2021 NVCA Venture Capital Awards Ceremony

The NVCA Venture Capital Awards Ceremony celebrates the venture industry and honors those who have made significant contributions to foster innovation, advance technology, and drive new company formation.

On March 9, NVCA presented individuals, firms, and organizations across the venture capital community with our annual industry awards, including Firm of the Year, Rising Star, and Lifetime Achievement in Venture Capital. NVCA also added three new award categories this year: DE&I Impact, Startup Innovator, and Startup Champion.

In addition to hearing from the award winners, the event also featured a conversation with Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel.

Watch a Recording of the Awards Ceremony

Awards Ceremony Speaker: Stéphane Bancel

Stéphane Bancel is the CEO of Moderna Therapeutics, which is pioneering a new class of drugs, messenger RNA Therapeutics, with the vast potential to treat a wide range of diseases and conditions. Moderna developed one of two COVID-19 vaccines that are FDA approved in the U.S., and has been rapidly producing and distributing its vaccine in the U.S. and around the world.


Startup Champion

Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN)
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC)

DE&I Impact


Startup Innovator


Outstanding Service

Aziz Gilani (Mercury Fund)

American Spirit

Kate Mitchell (Scale Venture Partners)

Rising Star

Brentt Baltimore (Greycroft)
Dan Gebremedhin, MD (Flare Capital Partners)
Kathryn Weinmann (Norwest Venture Partners)

Excellence in Healthcare Innovation

Jim Healy (Sofinnova)

Venture Firm of the Year


Lifetime Achievement in Venture Capital

Dixon Doll


Startup Champion
The Startup Champion Award recognizes elected officials for their significant contributions to advancing policy that supports the entrepreneurial ecosystem and creates a more positive environment for new company formation in America.

DE&I Impact
The DE&I Impact Award recognizes individuals, organizations, or firms who have made a significant impact towards advancing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DE&I) venture ecosystem. Award recipients have demonstrated not only a strong commitment to DE&I, but also have created and executed programs or initiatives that have meaningfully increased opportunities for historically underrepresented groups to participate and thrive in our industry.

Startup Innovator
The Startup Innovator Award recognizes a VC-or growth equity-backed portfolio company for its significant contributions to society and the world. Companies receiving this award have made a positive and measurable impact on addressing an area of need, an ongoing crisis, or a significant challenge that exists in our world. The company’s dedication to affecting positive change has made it a leader within the entrepreneurial ecosystem around the problem it seeks to address.

Outstanding Service Award
The Outstanding Service Award recognizes the exceptional service of an NVCA Director or NVCA member who has committed an extraordinary amount of time, resources and dedication to Association efforts that in turn benefits the entire venture industry. The dedication has raised the visibility of the industry to key legislators and regulators and helped to educate them regarding the pivotal role of venture capital to this economy.

American Spirit Award
The American Spirit Award recognizes NVCA members who have shown philanthropic leadership by applying business skills, knowledge, expertise and resources to make an outstanding contribution to society.

Rising Star Award
The Rising Star Award recognizes the next generation of venture capital professionals who are rising through the ranks and establishing themselves as future standard bearers of the industry. Recipients of the award have demonstrated a mastery of venture capital investing gleaned through a relatively short amount of time in the industry and are widely recognized by their peers and others as emerging leaders of the venture capital industry.

Excellence in Healthcare Innovation Award
For over three decades, venture capital has been at the forefront of some of the greatest advancements in medicine, pushing the boundaries of medical innovation and spurring the creation of the biotechnology and medical device industries. The Excellence in Healthcare Innovation Award recognizes those who have demonstrated a clear commitment to the advancement of healthcare innovation through their investment in and support of groundbreaking medical companies that are working on treatments and cures for the most deadly and costly diseases.

Venture Firm of the Year Award
The Venture Firm of the Year Award recognizes venture capital firms for their significant contributions to advance the entrepreneurial ecosystem and generate returns for their investors.  Firms receiving the award are recognized for strong fund performance and high exit multiples for recent exits as well as activities to promote entrepreneurship and create a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem.

Lifetime Achievement in Venture Capital Award
The Lifetime Achievement in Venture Capital Award recognizes venture professionals who have dedicated their professional lives to creating and building successful and highly competitive venture firms as well as portfolio companies that have made a significant contribution to the growth and success of the U.S. economy. Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award were instrumental in the formation and growth of the venture capital industry and have consistently set high performance standards for the entire industry.

You can see previous award winners here.


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