March 30, 2023

Contact: Robin Ceppos
Phone: 408-489-9245

WASHINGTON, DC –In observance of its 50th anniversary, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) is pleased to formally launch its new Venture Vanguard Award, an initiative that recognizes exceptional individuals who have made or are currently making significant contributions to transform the venture capital landscape and turbocharge America’s growth and success.

The Venture Vanguard Award is an opportunity for the industry to pay tribute to both the early pioneers, and the current-day leaders, who create opportunities for entrepreneurs to build companies that change the world, NVCA President and CEO Bobby Franklin, announced on Thursday.

Franklin added that the inaugural Venture Vanguard class includes a dynamic group of five trailblazers who have either laid the foundation for today’s vibrant innovation ecosystem or are actively enhancing it in a variety of ways, including investing in lifesaving or life-changing technologies and contributing to job creation across the nation.

“These founding Venture Vanguard recipients have all made a pivotal impact on society and helped cement the U.S. as a formidable competitor in the world,” said Franklin. “With their unwavering commitment, they have continued to find ways to support the creation of completely new industries and transform existing ones. All five recipients have forged a path for generations to come through their guidance, philanthropic leadership, and unparalleled foresight.”


  • Brad FeldWith more than 35 years of experience as an early-stage investor and entrepreneur, Brad serves as a leading voice in the VC industry as the author of several books in the Startup Revolution series and through the Feld Thoughts blog. Before founding Colorado-based Foundry, he launched Mobius Venture Capital and Intensity Ventures. As a co-founder of Techstars, Brad has spent years cultivating the next generation of innovative, diverse founders. Along with his wife, Amy Batchelor, he also runs the Anchor Point Foundation to support individuals and organizations working to improve their communities.
  • Jan Garfinkle – The founder of Michigan-based Arboretum Ventures, Jan is an icon of the healthcare innovation economy. She has driven numerous investments in promising technologies that have improved countless lives and transformed the future of medicine. A former NVCA Board chair, Jan also led industry-wide diversity initiatives and was instrumental in driving policy changes which helped small businesses access critical funding during Covid.
  • Mary Meeker Mary first published the widely distributed Internet Trends Reports in 1995, which solidified her well-earned reputation as a visionary investor and thought leader.  Dubbed as ‘Queen of the Net’ by Barron’s in 1998, she made her mark as a wall street analyst for her successful predictions about the expansion of the internet. After an illustrious stint at Kleiner Perkins, she founded BOND capital in 2019, where she continues to influence how we work, play, travel, and more.
  • Alan PatricofAlan founded Patricof & Co. Ventures Inc. (now Apax Partners) in 1969, created Greycroft Partners in 2006, and currently serves as the Founder and Chairperson of Primetime Partners. His expertise is almost unrivaled in the world of venture capital, where he has invested in companies that touch every stage of life, including healthcare, technology, and media. Alan’s contributions to the world of VC, PE, politics, and philanthropy make him an invaluable asset to the NVCA community and a testament to the possibilities of entrepreneurship.
  • In Memoriam: Don Valentine (1932-2019)– Referred to “as the grandfather of Silicon Valley,” Don founded Sequoia Capital in 1972 and built it into one of the most successful VC firms in history. He played a pivotal role in the creation and growth of vital industries such as semiconductors, personal computers, computer software, digital entertainment, and networking. Don’s impact on venture capital continues to be felt today, and his legacy serves as an inspiration to countless entrepreneurs and investors.

NVCA will officially honor the debut class, presented by platinum sponsors EY Private and Dentons Venture Technology Group, at the 2023 NVCA Leadership Gala.

The event will take place on May 11, 2023, at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco. Registration is required.


About National Venture Capital Association
The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) empowers the next generation of American companies that will fuel the economy of tomorrow. As the voice of the US venture capital and startup community, NVCA advocates for public policy that supports the American entrepreneurial ecosystem. Serving the venture community as the preeminent trade association, NVCA arms the venture community for success, serving as the leading resource for venture capital data, practical education, peer-led initiatives, and networking. For more information about NVCA, please visit