The Impact of the 2016 Election on the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

The 2016 election was one of the most surprising elections in recent memory, as Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the presidential election and the Republican party maintained their majorities in both the House and the Senate.

As we do after every election, NVCA provided an election analysis to our membership.  We took a look at what happened this election cycle, what policy priorities to expect over the next four years, and how a new administration will impact venture capital and entrepreneurship.

This election, we did something new with our post-election analysis.  In addition to our detailed analysis delivered to NVCA members, our policy team conducted a webinar with our members to provide a deeper dive into what led to the election’s outcome and what that result means for venture capital, startups and the greater entrepreneurial ecosystem.

In our webinar we first recapped the election results, analyzing how President-elect Trump won the general election and how the Republican party maintained control of both chambers of Congress.

We then turned to what those results mean for the future of broader policy areas, such as tax reform, healthcare and technology.  The policy team first listed the major cabinet nominations that will play a large role in those policies as well as those positions that remain to be filled.  As the saying goes, “personnel is policy,” and a lot can be learned about the direction of an administration based on these appointments. For example, the recent nominations of Steve Mnuchin as Secretary of the Treasury and Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General may serve as an indication as to what the future holds for several of NVCA’s key priorities.

The core discussion with our members focused on specific policies that could impact the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the coming years, all of which the NVCA team will be closely monitoring.  These issues include tax reform and carried interest, immigration, qualified small business stock rules, net neutrality, wireless spectrum, capital markets, drug pricing, and data and privacy regulation.

All of these areas have the potential to affect our industry in positive or negative ways.  We reiterated NVCA’s dedication to advancing policy that promotes positive outcomes for entrepreneurship and venture capital and pushing back against policy that could have negative outcomes for the industry.  Overall, we believe that there are a number of opportunities in the new Trump Administration for advancing policies that support the entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Members can view this webinar in the member portal here.

At a broad level, the 2016 election showed that there is a great deal of economic anxiety among many Americans, especially working-class Americans living outside of major cities.  Given the impact of this economic anxiety on the election results, we see a significant opportunity for venture capital and startups to be a solution to the challenges too many American families are facing.  Young companies create an average of 3 million new jobs per year and are responsible for almost all net new job creation in the country.  We believe that the new Trump Administration and the congressional Republicans should embrace the entrepreneurial ecosystem as the answer to the economic concerns of millions of Americans, and all of us at NVCA are dedicated to promoting and advancing policy that supports entrepreneurship, startups and job creation all across the nation.