016 PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor, a review of the U.S. venture capital ecosystem’s fourth quarter and year-end trends for 2016.  Between the Presidential inauguration, meetings with the Trump transition team, and various other industry data releases, it has been a busy start to 2017 for NVCA.  So in case you may have missed it, here are some helpful resources related to the report:

  • PDF copy of Venture Monitor (link)
  • Supporting XLS data pack of Venture Monitor (link)
  • View the PPT deck and a copy of the Q4 PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor webinar (link) [Note: available only to NVCA members.]

The report unpacks a large number of trends and data points on the venture industry, so we have highlighted five major trends below that caught our eye: (more…)

Finishing Strong in 2016: NVCA Policy Victories in the Last Few Weeks

by & filed under Issues, NVCA Blog.

Charlotte Savercool

The last few weeks of 2016 have been an active time in policymaking that had a positive impact on the venture capital industry.  NVCA kept its on eye on the ball on behalf of the venture industry and as a result came away with several key victories.

After a multi-year, bipartisan effort, the 21st Century Cures Act was signed into law last week. NVCA applauded this achievement as a major win for funding medical innovation and developing cures for rare diseases.  NVCA engaged in the ‘Cures’ initiative from start, as board members Mike Carusi and Alexis Borisy testified before Congress in 2014 to demonstrate the value of venture capital investment in medical innovation.  Within the bill’s 996 pages is increased funding for the National Institutes for Health and efforts to advance precision medicine that will help VCs who work tirelessly to develop innovative and life-saving cures and treatments.  At NVCA, we spent a week in the Fall educating policymakers about the role of venture in medical innovation, including through the awesome video below. (more…)

NVCA-Deloitte Human Capital Survey: A New Approach to Diversity & Inclusion Research

by & filed under Diversity, NVCA Blog, Research.

Jessica Straus & Maryam Haque

We just released our diversity study. Our study is different. We set out to survey all VC firms active in the U.S. to establish a benchmark of the current demographics of the industry and to take a closer look at firms’ talent management practices.

If you’ve spoken with a member of the NVCA staff over the past two years or one of our Board Members, the topic of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the venture capital industry has likely come up. Since the launch of NVCA’s Diversity Task Force in December 2014, NVCA staff, its Board, and its members have focused on building a more inclusive innovation ecosystem. In our report Building a More Inclusive Entrepreneurial Ecosystem this summer, we outlined many proactive NVCA efforts and industry resources, highlighted a few firms who are leading the pack in terms of diversity initiatives, and referenced third-party data on D&I in VC. (more…)

The Impact of the 2016 Election on the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

by & filed under Issues, NVCA Blog.

Charlotte Savercool

The 2016 election was one of the most surprising elections in recent memory, as Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the presidential election and the Republican party maintained their majorities in both the House and the Senate.

As we do after every election, NVCA provided an election analysis to our membership.  We took a look at what happened this election cycle, what policy priorities to expect over the next four years, and how a new administration will impact venture capital and entrepreneurship. (more…)

Highlighting the Importance of Diversity During National Entrepreneurship Month

by & filed under Diversity, NVCA Blog.

Jessica Straus

This November is National Entrepreneurship Month, a month dedicated to celebrating and supporting the entrepreneurs who serve their communities and strengthen the U.S. economy.  Supporting greater opportunity for more entrepreneurs to grow new ideas into companies is central to the mission of NVCA.  In addition, we believe diversity and inclusion are core to the success and competitiveness of the industry.

In honor of National Entrepreneurship Month, NVCA is participating in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy National Entrepreneurship Month Fact Sheet to highlight how NVCA members are working together to support an inclusive, diverse and thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Read the White House Fact Sheet.  We also want to take the opportunity to provide an update on our work to support diversity and inclusion. (more…)

Charitable Giving as a Venture Capital Exit Strategy

by & filed under NVCA Blog, Regulation & Best Practices.

Devin Miller

Most venture capitalists are quite generous when it comes to donating and giving back to communities, causes and charities.  But while it’s well known that venture capitalists are very charitable, less understood is how venture capitalists donate and what complexities they have to manage when making philanthropic contributions.

To help answer those questions, we sat down with Amy Grossman, Vice President Complex Assets Group, from Fidelity Charitable to get a better understanding of how venture capital donates, what types of assets venture capitalists can give, and how Fidelity Charitable works with NVCA helps venture capitalists donate more.

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Ensuring a Vibrant Medical Innovation Ecosystem

by & filed under Medical Innovation, NVCA Blog, Venture Investment.

Jeff Farrah

Venture capital’s contribution to the technology and Internet sectors are well understood, with VC partnering with the founders of iconic brands like Facebook, Uber, and Netflix.  What is not as well understood is how venture is tackling the world’s deadliest diseases and afflictions through the patient investment of capital in life science startups.  A prominent example is Genentech, the world’s first biotechnology company, which was founded in 1976 by a venture capitalist and a professor at the University of California, San Francisco.  Today, venture is building on past success to solve our nation’s most pressing health care crises, like lymphoma, multiple myeloma, sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, and many others.

Small, venture-backed companies play a critical role in bringing groundbreaking medical innovation to market that diagnoses, treats, or cures previously intractable diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS.  These fast-growing and hungry new enterprises are responsible for a considerable amount of breakthroughs in life sciences, so much so that drug companies now rely on acquisitions for three-quarters of their drug pipelines rather than develop new products internally.  In many other cases, VC-backed life science startups grow into successful enterprises of their own, with 51 having gone public in 2015.  In fact, life science startups drove two-thirds of all VC-backed IPOs in 2015. (more…)

Correcting The Record On How QSBS Impacts The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

by & filed under NVCA Blog, Tax Reform, Venture Investment.

Justin Field

At NVCA we are committed to helping policymakers craft pro-growth policies that help startups continue to drive the U.S. economy and encourage job creation.  So when we see articles that fail to understand how innovation and entrepreneurship work, it is our responsibility to correct the record.  This recent article in Politico makes just this mistake and threatens to undermine public support for an important provision of the tax code that encourages investment in early stage startups.

Let us start with a couple of facts that we should all keep in mind.  Twenty-five years ago, more than 90 percent of global venture capital was invested in U.S. entrepreneurs.  Last year, U.S. startups attracted 54 percent of global venture capital investment as other countries continue to reform their policies to build their ecosystems and compete with our long-held leadership in the space.  In addition, smaller C corporations have been vanishing.  As a result, the total number of U.S. public companies have been reduced by half in only 20 years. (more…)