Fostering Talent, Competitiveness and Diversity through Mentorship

by & filed under Corporate Venture, Diversity, NVCA Blog.

Jessica Straus

A thriving innovation ecosystem depends on building diverse and competitive teams. Competing for top talent is one of the biggest challenges facing venture capital and corporate venture capital teams. These challenges beg the question: How can venture investors keep up with the increased demand for top talent? Mentorship programs are one of the proven ways to attract and retain top talent, which foster both individual talent development and team competitiveness, diversity, and development.

This year, the NVCA Corporate Venture Group (CVG) launched the Corporate Venture Mentorship Program in the first quarter of 2017 to build connections between experienced and new corporate venture investors. This pilot program helped forge new connections among corporate venture investors across the country to foster a more engaged innovation ecosystem. (more…)

Autonomous Vehicles: An Investment in Safety

by & filed under Corporate Venture, NVCA Blog.

Kevin Kelly

This article originally appeared in the Corporate Venture Connection.

The rapid pace of development in autonomous vehicle technology is capturing headlines every day. The speed at which the technology is advancing surprises even the most ardent of technology watchers. But two questions that seem to be lost in all the tech frenzy is why this technology is important and what lies ahead in terms of business opportunities beyond the vehicle and technology itself.

In 2015, more than 30,000 people died in traffic accidents in the U.S. alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Even more staggering, more than 90 percent of those lost lives were the result of driver error. The causes are as common as the sun rising: driver distraction and inattentiveness. Losing this many lives in a completely preventable fashion shouldn’t be something we accept in today’s society with the technology that exists today. (more…)

Building a Platform for Drones to Take-Off

by & filed under Corporate Venture, NVCA Blog.

David Famolari

This article originally appeared in the Corporate Venture Connection.

Forty years ago, a small group of researchers at Stanford Research Institute laid down the foundational principles that underpin what is now the Internet. In agreeing to build a modular, robust, and highly extensible end-to-end network, this team could not have appreciated the enormous economic engine they were about to unleash.

We now stand at a similar juncture with the explosion of unmanned aerial vehicles. The FAA has codified the earliest rules that will help define how we capitalize on this emerging industry and we have begun to see how drones can spark new economic opportunities across a wide range of industries. If we can adopt similar design principles to build a platform upon which services can be built to safely operate drones, and in a thoughtful and collaborative manner, the ‘Aerial Internet’ can be developed to be every bit as transformative as the digital Internet. (more…)

New Member Spotlight: Flying Into the Venture Space with Bonny Simi and JetBlue Technology Ventures

by & filed under Corporate Venture, NVCA Blog.

Devin Miller

The uptick in the number of active corporate venture units in recent years has added plenty of new faces to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, but few of them are as unique as former Olympic athlete, long-time commercial pilot, and former airline executive Bonny Simi, the President of the new JetBlue Technology Ventures.

NVCA recently sat down with Bonny to talk about the new corporate venture firm she is leading.  A Bay area native who went to Stanford for undergraduate and graduate business and engineering degrees, Bonny was an executive at JetBlue before taking on her current role.  She has also piloted commercial planes for over two decades—and continues to do so—giving her a unique perspective on the travel industry that she now brings to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. (more…)

Advancing the Innovation Ecosystem by Accelerating Corporate and Venture Partnerships

by & filed under Corporate Venture, Events, NVCA Blog.

Lisa Lambert

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.


Welcoming New Leadership of the NVCA Corporate Venture Advisory Group

by & filed under Corporate Venture, NVCA Blog.

Jessica Straus

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…)

Recap: Corporate Venture Strategy Session on Measuring and Communicating Value

by & filed under Corporate Venture, NVCA Blog.

Jessica Straus

Corporate venture investment hit a 15 year high in 2015, both in terms of deal participation and dollars deployed. CVCs deployed over $7.7B into 930 deals– participating in 1 of every 5 VC deals.  With this dynamic environment, we know it’s critical for corporates and traditional VCs to connect and communicate to foster a collaborative environment. (View our latest corporate venture data.)

As corporate venture investors increasingly lead rounds that influence the development of next-gen industries from the blockchain to cognitive computing, how can CVCs find new and better ways measure the strategic value they bring to startups? (more…)