With 2017 in the rearview, we can now take a deep breath and try to make sense of what was a very turbulent year. President Trump’s first year in office turned out to be even more unconventional than his campaign for president. Protests the day after his inauguration, making news with the stroke of a tweet, and major legislative failures followed by major legislative victories, President Trump’s (almost) first year in office has been filled with fireworks on a weekly—and often daily—basis. As someone who has lived and worked in Washington for nearly three decades, this has been both exciting and exhausting to witness. (more…)
NVCA has worked hard in 2017 to make the United States a friendlier place to immigrant entrepreneurs. The venture industry knows first-hand the many incredible contributions of foreign-born entrepreneurs, like how more than half of U.S. “unicorns” were started by immigrants, or that one-third of U.S. venture-backed companies that went public between 2006 and 2012 had at least one immigrant founder.
Our immigration advocacy takes on multiple forms. We continue to be the leading advocate on Capitol Hill for creation of a Startup Visa and have welcomed efforts by Senator Flake (R-AZ), as well as Senators Moran (R-KS) and Warner (D-VA), to do just that. Separately, we also lead the fight for the International Entrepreneur Rule, which would allow foreign-born founders to remain in the U.S. for up to five years to grow a startup. In July, the Trump Administration announced it would delay and move to end the rule. This unfortunate development followed months of intense advocacy by NVCA and our allies to maintain the rule so that foreign-born founders could start and scale their enterprises here in the U.S. (more…)
American entrepreneurship and immigration are deeply intertwined, and our community is thankful for the many contributions that immigrant entrepreneurs have brought to our country. The stats are astounding: immigrants have started more than half of America’s “unicorns;” one-third of U.S. venture-backed companies that went public between 2006 and 2012 had at least one immigrant founder; and more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies have at least one founder who either immigrated to the U.S., or was the child of immigrants. (more…)
On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security was scheduled to begin receiving applications from foreign-born startup founders under the International Entrepreneur Rule. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration delayed the rule with an eye on eventually rescinding it, shutting down a commonsense policy tool that would have kept job-creators in the U.S. to build their companies here and hire American workers.
As a quick refresher, the International Entrepreneur Rule was put in place during the final days of the Obama Administration and would have created a regulatory structure similar to a Startup Visa, which NVCA has supported for over a decade. While the Startup Visa has been caught up in the broader immigration reform efforts that have stalled in Congress, the International Entrepreneur Rule had the potential to accomplish many of the same outcomes. (more…)
Tax policy is one of the most powerful economic levers that policymakers have at their disposal. So it is concerning to see that instead of modernizing the tax code to recognize and support entrepreneurship, tax policy discussions in Washington have been more likely to focus on increasing taxes on the entrepreneurial ecosystem. For example, there have been calls to increase taxes on carried interest capital gains and repeal the Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS) rules to pay for unrelated priorities.
At NVCA, we think this is the exact wrong way to view tax reform. Instead, tax reform should be an opportunity to support the creation and growth of more U.S. companies. We have submitted a policy paper to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance detailing a tax reform agenda that would encourage new company formation. In this submission, we explain why startups are so critical to the country’s economic competitiveness, why startups are a unique business model, and call for a specific section in tax reform that should be devoted to proposals that would encourage new company formation. We then detail four tax reform proposals that would help startups without creating a new credit or deduction. These ideas include: (more…)
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: an entrepreneur comes to the United States from her home country with dreams of growing an idea into a blockbuster company. The entrepreneur starts the company here because of our culture of innovation and risk-taking, coupled with robust financing options and the world’s best universities. Working shoulder-to-shoulder with a venture capitalist, the entrepreneur succeeds and creates an exceptional company that employs thousands of Americans, improves lives, and delivers technological or medical advancement.
Given the many benefits new companies bring the U.S., you would think our government would be clamoring to attract the world’s best entrepreneurs like policymakers have in Canada, France, and the U.K. Sadly, that’s not the case. Earlier today the Trump Administration announced it would do the exact opposite and delay International Entrepreneur Rule with an eye toward rescinding the rule in the next several months. That’s a missed opportunity and one that competitor countries are cheering today. (more…)
It has been one week since the venture capital community convened in Washington, D.C. at the 2017 NVCA Annual Meeting and everyone is still buzzing from the event and our new format.
We rewrote the script for this year’s event to focus exclusively on policy and direct engagement with policymakers to advance a pro-innovation agenda that supports new company creation. Crucial to that mission was moving the Annual Meeting to our nation’s capital. (more…)
Thirty years ago, the median time for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of a new drug was 33 months. As one can imagine, major backlog at the agency caused significant delay to the approval and entry of potentially life-saving drugs in the market. To address this problem, Congress passed the Prescription Drug User Fee Act in 1992 to authorize the FDA to collect fees when new drug applications were submitted. Those user fees, paid for by the biopharmaceutical industry, supplemented Congressional funding for the agency to review new drug applications in a more timely and efficient manner. Ten years later, Congress passed the Medical Device User Fee and Modernization Act (MDUFA) after the FDA’s medical device program experienced a substantial loss in resources, seeking to accomplish a shared goal (between industry and the FDA) of improving the review process for new medical devices. (more…)
Like you, we have had time to digest the executive order “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” issued by President Trump last Friday. Under the order, the president indefinitely barred Syrian refugees from entering the U.S., implemented a hold on all refugee admission for 120 days and blocked entry of citizens from seven predominantly Muslim nations into the U.S. for 90 days.
The consequences of the late Friday order sent ripples across our country, leading to chaos and confusion at airports, surprising detentions, mass demonstrations, and global outrage. As the impact of the order became better understood, the criticism has only increased.
I am troubled about the uncertainty that President Trump’s executive order brings to the U.S. entrepreneurial ecosystem. America’s traditions of openness, collaboration and inclusion, have been critical elements to our success as a nation, and are particularly important to the health of entrepreneurship. When NVCA looks at changes to immigration policy, we must consider whether those changes would attract or repel the best and the brightest from around the world.
The last few weeks of 2016 have been an active time in policymaking that had a positive impact on the venture capital industry. NVCA kept its on eye on the ball on behalf of the venture industry and as a result came away with several key victories.
After a multi-year, bipartisan effort, the 21st Century Cures Act was signed into law last week. NVCA applauded this achievement as a major win for funding medical innovation and developing cures for rare diseases. NVCA engaged in the ‘Cures’ initiative from start, as board members Mike Carusi and Alexis Borisy testified before Congress in 2014 to demonstrate the value of venture capital investment in medical innovation. Within the bill’s 996 pages is increased funding for the National Institutes for Health and efforts to advance precision medicine that will help VCs who work tirelessly to develop innovative and life-saving cures and treatments. At NVCA, we spent a week in the Fall educating policymakers about the role of venture in medical innovation, including through the awesome video below. (more…)