Trade Association Recognized for 50 Years of Empowering Entrepreneurs 

December 7, 2023

Contact: Robin Ceppos

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) closed out its year-long 50th-anniversary celebration by ringing the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on December 6, marking half a century of empowering entrepreneurs and driving innovation. 

The ceremony served as a symbolic tribute to NVCA’s rich history, recognizing the pivotal role the venture ecosystem has played in bringing life-saving products and groundbreaking innovations to the market. Standing at the heart of global innovation, the NYSE provided the perfect backdrop for reflection, as expressed by NVCA President and CEO Bobby Franklin. “It’s a tremendous privilege to stand at the NYSE and reflect on the remarkable journey of venture capitalists over the past 50 years,” Franklin remarked. 

Established in Chicago in 1973 during a time of stagflation and economic uncertainty, NVCA was founded by Ned Heizer and 16 other pioneering figures in the industry. They recognized the crucial role venture capital played in fostering innovation and driving economic growth, and NVCA emerged as the leading trade organization advocating for venture capitalists and their portfolio companies. 

During the nascent years of the venture asset class in the 1970s and 1980s, VC investors achieved significant success, contributing to the rise of today’s industry giants such as Apple, Genentech, FedEx, Microsoft, and Electronic Arts. By 1985, the U.S. had approximately 290 active VC firms investing in a few thousand companies. Fast forward to the present, and the landscape has turbocharged job creation with employment at VC-backed companies growing at roughly 8X the pace of employment at non-VC-backed companies, and 62.5% of VC-backed jobs distributed broadly across the entire United States. Currently, over 4,000 VC firms back more than 51,000 companies, providing high-paying jobs for millions of Americans who are at the forefront of developing the technologies that will shape the future. 

“This very spot has witnessed the birth of companies that have not only transformed industries but have also made America the preeminent destination for aspiring entrepreneurs worldwide,” Franklin emphasized. “We stand here as a testament to the resilience, creativity, and determination of the entrepreneurial spirit that defines our nation.” 

The event served as a reunion for current and former NVCA board members, acknowledging their dedicated contributions that have played a crucial role in shaping the association’s legacy. For a deeper dive into NVCA’s history as the voice for America’s startup ecosystem, watch the video here, and hear from NVCA President and CEO here


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 U.S. 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