This week, NVCA will join the world in celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week. Entrepreneurship energizes America’s spirit and its economy – permeating all of its industries, technologies, products, services and geographies. It’s not hyperbole to say that venture capital would not exist without entrepreneurs and the innovative companies they build. In turn, venture plays a unique and crucial role in empowering entrepreneurs through providing funding and other resources, insights into how to build and scale their companies, experienced hands to guide them through business challenges, and connections to strategic partners and other valuable contacts. Read more
As an Arkansas native, I’ve learned an important rule of thumb for visiting cities like Chicago: Get there before it gets cold. I don’t think I accomplished that last week when I blew into the Windy City as part of my nationwide NVCA “listen and learn” tour. But I certainly appreciated the warm reception I received from the Illinois Venture Capital Association. Read more
This past Monday, NVCA participated in the release of a new report aimed at improving access to public capital for startups and emerging growth companies. Entitled “From the On-Ramp to the Freeway: Refueling Job Creation and Growth by Reconnecting Investors with Small-Cap Companies,” the report follows up on the 2011 efforts of the IPO Task Force, whose “Rebuilding the IPO On-Ramp” report helped lead to the passage of the JOBS Act of 2012., NVCA Board Director Scott Kupor (Andreessen Horowitz) served as co-Chair of the new task force, while I provided policy guidance. Read more
Throughout its history, NVCA has strongly supported the allocation of federal funds for research at universities, nonprofit research institutes and federal laboratories. That’s because America’s entrepreneurs often take the groundbreaking discoveries generated in these settings today and turn them into the life-saving and life-changing products of tomorrow. However, this process can only take place if the innovative breakthrough is transferred successfully from the lab to a startup that can develop it and bring it to market. Read more
Amidst the talk of economic gloom and doom in D.C. this week, the MoneyTree™ Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), based on data provided by Thomson Reuters, provided some encouragement for venture capitalists, innovators and entrepreneurs. Early Stage dollar investments rose to their highest level in 12 years, rising 7 percent in dollars and 8 percent in deals. In fact, Seed/Early stage deals accounted for 58 percent of total deal volume in Q3, a record percentage for a single quarter. (Full data can be accessed here.) These figures bode well for the future of innovation. Read more
One of the top priorities of the NVCA CFO Task Force is to engage the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF), the parent organization to accounting policy-maker FASB, as it undertakes a post-implementation review (PIR) of the fair value measurement and reporting rules. This rule set is widely known by its original name, “Financial Accounting Statement 157” or simply “FAS 157.” NVCA CFO Task Force members have been working at multiple levels to encourage a thorough review of this standard, which became effective in 2008. Since then, annual audit costs and efforts have grown far beyond what we believe the policymakers intended. It is not clear how much of the issue for U.S. venture capital firms is (a) the application of the standard by some auditors, or (b) the standard itself. Regardless, NVCA members have reported escalating audit costs and team distraction. Thus, NVCA and other industry groups asked FAF to undertake this PIR. We hope it is a first step in getting necessary relief. Read more
Among the many bills packaged together in 2012 to form the JOBS Act was a measure that forced the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to revisit its long-time ban on “general solicitation” – i.e. advertising – for private offerings. Although it has taken the SEC more than a year to craft final rules lifting the ban, those new rules took effect on Sept. 23, 2013.
Throughout the legislative and regulatory phase of this debate, NVCA has kept a finger on the pulse of member opinion regarding this issue, and has found little interest in using the new general solicitation regime. However, at its meeting in July of this year – the meeting at which the final rules were issued – the SEC asked for comment on additional proposed rules that deal with reporting requirements for firms that do generally solicit, as well as those that continue to operate under the “old” rules (no general solicitation.) Read more
Dear Members and Friends of NVCA:
As you all return from what has hopefully been a productive and rejuvenating summer, so too do we at the NVCA, with a robust and exciting agenda for the coming weeks and months. Today, the staff and I are gathered in Washington D.C. discussing our top priorities and strategies in the areas of policy, research, communications and membership. Today is officially my first day as President and CEO of the association, and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the promise that lies ahead. It is a privilege to lead an organization comprised of individuals and firms that fuel the innovation economy, drive job creation and company growth, and change the way in which we live and work for the better. Ours is a story worth telling – here in Washington D.C. – and across the country and I am looking forward to sharing that narrative with critical stakeholders and influencers who matter to the future of our ecosystem. Read more
In late June, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) proposed jump-starting tax reform by starting with a “blank slate” that eliminates all tax expenditures – both corporate and individual – in the code. They then asked their Senate colleagues to formally weigh in on which expenditures or credits should be added back into the code, based on which provisions would help grow the economy or make the tax code fairer. Read more
Today the NVCA in partnership with DeSantis Breindel and Rooney & Associates released a study that, for the first time, looks at the influence of brand in the venture capital industry. The topic is one that is near and dear to my heart – and to the hearts of more than 100 members of the NVCA Strategic Communications (StratCom) Group, many who gathered last week in Santa Clara to talk about brand management, investor relations, public relations and other marketing and communications topics. The group previewed the results of the study – which is aptly called the Brand Influence Guide for the Venture Capital Industry or BIG: VC — and immediately understood the implications for their respective firms. Read more
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