MENLO PARK, CA – The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) today honored leaders of the venture capital industry for their significant contributions to advance innovation, strengthen the industry and promote entrepreneurship at the 2018 NVCA Leadership Gala.  In addition to recognizing the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement in Venture Capital Award, Outstanding Service Award and American Spirit Award, NVCA announced the winners of the Rising Star Award, Excellence in Healthcare Innovation Award and Venture Firm of the Year Award.

“On behalf of NVCA and our board of directors, I want to congratulate the 2018 award recipients for their contributions to advancing our industry and U.S. entrepreneurship,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA.  “For six decades, the venture industry has partnered with entrepreneurs to build groundbreaking companies that have shaped our society and grown the U.S. economy.  As we celebrate the venture industry tonight, we honor those that played a significant role in the growth of venture capital as well as recognize those that will     write the next chapter for this dynamic industry.”

The 2018 recipients and finalists include:

Lifetime Achievement in Venture Capital

Recipient: Pete Bancroft, Bessemer Venture Partners

“Pete is a pioneer of the venture industry, credited with being one of the earliest participants in the industry as a General Partner at Draper Gaither & Anderson,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA.  “Later he would lay the foundation for Bessemer Venture Partners, establishing it as one of the first bi-costal venture firms and cementing a platform that remains in place at the firm today.  One of the original founders of NVCA, Pete is a visionary and true leader of our industry—we are honored to present him with the Lifetime Achievement in Venture Capital Award.”  Read More

Outstanding Service Award

Recipient: Ira Ehrenpreis, DBL Partners

“For over two decades, Ira has been a fixture of the venture community and widely recognized as one of the most well-connected venture investors in the country,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA.  “Respected for his commitment to energy and impact investment, what makes Ira truly special is all he does to give back to the venture community through his ongoing work to convene the venture industry and facilitate connections among investors.  We congratulate Ira for his well-deserved recognition and thank him for his outstanding contributions to our industry.”  Read More

American Spirit Award

Recipient: RoseAnn Rosenthal, Ben Franklin Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania

“Governors, state lawmakers and economic development officers all want to know how to grow and strengthen their entrepreneurial ecosystems, and RoseAnn has the playbook to follow,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA.  “The driving force behind the success of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania since 1996, RoseAnn has significantly enhanced Ben Franklin’s capabilities to support the southeastern Pennsylvania ecosystem.  We salute RoseAnn for all she has done to support entrepreneurship in Pennsylvania and beyond and encourage others to look towards her work as a model of replication all across the country.”  Read More

Rising Star Award

Recipient: Robin Li, GGV Capital

Finalists: Ali Behbahani, MD, NEA

Nikhil Basu Trivedi, Shasta Ventures

Robin Li, GGV Capital

“Now in its second year, the Rising Star Award has become one of the most competitive award categories in our stable.  We were overwhelmed with nominations this year and while many were deserving of recognition, Robin’s name consistently rose to the top during the selection process,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA.  “Recognized for her initiative and ability to make things happen, Robin is respected by many in our industry and widely recognized as a true rising star with a bright future in the venture industry.  We are incredibly honored to recognize her with this award and look forward to seeing where her career takes her next.”  Read More

Excellence in Healthcare Innovation

Recipient: Bob Nelson, Arch Venture Partners

Finalists: Bob Nelson, Arch Venture Partners

William (“Bill”) J Link, PhD, Versant Ventures

Sue Siegel, GE Ventures

“One of the great visionary healthcare investors of our time, Bob Nelsen needs no introduction in the venture community,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA.  “For over two decades, Bob has pushed the envelope in supporting groundbreaking life science companies that have saved lives, improved patient outcomes and transformed society.  His commitment to healthcare innovation knows no bounds and we are honored to recognize him for his achievements.”  Read More

Firm of the Year

Recipient: True Ventures

Finalists: ARCH Venture Partners

Canaan Partners

True Ventures

“We couldn’t be happier for the True team and are honored to recognize them as the 2018 Venture Firm of the Year,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA.  “Since True’s founding in 2005, Jon, Phil and the rest of the True team have established themselves as leaders of our industry through their investments, their support for entrepreneurs and their commitment to creating a more inclusive ecosystem.  We congratulate them on this achievement and wish them the best of luck as they continue to lead our industry into the future.”  Read More

About the Awards

Lifetime Achievement in Venture Capital

The Lifetime Achievement in Venture Capital Award was created to recognize venture professionals who have dedicated their professional lives to creating and building successful and highly competitive venture firms as well as portfolio companies that have made a significant contribution to the growth and success of the U.S. economy.  Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award were instrumental in the formation and growth of the venture capital industry and have consistently set high performance standards for the entire industry.

Previous recipients: Bill Draper, Chuck Newhall, Mike Moritz, Mark Heesen, Arthur Rock, Sam Colella, Felda Hardymon, James Blair, Brook Byers, Jean Deleage, Anthony Evnin, Grant Heidrich, Jim Swartz, Bill Hambrecht, Sandy Robertson, Thomas Weisel, Edward Glassmeyer, Peter Crisp, Henry McCance, Paul Wythes, Lionel Pincus, Pitch Johnson, Richard Kramlich, Stanley Golder, Burton McMurtry, Reid Dennis, Peter Brooke, Thomas Perkins, Stanley Golder and David Morgenthaler.

Outstanding Service

The Outstanding Service Award was created to recognize the exceptional service of an NVCA Director or NVCA member who has committed an extraordinary amount of time, resources and dedication to Association efforts that in turn benefits the entire venture industry.  The dedication has raised the visibility of the industry to key legislators and regulators and helped to educate them regarding the pivotal role of venture capital to this economy.

Previous recipients: Ross Jaffe, Diana Frazier, Josh Green, Kate Mitchell, Steve Frederick, Ted Schlein, Warburg Pincus, Jack Lasersohn, Sarah Reed, John Martinson, Robert Pavey, Rodney Goldstein, E. Roe Stamps, M. Kathleen Behrens, Steven Lazarus, Harry T. Rein, Patricia Cloherty, John Doerr and Christopher Brody.

American Spirit

The American Spirit Award was created to recognize NVCA members who have shown philanthropic leadership by applying business skills, knowledge, expertise and resources to make an outstanding contribution to society.

Previous recipients: Ray Leach, Jeff Fagnan, Robin Richards Donohoe, William Sahlman, Peter Bancroft, Chuck Newhall, Joe Aragona, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, John Doerr, Alan Patricof, William Bowes, Peter Wendell, Floyd Kvamme, William Draper III, Martin Koldyke and Gib Myers.

Rising Star

The Rising Star Award was created to recognize the next generation of venture capital professionals who are rising through the ranks and establishing themselves as future standard bearers of the industry.  Recipients of the award have demonstrated a mastery of venture capital investing gleaned through a relatively short amount of time in the industry and are widely recognized by their peers and others as emerging leaders of the venture capital industry.

Previous Recipients: Kristina Shen

Excellence in Healthcare Innovation

For over three decades, venture capital has been at the forefront of some of the greatest advancements in medicine, pushing the boundaries of medical innovation and spurring the creation of the biotechnology and medical device industries.  The Excellence in Healthcare Innovation Award was created to recognize those who have demonstrated a clear commitment to the advancement of healthcare innovation through their investment in and support of groundbreaking medical companies that are working on treatments and cures for the most deadly and costly diseases.

Previous Recipients: Annie Lamont

Venture Firm of the Year

The Venture Firm of the Year Award was created to recognize venture capital firms for their significant contributions to advance the entrepreneurial ecosystem and generate returns for their investors.  Firms receiving the award are recognized for strong fund performance and high exit multiples for recent exits as well as activities to promote entrepreneurship and create a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem.

Previous Recipients: Emergence Capital