Priority Issues


NVCA Policy Overview

As the voice of the U.S. venture capital community, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) advocates for public policies that encourage innovation, spur job creation, and reward long-term investment in start-up companies. By working with the venture capital community to foster a growth environment for emerging businesses, the federal government can help ensure that America maintains its global economic leadership and competitive advantage into the 21st century and beyond.

Tax Policy for Long-term Investments

NVCA has long advocated for a tax structure that fosters capital formation and rewards long-term, measured risk taking. NVCA believes that the returns earned by venture capitalists and entrepreneurs for building successful companies over the long term should continue to be taxed at the capital gains rate. We will continue our support for a capital gains tax rate that is globally competitive and preserves a meaningful differential from the ordinary income rate. As lawmakers consider broad-scale tax reform to create a simpler, fairer tax code, NVCA urges both Congress and the Administration to build a system that supports entrepreneurs and their investors. NVCA will support proposals that meet the criteria above and that take into account the economic value created by the venture capital asset class and the importance of encouraging investment in long term job creation.

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Folder IconTaxation


A Vibrant Capital Markets System

Studies show that significant job creation occurs when a venture-backed company goes public. In the last decade, however, the market for venture-backed initial public offerings (IPOs) has suffered. From Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) to the Global Settlement to Reg FD, regulations intended for larger multi-national corporations have raised burdensome obstacles and compliance costs for start-ups trying to enter the public markets. The recently enacted JOBS Act addressed many of these challenges, and we will work with the appropriate regulatory agencies as the new law as implemented. The NVCA will continue to support regulatory and tax policies that seek to encourage small, emerging growth companies to go public on U.S. exchanges. Such policies promise to bolster the economic recovery, spur job growth, and maintain our global competitiveness.

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Folder IconCapital Markets/Capital Formation


Research Funding for America’s Innovation Economy

Maintaining America’s global innovation advantage requires continued federal funding for basic research and development. Discoveries in federal labs and universities remain the germination points for the breakthrough ideas that can be commercialized by entrepreneurs and venture investors. The promising new companies that result will drive job creation and economic growth. This unique public-private partnership has delivered countless innovations to the American public and a decisive competitive advantage to the U.S. economy for decades. Therefore, NVCA supports policies that fund basic research across high technology industries including life sciences, energy, and physical sciences. Programs such as the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program fill the innovation pipeline and must receive robust federal support if America wants to continue to bringing breakthrough technologies to market.

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Immigration and Workforce Recruiting

The U.S. must continue to attract and retain the world’s best and brightest minds if it wants to maintain its global economic leadership. For this reason, NVCA supports policies that allow foreign born entrepreneurs to come to America to build their companies and create U.S. jobs. Proposals such as the Start-Up Visa Act will allow enterprising professionals to come here to develop their ideas and then remain here to build their companies, as opposed to innovating and creating economic value overseas. Further, the NVCA supports a streamlining of the pathway to “green cards” for foreign born graduate students who wish to remain in the United States upon completion of their studies.

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Healthcare and Medical Innovation

The U.S. market for biopharmaceuticals and medical devices is one of the most heavily regulated industry sectors in the world. There are many good reasons for this, but we must balance regulation with innovation, a principle that has driven high-quality care for American consumers and competitive advantage for American companies for decades. By putting innovation at the forefront of healthcare reform efforts and regulatory policymaking, we can provide incentives to America’s most promising young companies to discover new ways to improve the quality of, expand access to, and help reduce the costs of that care. The NVCA supports policies that seek to streamline the regulatory approval process at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), particularly for novel technologies, as well the to the reimbursement process at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). Process improvements at these agencies are critical to encouraging investors to take the risk and pursue new medical innovations that will save and improve patients’ lives and create U.S. job growth.

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 Folder IconLifescience Issues


Energy/Clean Technology

Innovations in clean technology will revolutionize how we produce and consume energy, reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels, and strengthen national security. Clean-tech development can also spur U.S. job creation and economic growth for decades to come. Due to the exceptional risks and capital requirements associated with developing clean technologies, U.S. energy policy plays an outsized role in the success or failure of venture-backed clean-tech companies. NVCA supports policies that encourage clean-tech innovation and provide incentives for investing in promising young companies in this sector. Such policies include continued federal funding for early stage basic research at government labs, support of the ARPA-E program, and the establishment of a Clean Energy Deployment Administration, or CEDA, to help the most promising innovations reach the marketplace.

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Folder IconCleanTech Issues


Cybersecurity and Intellectual Property Protection

The intersection of intellectual property, cybersecurity and the Internet has emerged as an uneasy nexus for policy makers, particularly after the dramatic defeat of the SOPA/PIPA intellectual property legislation earlier this year. While those measures are unlikely to reemerge for the rest of the year, cybersecurity is taking a front seat, but has also, for lawmakers, created a surprising stir in the privacy and Internet communities. To a certain degree all of the cybersecurity bills under consideration face considerable scrutiny in these three main areas: (1) the information to be shared; (2) the purpose for which the information can be shared; and (3) which agencies will have access to the shared information. Finding compromise on all 3 facets will be difficult and time-consuming which could lead to stalemate as the most likely short-term outcome. However, unlike in the SOPA/PIPA debate, cybersecurity threats present a strong national security concern that both political parties understand is real, and must be addressed. NVCA will be monitoring activity in this area closely.

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Folder IconPatent Reform/Intellectual Property


Member Peer Group Activity: NVCA Cleantech Advisory Group

NVCA members continue to invest in a diversity of new energy technologies, from solar and batteries, to distributed nuclear and clean coal. The goal of this group is to advocate for policies that will level the playing field for new, innovative energy companies to be part of our nation's energy portfolio and contribute to a lessening of carbon emissions. A regulatory regime that favors only traditional fossil fuels and does not allow for new technologies to emerge will harm U.S. global competitiveness and U.S. job creation.

Our advocacy efforts over the past few years have centered on:

  • Enactment of a Clean Energy Standard (CES) that will provide a strong signal that there is a market for new clean energy technologies;
  • Funding for federal research and development programs like the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), as well as other critical research offices and agencies;
  • Enactment of tax policies that favor new energy technologies, products and services;
  • In addition to our efforts on public policy, NVCA cleantech members are frequently invited to participate in events that are of great interest to venture capital investors such as:
  • The NREL Industry Growth Forum – NVCA members have been invited to serve as judges for the business plan submissions for the competition. NVCA members have also been selected to serve on the final panel that critiques and awards the winner of the competition;
  • The Department of Energy National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition – NVCA members were selected to serve as regional judges for the competition and from those awardees, NVCA members will come to Washington, DC to participate in the final competition, which is being held at the White House;
  • NVCA members have been invited to participate in private meetings that the Cleantech Advisory Group holds with leadership from the DOE national laboratories and other activities that this member peer group organizes.

Member Peer Group Activity: Medical Innovation and Competitiveness Coalition

NVCA's Medical Innovation and Competitiveness (MedIC) Coalition Goals and Priorities:

MedIC is a coalition formed under NVCA to provide a united voice of VC's and entrepreneurs in bringing medical innovation to the forefront of the healthcare public policy debate and in shaping policies that will preserve and provide new incentives for entrepreneurs and investors to fund medical innovation in the U.S.

MedIC's goal over the last two years has been to educate Congress and the Administration about the threats to the medical innovation ecosystem due to regulatory, reimbursement and healthcare reform uncertainty. Specifically, MedIC has been focused on achieving broad based FDA reform for drugs and medical devices which include the following priorities:

  • Rebalancing benefit-risk assessments in the drug and medical device approval processes to appropriately reflect the value of new therapies and technologies to patients;
  • Expanding the accelerated approval pathway for new therapies;
  • Ensuring conflict-of-interest policies are not hindering patient access to new treatments and technologies;
  • Modernize the regulation of novel medical technology so the review process becomes efficient, predictable and transparent; and
  • Ensuring FDA is well resourced and endowed with state-of the-art scientific tools, clinical input, processes and procedures.

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