Despite investing some $80 billion a year and helping coach the world’s fastest-growing companies, the venture capital business is oddly unsophisticated. Most firms lack basic corporate functions, such as human-resources departments or employee codes of conduct. The consequences of this weren’t readily apparent until last year, when more than a dozen women came forward with allegations of harassment against VCs.
The industry is now getting some long-overdue help, and it’s coming from a Washington lobbying group. The National Venture Capital Association, the trade group representing American VCs, published a trove of HR documents on Thursday encouraging firms to adopt new policies to define unacceptable workplace behavior.
Justin Field, vice president of government affairs at the National Venture Capital Association, said that the Senate’s proposed tax change would be “crippling” to the startup industry.
How far the provision gets remains to be seen. The National Venture Capital Association was successful in getting a similar proposal removed from the House tax bill, although it “didn’t fully appreciate” the Senate’s intention to add the tax provision, Field said. The association also helped to steer lawmakers away from a proposal discussed late last year to tax venture capitalists’ profits on investments at a higher rate.
A group of entrepreneurs, companies and venture capitalists that sued the Trump administration last week for delaying a federal rule aimed at helping foreign entrepreneurs grow businesses in the U.S. filed a motion for a preliminary injunction Friday urging the administration to implement the rule, pending a final judgment.
A group representing U.S. venture-capital investors is leading a lawsuit against the Trump administration, claiming it took illegal steps to prevent an immigration policy that would have helped foreign-born founders stay in the U.S. to build startups.
In a legal complaint filed Tuesday, the National Venture Capital Association, along with other plaintiffs, claims the Department of Homeland Security violated rules around administrative procedures when it delayed the start of the International Entrepreneur Rule one week before the regulation was scheduled to go into effect in July, according to a copy of the complaint reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Stamping out sexual harassment has become the top priority of the National Venture Capital Association, said NVCA President and CEO Bobby Franklin. The NVCA on Tuesday took the unusual step of holding a special board meeting to address the issue — the first time the association has called an unscheduled meeting in at least 10 years.
“We are spending lots of time and attention on this,” Franklin said.
The NVCA last month put out a public call for suggestions, and since then has received dozens of responses, Franklin said. At Tuesday’s meeting, the board agreed to seek expert input on those ideas, and pursue partnerships with organizations who want to be involved, such as the Institutional Limited Partners Association.
The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), a trade group representing startups and venture capital, voiced a similar position in a letter it wrote, calling for a research and development tax credit.
“A typical startup will still be quite early in the process of development when the size/age limits eliminate their ability to benefit from the R&D credit,” the group wrote.
“This creates a strange dichotomy where startup companies cannot access the benefits of the R&D credit when they need it the most,” the NVCA’s letter continued. “We believe that these improvements to the R&D credit will provide a fair and material benefit for American startups and will be a strong step forward in shoring up our leadership in entrepreneurship.”
“Today’s announcement is extremely disappointing and represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the critical role immigrant entrepreneurs play in growing the next generation of American companies,” Bobby Franklin, the president and chief executive of the National Venture Capital Association, a trade association for start-up investors, said in a statement.
He added that even as other countries are going all out to attract entrepreneurs, “the Trump administration is signaling its intent to do the exact opposite.”
Seventy-eight groups representing startup founders, investors, economic development organizations and civic leaders sent a letter in May, to the White House urging the administration to not roll back the International Entrepreneur Rule before it goes into effect on July 17. The letter is set to be released on Friday.
The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), a D.C. trade association representing venture capital and entrepreneurial interests, who organized but did not sign the letter, also met with administration officials on Thursday to advocate for the rule.
A new letter from more than 100 investors and entrepreneurs is calling President Trump’s executive order on immigration “morally and economically misguided” and urging him to reverse his decision.
The Tuesday letter, spearheaded by the National Venture Capital Association and Engine Advocacy, two groups representing startups and entrepreneurs in tech, warns that the orders “will inflict irreversible harm on the startup community and America’s ability to compete globally.
The first comprehensive look at the demographics of venture capital from its own trade association is a sobering snapshot of what decades of exclusion of women and minorities have wrought.
Women, African Americans and Latinos are significantly underrepresented in venture capital, with few holding decision-making positions, according to the report to be released Thursday by the National Venture Capital Association and Deloitte University Leadership Center for Inclusion.