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…)

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…)

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…)

Venture-Backed Startups Pushing the Boundaries of Innovation in Cybersecurity Protection

by & filed under Cybersecurity, Issues, NVCA Blog.

Ben Veghte

The venture capital ecosystem has deployed over $10 billion to cybersecurity companies since 2012.  As the frequency and severity of cyber-attacks increase unabated, venture investment into cybersecurity startups will continue to grow, placing venture capitalists and the entrepreneurs they support on the frontlines of our country’s cyber defense capabilities.  (more…)

A Balanced Approach on Patents is Critical to Innovation

by & filed under NVCA Blog, Patent Reform.

Kelly Slone

Now that the Republican Congress is moving forward quickly on patent litigation reform, policymakers must consider the impact of patent reform on the innovation economy. In January, NVCA, along with a broad coalition of universities, non-profit foundations, start-ups, small businesses, manufacturing, technology, and life sciences companies sent a letter to leadership of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees conveying the importance of taking a balanced approach that will stem abusive patent practices while protecting the rights of current patent holders. However, the re-introduction of House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA), the Innovation Act, H.R. 9, revives the same concerns from last Congress’ debate, without taking into consideration recent developments that have significantly reduced patent litigation filings.

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Turning Ideas into Reality at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit

by & filed under Energy, NVCA Blog.

Emily Baker

Next week, ARPA-E will host its sixth annual conference and technology showcase convening energy experts and entrepreneurs for three-days focused on moving disruptive energy technologies out of the lab and into the market.  We spoke with Dr. Cheryl Martin, Deputy Director for Commercialization at the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) for her perspective on the mission of the Summit and what’s new this year. Dr. Martin leads ARPA-E’s Technology-to-Market program, which helps breakthrough energy technologies succeed in the marketplace. (more…)

Shaping the President’s Executive Order on Immigration to Benefit the Startup Ecosystem

by & filed under Immigration, NVCA Blog.

Ben Veghte

As the Obama Administration begins to sketch out the details of the President’s executive order on immigration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has requested that interested stakeholders submit their recommendations on how best to implement the president’s proposed reforms.

With immigration reform having long been a top priority of NVCA, we wasted no time in engaging our member firms and their portfolio companies to develop and submit our own recommendations on behalf of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. (more…)