In March 2018, NVCA and Stanford launched the Venture Capital Symposium to offer venture capital (“VC”) investors and directors at venture-backed companies with education and best practices needed to respond effectively to real-world governance challenges that commonly arise at VC firms and portfolio companies. After hosting 250+ participants and 100+ speakers across two successful programs in March 2018 and March 2019, NVCA and Stanford are holding our third annual VC Symposium on March 10-11, 2020 at Stanford.
What’s the VC Symposium and why should you attend?
NVCA and Stanford created the Venture Capital Symposium to address the tough topics that can make or break the success of a VC firm or portfolio company, and we wanted to make sure we had a diverse group of industry leaders share their expertise first-hand with their peers looking for continuing education and with those newer to their VC/startup/director journeys.
Education on venture capital available to the ecosystem has come a long way. But while there are a range of educational programs that cover a variety of important topics for VCs and startups, a holistic approach to governance best practices and tactical guidance to address the challenging issues that come with being a successful VC firm or startup has been lacking. At the same time, the maturity and evolution of the industry has led to increased challenges with respect to governance and fund, portfolio company, and talent management. The Symposium combines the Stanford Rock Center for Corporate Governance’s leadership on this subject and NVCA’s community of VC leaders to produce a constructive dialogue on these important issues. Furthermore, the Symposium aligns with NVCA’s mission to educate the next generation of VC leaders and nicely complements our suite of offerings.
We encourage VC investors, VC-backed company board members, and CEOs/founders interested in governance best practices to attend! Early bird registration ends 12/31/19. New to the 2020 program is also a special tuition rate of $1,000 for small/emerging managers who apply by 12/31/2019.
How is the VC Symposium different than other NVCA educational programs?
The Stanford/NVCA Venture Capital Symposium is the premier governance program for the VC community. VC University, a joint initiative of NVCA and Startup@BerkeleyLaw, offers education virtually and in emerging ecosystems on the nuts and bolts of venture finance. And LP Office Hours are half-day workshops across the country for diverse emerging VC fund managers to learn best practices on fundraising and the GP-LP relationship from LPs and experienced GPs.
Who’s speaking and what topics will the 2020 VC Symposium cover?
Topics covered in 2020 include conflicts of interest, culture and inclusion, board-founder relationships, boardroom mechanics, and human capital. Participants will also explore best practices in fund management and limited partner relationships, as well as emerging policy and regulatory issues that may affect their funds and investments.
We’re thrilled to have Kirsten Green of Forerunner Ventures and Steve Case of Revolution as our two keynote speakers, along with ~60 other VC experts. (Fun fact: 26 of our 42 confirmed speakers so far are women or people of color!)
Many thanks to our program sponsors Deloitte and Morgan Stanley; anchor VC sponsors Andreessen Horowitz and Benchmark; Steering Committee members Adam Dawkins (Sierra Ventures), Charles Hudson (Precursor Ventures), Robert Mittendorff (Norwest Venture Partners), Damineh Mycroft (Boeing HorizonX Ventures), and Song Pak (Revolution); and my Symposium co-directors Kristen Savelle and Joe Grundfest at Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University!
The 411 on the Stanford/NVCA Venture Capital Symposium
When & Where: March 10-11, 2020 at Stanford Law School (the day before the NVCA Leadership Gala in San Francisco, if you’re coming from out of town and want to make a week out of it!)
Who: The Symposium is limited to members of VC firms or corporate venture groups (e.g. partners, principals, associates, analysts, EIRs, GCs, etc.) and board members, senior executives or GCs of venture-backed companies, including CEOs/founders and independent directors.
- General tuition $2,500
- Early bird tuition (ends 12/31/19) $2,100
- Special rate for small/emerging managers who apply by 12/31/19 $1,000
- NVCA members and Stanford Alumni receive 10% off
View full details and register here: https://conferences.law.stanford.edu/vcs/registration
Questions? Contact Maryam Haque, SVP of Industry Advancement at NVCA, at email@example.com
NVCA is teaming up with Bionic to host an exciting event on November 13 in New York City on how the mindsets and methodologies of venture capital and entrepreneurship are critical to grow and transform large enterprises. Leveraging themes from Bionic CEO David Kidder’s new book, New to Big, the evening will feature insights from innovation experts on the strategies companies can use to discover new opportunities and turn them into big businesses, just as entrepreneurs and early-stage investors do. Read more
Through our VentureForward initiative, NVCA is always looking to shine a spotlight on initiatives, organizations, and people who are helping to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We recently connected with Elizabeth Galbut at NVCA member firm SoGal Ventures to learn more about her firm and her role as a judge for the SoGal Global Pitch Competition, a global startup pitch competition for women and diverse entrepreneurs.
- What’s your investment thesis at SoGal Ventures?
As the first female-led millennial venture capital firm, SoGal Ventures represents how far our generation has come, and how deep our impact on the world can be. We believe in the power of diversity, borderless business, and human-centric design. SoGal Ventures invests in early stage diverse founding teams in the U.S. and Asia, and aims to be the strongest ally for portfolio companies. Powered by the SoGal Ecosystem across 40+ cities around the world, SoGal Ventures is galvanizing a brand new demographic – millennial & Gen Z women and minorities – to take center stage in entrepreneurship and creation. With that in mind, we invest in the future of how the next generations will live, work, and stay healthy.
- What’s the SoGal Global Pitch Competition, and why is it different than other pitch competitions?
The SoGal Global Pitch Competition is the largest global pitch opportunity for women & diverse founders, spanning 5 continents and 25 cities. Finalists from each regional round win a slot in our Final Global Pitch Competition for guaranteed facetime with top Silicon Valley VCs, where they’ll have the chance to compete for a portion of $600K in investment dollars and attend a three-day immersive bootcamp with educational programming, curated 1:1 mentorship, press opportunities, and much more.
Out of the almost 1,700 startup applications we’ve received globally, 75% of founders self-identified as women, 60% people of color, 42% women of color, 30% black, and 8% LGBTQIA+. Since only 2.2% of venture capital funding went to women in 2018, and less than .1% of funding has been allocated to black women since 2009, these applications represent the incredible and untapped potential of underrepresented entrepreneurs.
- What’s the connection between SoGal Ventures, the SoGal Foundation, and the SoGal Global Pitch Competition?
SoGal Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit on a mission to close the gender and diversity gap in entrepreneurship and investing. The SoGal Foundation is the largest global platform for the education & empowerment of diverse entrepreneurs and investors reaching over 100K+ #SoGalBosses in 40 chapters on 5 continents around the globe. SoGal hosts hundreds of global educational events and worldwide webinars per year, including our second annual Global Pitch Competition, in addition to running our angel investor educational training and community FEMPIRE x SoGal.
SoGal Ventures is the first female-led millennial venture capital firm investing in seed stage diverse founding teams rethinking the future of how we live, work, and stay healthy. Founders Elizabeth Galbut and Pocket Sun are Managing Partners of SoGal Ventures and Co-Presidents of SoGal Foundation. These two organizations compliment one another to move the needle forward to redefine the next generation of diverse entrepreneurs and investors.
- What advice would you give to entrepreneurs entering this (or another) pitch competition?
First of all, celebrate! You were selected out of a competitive pool, for example 1,700 applications in SoGal’s competition; that’s a huge win!
For the pitch itself, within the first 10 seconds start with the one big data point that is most compelling to the audience — whether that is traction, the problem, market opportunity, or whatever the startup’s biggest selling point might be. As an entrepreneur, you want to capture investor attention, state the problem you’re solving, the market size, your traction so far, your roadmap and vision for the future, and why your team is best suited to solve that problem. See our blog post with more tips and advice on pitching from our SoGal investor judges.
- The SoGal Global Pitch Competition covers 25+ cities, and you see a wide range of entrepreneurs. Are there any markets or sectors that you’re particularly excited about?
The applications we’ve received have included innovative solutions across all different industries and sectors — approximately half of applicants are in the consumer space (E-commerce, Retail, Software, Media, Beauty) and the other half in “deep” tech (AI, SaaS/B2B, Healthcare, Big Data, FinTech, etc.), which is so exciting. This is further evidence that women and other underrepresented groups are building innovative startups across all industries. We’re excited to be the connection point to resources to watch these founders scale and soar.
To learn more about the SoGal Global Pitch Competition, visit their event website.