Reliving the 2023 NVCA Annual Leadership Gala!

50 Years of Impact

For five decades, NVCA has worked to advocate for laws, policies, and a culture that encourage innovation and forge a promising path for the future. The yearlong celebration of our history – and what’s yet to be done – included our 2023 NVCA Leadership Gala and awards ceremony last month in San Francisco.

The annual event brought together the voices of the industry’s past, present, and future leaders. In a significant moment, the gala also marked the presentation of our newest award category – The Venture Vanguard Award.

Launching Venture Vanguard

Created in observance of our 50th anniversary, the prestigious new award honors exceptional individuals who have made and/or currently making significant contributions to create opportunities for entrepreneurs to build companies that change the world and turbocharge America’s growth and success.

The founding recipients — Brad Feld, Jan Garfinkle, Mary Meeker, Alan Patricof, and the late Don Valentine (1932-2019) — stand out both individually and as a collective group.

Individually, the five VC luminaries, selected by the NVCA board, have each transformed or are currently transforming the venture capital landscape through their unique perspectives, expertise, and experiences. 

When brought together as the founding Venture Vanguard class, presented by EY Private and Dentons Venture Technology Group, a formidable force emerged, amplifying the impact of the newly minted award category.

Recognizing the Changing Face of the VC Industry

In addition to the Venture Vanguard Award, we presented the Rising Star Award, Startup Innovator Award, Startup Champion Award, and DEI Impact Award.

Across the five award categories, we honored the early visionaries, current-day leaders, and next generation of changemakers repping the startup scenes in California, Utah, New York, Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, Michigan, and Minnesota.

And, in honor of our milestone anniversary, Venture Forward asked 50 VC investors or firms to donate in support of their mission -and is proud to announce that they exceeded the goal.

Passing of the Gavel

The evening also signified a pivotal transition as 2022-2023 Board Chair Emily Melton (Threshold Ventures) passed the gavel to the new 2023-2024 NVCA Board Chair — her friend, fellow Stanford alum, and former classmate — Charles Hudson (Precursor Ventures).  

In a powerful moment marking the start of his role as Chair, Charles acknowledged the evening’s Rising Star honorees who are paving the way for a brighter tomorrow.

Power of the Inaugural Venture Vanguard Class

Having all the Venture Vanguard winners in one room created an electric atmosphere, showcasing the collective wisdom and vision they have brought and continue to bring to the venture capital ecosystem.

They each took the stage to share powerful messages that inspired everyone in the room, fostering a sense of collaboration, innovation, and determination to drive the industry forward. 

A Big Thank You

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to Emily Melton, the award winners, attendees, our membership, and the wider VC ecosystem. You all played an integral role in making our 50th anniversary such a resounding success.

A special thank you again to our gala event partners, Dentons Global Venture Technology Group, EY Private, Affinity, Amazon Web Services, American Express, Trinet, Aumni, Citi, Get Proven, Gibson Dunn, Globalization Partners, Orrick, Wilson Sonsini who made this year’s special event possible.

Together, we will continue shaping the future of venture capital for another 50 years of innovation, growth, and impact!

 | Website

Robin serves as the Communications Manager at the National Venture Capital Association, where she enhances day-to-day external and internal relations for NVCA while utilizing her expertise in content creation, storytelling, and data to elevate NVCA’s long-term communications strategy. As a conscientious leader, Robin is integral to the forward-looking investments NVCA makes in the greater venture capital and startup communities.