Exploring the Future of Impact Investing

by & filed under Ecosystems, Events, NVCA Blog.

Christy Chin

At a time when the world’s problems seem more intractable – in light of the California wildfires and Las Vegas shooting – there is hope that social capital will be leveraged to address the climate change, poverty, access to healthcare and improving education. It certainly is a rising trend, as recent data shows that the impact investing market in the U.S. has a floor of $114 billion, although the actual market size is much larger.

While a critical mass of impact investors gathered in San Francisco for Social Capital Markets (SoCap), the world’s leading conference on impact investing and social enterprise, the NVCA seized the opportunity to bring participants in the venture ecosystem active in this space together to discuss its opportunities and challenges. Not surprisingly, the event attracted more than 70 attendees from a wide spectrum on the investing scale: both new and established, large and small venture capital firms, limited partners, entrepreneurs and foundations. (more…)

VentureForward Blog Series: Diversity & Inclusion Is A Growth Story

by & filed under Diversity, NVCA Blog, VentureForward.

Lisa Lambert

Note from NVCA: As part of NVCA’s VentureForward initiative, we launched this blog series in November 2017 for industry leaders to share their perspectives on why diversity and inclusion (D&I) are important for the future of VC, their firm’s activities and approach to D&I, and guidance for how we—as an industry—can drive meaningful change.

Stay up to date on the latest VentureForward news, resources, and releases here. Contact ventureforward@nvca.org to learn more and get involved.

Lisa Lambert, Senior Vice President at National Grid Ventures, continues the series with her post below: (more…)

Kick-off of NVCA VentureForward Blog Series: Focus on Progress, Not Perfection

by & filed under Diversity, NVCA Blog, VentureForward.

Greg Sands

Note from NVCA: As part of NVCA’s VentureForward initiative, we launched this blog series in November 2017 for industry leaders to share their perspectives on why diversity and inclusion (D&I) are important for the future of VC, their firm’s activities and approach to D&I, and guidance for how we—as an industry—can drive meaningful change.

Stay up to date on the latest VentureForward news, resources, and releases here. Contact ventureforward@nvca.org to learn more and get involved.

Greg Sands, Founder & Managing Partner of Costanoa Ventures, kicks off the series with the inaugural post below: (more…)

NVCA Gets Its Day in Court on Immigration Case

by & filed under Immigration, NVCA Blog.

Jeff Farrah

NVCA has worked hard in 2017 to make the United States a friendlier place to immigrant entrepreneurs.  The venture industry knows first-hand the many incredible contributions of foreign-born entrepreneurs, like how more than half of U.S. “unicorns” were started by immigrants, or that one-third of U.S. venture-backed companies that went public between 2006 and 2012 had at least one immigrant founder.

Our immigration advocacy takes on multiple forms.  We continue to be the leading advocate on Capitol Hill for creation of a Startup Visa and have welcomed efforts by Senator Flake (R-AZ), as well as Senators Moran (R-KS) and Warner (D-VA), to do just that.  Separately, we also lead the fight for the International Entrepreneur Rule, which would allow foreign-born founders to remain in the U.S. for up to five years to grow a startup.  In July, the Trump Administration announced it would delay and move to end the rule.  This unfortunate development followed months of intense advocacy by NVCA and our allies to maintain the rule so that foreign-born founders could start and scale their enterprises here in the U.S. (more…)

We’re Suing the Government over Immigration. Here’s Why.

by & filed under Immigration, NVCA Blog.

Bobby Franklin

American entrepreneurship and immigration are deeply intertwined, and our community is thankful for the many contributions that immigrant entrepreneurs have brought to our country. The stats are astounding: immigrants have started more than half of America’s “unicorns;” one-third of U.S. venture-backed companies that went public between 2006 and 2012 had at least one immigrant founder; and more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies have at least one founder who either immigrated to the U.S., or was the child of immigrants. (more…)

Our Path Forward to Address Sexual Harassment in VC

by & filed under Diversity, NVCA Blog, VentureForward.

Bobby Franklin

For the second time in six weeks, the NVCA Board of Directors convened on Tuesday to discuss how the industry can and should address sexual harassment. Harassment of any kind has no place in the venture industry, and our board is focused on making sure they, as a group of leaders from our industry, and we, as the national trade association of the industry, help steer our community towards positive outcomes to address this issue.

Members of the NVCA board, NVCA staff and I have dedicated a tremendous amount of time and attention to the matter since news reports of sexual harassment involving venture investors first began to surface in June. Our main point of emphasis has been to speak with and learn from as many stakeholders as possible to collect all the information necessary to arrive at the best path forward for us as an organization and for our industry. As I have said throughout this process, our number one priority is to get this done right, not fast. (more…)

The Industry Steps up with NVCA to Address Sexual Harassment in VC

by & filed under Diversity, NVCA Blog, VentureForward.

Bobby Franklin

Last month, we issued a call to action, requesting that anyone who wants to be part of NVCA’s efforts to address sexual harassment in venture capital join with us to develop a plan of positive actions. The response has been encouraging, and we are grateful for everyone who has taken the time to submit their thoughts and recommendations or raised their hand to work directly with us.

In addition to crowdsourcing recommendations via our web form, we are actively engaging in direct conversations with a broad swath of individuals, organizations and interested stakeholders from across the ecosystem to solicit their thoughts and ideas. Over the last several weeks, I have spoken to GPs, LPs, entrepreneurs, academics and, most importantly, many of the women who bravely came forward to share their unsettling stories. They also have shared their thoughts on what positive actions should be taken. Collectively, all these recommendations generally fall into three broad buckets: 1) Policies and Best Practices, 2) Training and Education, and 3) Reporting Capabilities. (more…)

Why Immigrant Entrepreneurs are Crucial for America’s Future

by & filed under Immigration, NVCA Blog.

Devin Miller

On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security was scheduled to begin receiving applications from foreign-born startup founders under the International Entrepreneur Rule. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration delayed the rule with an eye on eventually rescinding it, shutting down a commonsense policy tool that would have kept job-creators in the U.S. to build their companies here and hire American workers.

As a quick refresher, the International Entrepreneur Rule was put in place during the final days of the Obama Administration and would have created a regulatory structure similar to a Startup Visa, which NVCA has supported for over a decade. While the Startup Visa has been caught up in the broader immigration reform efforts that have stalled in Congress, the International Entrepreneur Rule had the potential to accomplish many of the same outcomes. (more…)

A Tax Reform Agenda for the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

by & filed under NVCA Blog, Taxes.

Justin Field

Tax policy is one of the most powerful economic levers that policymakers have at their disposal. So it is concerning to see that instead of modernizing the tax code to recognize and support entrepreneurship, tax policy discussions in Washington have been more likely to focus on increasing taxes on the entrepreneurial ecosystem. For example, there have been calls to increase taxes on carried interest capital gains and repeal the Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS) rules to pay for unrelated priorities.

At NVCA, we think this is the exact wrong way to view tax reform. Instead, tax reform should be an opportunity to support the creation and growth of more U.S. companies. We have submitted a policy paper to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance detailing a tax reform agenda that would encourage new company formation. In this submission, we explain why startups are so critical to the country’s economic competitiveness, why startups are a unique business model, and call for a specific section in tax reform that should be devoted to proposals that would encourage new company formation. We then detail four tax reform proposals that would help startups without creating a new credit or deduction. These ideas include: (more…)