Ecosystem Spotlight: A Bright Future for Emerging Wisconsin

by & filed under Ecosystems, NVCA Blog.

Devin Miller

When Greg Robinson decided he wanted to create a new venture capital firm, he wanted to build it in a place with an abundance of momentum and entrepreneurship, and a great interest in tech and disruption. But the place he decided to build his new venture firm—the area with those qualities he deemed key to success—was not sunny Silicon Valley, bustling New York or dynamic Boston. Instead, Robinson launched 4490 Ventures in Madison, Wisconsin.

Longtime Wisconsin venture capitalist John Neis of Madison-based Venture Investors, himself a Wisconsin native, certainly understands the feeling about Wisconsin’s startup ecosystem that drew Robinson to the cheese state. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Neis felt that there was tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurship in his home state, especially with a top research university like the University of Wisconsin. (more…)

Having a Talent Strategy Makes a Difference

by & filed under Diversity, Events, NVCA Blog, VentureForward.

Jessica Straus

Diversity is core to competitiveness. A 2014 Harvard Business School study, The Cost of Friendship, found that success rates of entrepreneurs diminish when co-investors have similar backgrounds and experiences. As an industry, we have a lot of work to do, and NVCA is committed to helping investors and entrepreneurs build diverse, competitive teams.

Last week, the NVCA team, our members, and partners Deloitte, Proskauer Rose, Silicon Valley Bank, Miller Law Group and the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center joined together to host Policies Driving Innovation in San Francisco to provide data, insights and resources. We also rolled out the new NVCA Sample H.R. Policies – a free resource to help venture firms build inclusive H.R. practices. (more…)

Timely Reauthorization of PDUFA & MDUFA Is Critical to VC-backed Life Science Breakthroughs

by & filed under Healthcare Innovation, NVCA Blog.

Charlotte Savercool

Thirty years ago, the median time for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of a new drug was 33 months. As one can imagine, major backlog at the agency caused significant delay to the approval and entry of potentially life-saving drugs in the market. To address this problem, Congress passed the Prescription Drug User Fee Act in 1992 to authorize the FDA to collect fees when new drug applications were submitted. Those user fees, paid for by the biopharmaceutical industry, supplemented Congressional funding for the agency to review new drug applications in a more timely and efficient manner. Ten years later, Congress passed the Medical Device User Fee and Modernization Act (MDUFA) after the FDA’s medical device program experienced a substantial loss in resources, seeking to accomplish a shared goal (between industry and the FDA) of improving the review process for new medical devices. (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…)

Another Successful Leadership Gala in the Books

by & filed under Events, NVCA Blog.

Ben Veghte

A week has passed since our sold-out Leadership Gala and the glowing reviews keep rolling in. From our members and non-members, board of directors, sponsors, and the media, everyone is raving about the event and already marking their calendars for 2018.

Now in its third year, the Leadership Gala was the brainchild of former NVCA Board Chair Scott Sandell of New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Thanks to his vision, the event has quickly emerged as a must-attend event (did I mention it was SOLD OUT!?!) for the venture industry, book-ended by high-profile speakers and unparalleled networking with the venture industry’s finest. (more…)

NVCA 2017 Yearbook: The Go-To Resource on the Venture Ecosystem

by & filed under NVCA Blog, Research.

Maryam Haque

We are pleased to present the 2017 NVCA Yearbook, documenting trends and analysis of venture capital activity in the United States from the past year and capturing historical data and information about venture’s role in fueling entrepreneurship in America.

What is the NVCA Yearbook?

Now in its 20th year, the NVCA Yearbook is an annual publication that provides statistics on the size and impact of the U.S. venture industry, investments into startups, capital raised and managed by venture capital firms, and exit activity. The Yearbook is an indispensable resource for anyone working in venture capital and has long been seen as the benchmark for tracking and analyzing venture capital activity from year-to-year. (more…)

Superpower vs Upstart: The Super Bowl’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

by & filed under NVCA Blog, Research, Venture Investment.

Devin Miller

On Sunday night, the New England Patriots clash with the Atlanta Falcons in a Super Bowl matchup that pits two football franchises with wildly different recent histories.  The Patriots come into the game as the most successful, and to some infamous, NFL franchise over the last 16 years.  The coach/quarterback combination of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady has created one of sport’s most impressive modern dynasties, with a combined 7 Super Bowl appearances (including 4 wins so far), 14 division titles, and 214 combined regular season and playoff victories.

The Falcons by comparison have had spikes of success over the last decade and a half, with peaks of 7 playoff appearances over the last 16 seasons, but also significant valleys in 8 seasons without a winning record.  However, this season the Falcons were the second seed in the NFC Conference and had one of the most explosive offenses in NFL history, rivaling the offensive firepower of the 2007 Patriots team that went undefeated in the regular season that year.

This dynamic sets up the Super Bowl as a contest between a perennial heavyweight and a scrappy contender, an empire against a rebellion, or whatever other David vs Goliath metaphor you can think of. (more…)

Action Needed: Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration

by & filed under Immigration, NVCA Blog.

Bobby Franklin

Like you, we have had time to digest the executive order “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” issued by President Trump last Friday.  Under the order, the president indefinitely barred Syrian refugees from entering the U.S., implemented a hold on all refugee admission for 120 days and blocked entry of citizens from seven predominantly Muslim nations into the U.S. for 90 days.

The consequences of the late Friday order sent ripples across our country, leading to chaos and confusion at airports, surprising detentions, mass demonstrations, and global outrage.  As the impact of the order became better understood, the criticism has only increased.

I am troubled about the uncertainty that President Trump’s executive order brings to the U.S. entrepreneurial ecosystem.  America’s traditions of openness, collaboration and inclusion, have been critical elements to our success as a nation, and are particularly important to the health of entrepreneurship.  When NVCA looks at changes to immigration policy, we must consider whether those changes would attract or repel the best and the brightest from around the world.


Reflecting on 2016: Five Takeaways from the Q4 2016 PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor

by & filed under NVCA Blog, Research.

Maryam Haque

Earlier this month, we released the Q4 2016 PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor, a review of the U.S. venture capital ecosystem’s fourth quarter and year-end trends for 2016.  Between the Presidential inauguration, meetings with the Trump transition team, and various other industry data releases, it has been a busy start to 2017 for NVCA.  So in case you may have missed it, here are some helpful resources related to the report:

  • PDF copy of Venture Monitor (link)
  • Supporting XLS data pack of Venture Monitor (link)
  • View the PPT deck and a copy of the Q4 PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor webinar (link) [Note: available only to NVCA members.]

The report unpacks a large number of trends and data points on the venture industry, so we have highlighted five major trends below that caught our eye: (more…)