Second Venture Vanguard Class to be Honored on May 2 at 2024 NVCA Leadership Gala

February 22, 2023

Contact: Robin Ceppos

WASHINGTON, DC –The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) is thrilled to unveil the prestigious 2024 Venture Vanguard class. Recognized for their exceptional contributions to the venture ecosystem, these individuals have fueled innovation, transformed industries, and driven economic growth across America.

The Venture Vanguard Award, initiated by the NVCA board of directors last year in celebration of the association’s 50th anniversary, recognizes exceptional individuals, including distinguished board alumni, members, or friends of NVCA, who have made significant contributions to transforming the VC landscape and turbocharging America’s growth and success. Eligible candidates’ accomplishments may include building successful VC firms and portfolio companies to support the creation of new industries and transform existing ones, investing in life-changing technologies, elevating industry visibility to policymakers, exhibiting leadership through philanthropic activities, or committing time and resources to NVCA efforts that benefit the entire industry.

This year’s honorees exemplify the spirit of entrepreneurship, leadership, and philanthropy, embodying the values that propel our industry forward, NVCA President and CEO Bobby Franklin, announced today.

“Aileen Lee, Geoff Yang, and Terry McGuire stand out as visionary architects of our industry’s future, boldly reshaping the landscape of entrepreneurship,” said Franklin. “Their profound societal impact extends well beyond boardroom walls, paving the way for forthcoming innovators and disruptors.”


  • Aileen LeeAs the founder of Cowboy Ventures, Alieen is a transformative force in venture capital, known for coining the term “unicorn” to describe hypergrowth software companies with valuations surpassing $1 billion. With a keen eye for promising startups, Aileen partners with early-stage teams to build companies that redefine industries. Her advocacy for diversity and inclusion, coupled with her role as a co-founder of All Raise, underscores her commitment to fostering a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • Geoff YangGeoff’s impact on technology and media is unparalleled. As a co-founder of Redpoint Ventures, he has championed numerous successful companies from inception to IPO, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. His dedication to sports and philanthropy through his leadership with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee Foundation and the Advisory Board for the PGA of America exemplifies the ethos of the Venture Vanguard Award, recognizing excellence in both business and community engagement.  

  • Terry McGuireWith a distinguished career spanning over three decades, Terry has been a driving force for innovation, touching more than 60 million patients and saving over 400,000 lives by spearheading progress in healthcare and beyond. A former NVCA Board Chair, Terry co-founded Polaris Partners in 1996. He boldly testified before Congress on behalf of the industry during Dodd-Frank and he created (and continues to lead) the Global Venture Capital Congress, uniting venture capital association leaders worldwide and showcasing his unwavering commitment to global cooperation.

NVCA will officially honor the second class, presented by platinum sponsors EY Private and SVB, a division of First Citizens Bank at the 2024 NVCA Leadership Gala.

The event will take place on May 2, 2024, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in San Francisco. Registration is required.


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 the NVCA, please visit