Last Thursday leaders from across venture capital and the entrepreneurial ecosystem converged on the Palace Hotel in San Francisco for the NVCA Leadership Gala & Summit. The event was a huge success and provided for a great opportunity to download a little content, network with peers and reconnect with NVCA.
This being a presidential election year, the underlying theme to the event centered on politics and policy. NVCA President and CEO Bobby Franklin kicked things off at the luncheon by providing an update to the membership and issuing a call to action to partner with NVCA in the year ahead. As Bobby made clear, lobbyists and trade association are a dime-a-dozen in Washington. The best way to really move the needle on your policy priorities is to have your members lend their voices to the cause. Knowing that the first two years of a new administration are always the most productive, Bobby said we need to prepare now to strike while the iron is hot on our key policy objectives in early 2017
Following Bobby’s update, NVCA’s veteran Washington consultants Bruce Mehlman and David Castagnetti delivered an entertaining outlook on the presidential election and how it will impact our industry’s key policy priorities. And then in the evening, we convened presidential campaign strategists Nicolle Wallace and Stephanie Cutter for a fireside chat to share their expert takes on the presidential campaign to date and what we can expect this fall during the general election.
However, it wasn’t all politics and policy all the time. We were thrilled to honor this year’s award recipients: Chuck Newhall (Lifetime Achievement in Venture Capital), Diana Frazier (Outstanding Service Award) and Jeff Fagnan (American Spirit Award). During his farewell speech as the outgoing Chair of NVCA, Jon Callaghan of True Ventures reminded everyone that venture is the only industry that creates new industries and urged his venture colleagues to invest with purpose. Then later after the formal passing of the gavel from one chair to the next, incoming NVCA Chair Venky Ganesan of Menlo Ventures shared his priorities for the year ahead—which includes an emphasis on showcasing ecosystems beyond the Valley as well as creating a more inclusive culture in venture capital.
In between, there were informative breakout sessions, plenty of networking and lots of fun! All of which wouldn’t have been possible if it were not for our generous sponsors. A special thanks to William Blair, Silicon Valley Bank, Cooley, EY, RPXCorporation, Sidley Austin and IPREO.
If you weren’t able to join us this year, mark your calendars to join us next May. Planning is already underway for the event, so if you have ideas to share, don’t hesitate to reach out.