What’s the secret sauce for venture capital investing? Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer, but it’s not surprising that the topic has piqued the interest of a number of academics. A recently-released Stanford University Graduate School of Business paper – “How Do Venture Capitalists Make Decisions?” – assesses the VC decision making process to better understand what venture capitalists (VCs) do and why they have been successful. The study examines eight areas of VC decision making: deal sourcing; investment decisions; valuation; deal structure; post-investment value-added; exits; internal organization of firms; and relationships with limited partners.
About 900 institutional VCs at 681 firms were surveyed (including many NVCA members), and the findings shed light on the complex world of venture investors. At a high-level, two things stand out: 1) it is no understatement that VCs make lots of critical decisions across multiple levels of management – investments, portfolio companies, firm-level, and LPs; and 2) there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach – VC practices vary across industry, stage, geography, and past success.
Some highlights of the paper’s findings: (more…)
As a venture investor who has been on both sides of the fence, I know how critical it is for corporate venture capital firms (CVCs) and private venture capital firms (VCs) to play in the same sandbox. In fact, our collective mission is now more crucial than ever. If we are to succeed at driving the growth of innovation, building competitive advantage, and establishing market leadership, CVCs and VCs must work together. The question is: how?
Corporations have proven themselves to be valuable syndicate partners to the private venture community in recent years. However, many CVC groups are realizing that it can also be strategic to be indirect investors. CVC’s primary objective is to access the innovation ecosystem for product development, expansion and acquiring talent. Many of them would prefer to access the community through a strategic partnership with VC firms rather than building an investment organization themselves. Likewise, as venture investors continue to fundraise, the opportunity to have CVCs serving as Limited Partners (LPs) in their funds could be mutually beneficial.
This week we issued our first-ever report on diversity and inclusion in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Building a More Inclusive Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, showcases the efforts being made to improve diversity in the venture capital industry. There is still a great deal of work to be done to expand the number of women and underrepresented minorities in venture capital firms and startups. Our report focuses on the actions. By showcasing what NVCA members, entrepreneurs and nonprofits are doing in their firms and in their communities, we want to share and promote ideas that can inspire action. (more…)
A San Francisco native with an MBA from Wharton and experience working at two successful medical device startups in the Bay area, Jan Garfinkle was a trailing spouse when she moved to Michigan over 20 years ago. At the time, there were less than ten venture capital firms in existence in Michigan. Today there are 25, including Arboretum Ventures, which Jan founded in 2002 and remains a Managing Director today.
You don’t meet many San Francisco natives who move to the Midwest to chase a career in venture capital. In fact, one could make the case that that would be the least effective way to break into an industry that is predominantly centralized around a single road in Palo Alto, CA. But for Jan it worked, and in many respects her story is the story of Michigan’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. (more…)
“Welcome to Believeland!,” was the enthusiastic greeting from Ray Leach, CEO of JumpStart, Inc., to an audience of entrepreneurs, venture capital investors, nonprofits, foundations, government entities, universities, and corporations, who were among the hundreds gathered for JumpStart, Inc.’s Second Annual Startup ScaleUp event in Cleveland. (more…)
The NVCA Corporate Venture Group (CVG) serves as the voice and advisory council of corporate venture investors within the broader NVCA community. Together, these leaders advance the education, professional development and networking mission of corporate venture groups, enabling them to accelerate the progress of innovation and growth through successful venturing.
Each May, nominated by their peers in the Corporate Venture Advisory Group, we welcome new members of the CVG Leadership Team for an annual term and new CVG Advisors join to serve a four-year term. CVG Advisors shape the NVCA and its service to the corporate venture investment community. Each quarter, the CVG highlights the thought leaders, research and trends shaping innovation and corporate venturing at our blog the NVCA Corporate Venture Connection. (more…)
During his address at the NVCA Leadership Gala & Summit as the incoming Chair of the NVCA Board of Directors, Venky Ganesan of Menlo Ventures discussed his priorities for the year ahead. In addition to creating a more inclusive venture capital industry, Venky said his main priority for his term as Chair is to shine a spotlight on entrepreneurial ecosystems beyond the mature, well-established giants of San Francisco, New York and Boston.
One such ecosystem that deserves more attention is the state of Utah. Known for its national parks, the Great Salt Lake and some of the best powder skiing on the planet, the Beehive State is the perfect example of an entrepreneurial ecosystem quietly on the rise. In fact, in 2015 Utah ranked 11th in venture dollars deployed, and its 55 deals last year marked the most since 2000. (more…)
In March, the venture community lost a friend, colleague and leader. Brenda Gavin’s sudden death was tragic and reminds us all to not take a single day for granted.
If you didn’t know Brenda, she was a true pioneer in the venture community and respected leader across the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Dedicated to life sciences investing, Brenda’s roots in venture date back to her time in the corporate venture world as President of S.R. One, GlaxoSmithKline’s venture capital unit, and then later as General Partner of EuclidSR Partners, an independent venture capital fund focused on healthcare and information technology. (more…)
Last Thursday leaders from across venture capital and the entrepreneurial ecosystem converged on the Palace Hotel in San Francisco for the NVCA Leadership Gala & Summit. The event was a huge success and provided for a great opportunity to download a little content, network with peers and reconnect with NVCA. (more…)
Monique Woodard personifies a healthy diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem.
As a Founding Partner of Black Founders, a network of African American entrepreneurs, an entrepreneur herself and a former Fellow in the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation, Monique’s experience spans all areas of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Her continued efforts around diversity and inclusion tied into a robust work experience have marked her as a trailblazer in the technology and innovation sectors, a designation that landed her a role as 500 Startups newest Partner, and its first African American partner. (more…)