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. Read more
Venture capital’s contribution to the technology and Internet sectors are well understood, with VC partnering with the founders of iconic brands like Facebook, Uber, and Netflix. What is not as well understood is how venture is tackling the world’s deadliest diseases and afflictions through the patient investment of capital in life science startups. A prominent example is Genentech, the world’s first biotechnology company, which was founded in 1976 by a venture capitalist and a professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Today, venture is building on past success to solve our nation’s most pressing health care crises, like lymphoma, multiple myeloma, sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, and many others.
Small, venture-backed companies play a critical role in bringing groundbreaking medical innovation to market that diagnoses, treats, or cures previously intractable diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS. These fast-growing and hungry new enterprises are responsible for a considerable amount of breakthroughs in life sciences, so much so that drug companies now rely on acquisitions for three-quarters of their drug pipelines rather than develop new products internally. In many other cases, VC-backed life science startups grow into successful enterprises of their own, with 51 having gone public in 2015. In fact, life science startups drove two-thirds of all VC-backed IPOs in 2015. Read more
At NVCA we are committed to helping policymakers craft pro-growth policies that help startups continue to drive the U.S. economy and encourage job creation. So when we see articles that fail to understand how innovation and entrepreneurship work, it is our responsibility to correct the record. This recent article in Politico makes just this mistake and threatens to undermine public support for an important provision of the tax code that encourages investment in early stage startups.
Let us start with a couple of facts that we should all keep in mind. Twenty-five years ago, more than 90 percent of global venture capital was invested in U.S. entrepreneurs. Last year, U.S. startups attracted 54 percent of global venture capital investment as other countries continue to reform their policies to build their ecosystems and compete with our long-held leadership in the space. In addition, smaller C corporations have been vanishing. As a result, the total number of U.S. public companies have been reduced by half in only 20 years. Read more
As a growth equity investor, Board Member of NVCA, and current Chair of the Growth Equity Member Peer Group, I am focused on advancing the growth equity asset class through education, policy, and investor community engagement. With that in mind, I wanted to provide a brief update of our recent activities. Read more
What’s the secret sauce for venture capital investing? Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer, but it’s not surprising that the topic has piqued the interest of a number of academics. A recently-released Stanford University Graduate School of Business paper – “How Do Venture Capitalists Make Decisions?” – assesses the VC decision making process to better understand what venture capitalists (VCs) do and why they have been successful. The study examines eight areas of VC decision making: deal sourcing; investment decisions; valuation; deal structure; post-investment value-added; exits; internal organization of firms; and relationships with limited partners.
About 900 institutional VCs at 681 firms were surveyed (including many NVCA members), and the findings shed light on the complex world of venture investors. At a high-level, two things stand out: 1) it is no understatement that VCs make lots of critical decisions across multiple levels of management – investments, portfolio companies, firm-level, and LPs; and 2) there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach – VC practices vary across industry, stage, geography, and past success.
Some highlights of the paper’s findings: Read more
A San Francisco native with an MBA from Wharton and experience working at two successful medical device startups in the Bay area, Jan Garfinkle was a trailing spouse when she moved to Michigan over 20 years ago. At the time, there were less than ten venture capital firms in existence in Michigan. Today there are 25, including Arboretum Ventures, which Jan founded in 2002 and remains a Managing Director today.
You don’t meet many San Francisco natives who move to the Midwest to chase a career in venture capital. In fact, one could make the case that that would be the least effective way to break into an industry that is predominantly centralized around a single road in Palo Alto, CA. But for Jan it worked, and in many respects her story is the story of Michigan’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. Read more
“Welcome to Believeland!,” was the enthusiastic greeting from Ray Leach, CEO of JumpStart, Inc., to an audience of entrepreneurs, venture capital investors, nonprofits, foundations, government entities, universities, and corporations, who were among the hundreds gathered for JumpStart, Inc.’s Second Annual Startup ScaleUp event in Cleveland. Read more
We’re excited to release the 2016 NVCA Yearbook! While the thought of a “yearbook” may bring back painful memories of awkward high school photos, the NVCA Yearbook features statistics and insights on the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and further highlights the key role of industry data in quantifying the powerful economic force that is venture capital.
If it’s Tuesday, it’s primary day somewhere. But this isn’t just any primary day, it’s Super Tuesday! Today, voters in 13 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming) will cast ballots for their preferred candidate in the Democratic and Republican primaries.
As we recently detailed in our annual reporting of venture capital investment by MSA, you don’t have to be an entrepreneur living in a specific city, state or region to receive venture capital investment. There are pockets of innovation in local entrepreneurial ecosystems in all corners of our country. Read more