Communications VP Ben Veghte Embraces “New Guy” Status at NVCA PDF Print E-mail

Ben Veghte

Written by Ben Veghte   

Thanks to Mother Nature and the unfortunate timing of a jury summons, my first week at NVCA was shorter than I had hoped.  Toss in a three-day holiday weekend and, as sad as it is for me to admit, I’ve now spent just as much time outside the office as in.  In spite of these scheduling challenges, I’ve embraced my “new guy” status and jumped head first into the job.

Since coming aboard I have enjoyed getting to know my colleagues, immersing myself in the organization, and learning more about the great work that NVCA members are doing every day to help entrepreneurs reach their dreams.

And while there have been a lot of positives deserving of headlines and accolades in my first blog entry, what has impressed me the most about NVCA is how hands-on the members are in setting the direction of the organization and helping the staff carry the torch of the venture capital industry.

Having worked in and around various trade associations across many different industries throughout my career, I can attest to the fact that this level of member engagement is the exception, not the norm.  I look forward to tapping into this powerful resource and channeling it into my work as NVCA’s new vice president of communications.

A little about myself.

From the campaign trail to the halls of Congress, I have a diverse professional background in politics, policy and public relations, including extensive experience dealing with complex public policy issues related to the financial services industry.

Most recently, I was a director in the strategic communications practice at The Glover Park Group (GPG), a full-service public affairs consulting firm specializing in research-based communications and advocacy campaigns.  As a client-facing account manager in the financial services division, I provided strategic counsel and tactical communications support to a variety of corporations, coalitions and trade associations seeking to weigh in on some of the most high-profile public policy debates of the last decade.

Before becoming a consultant, I spent several years in House of Representatives, most recently as communications director for Congressman Scott Garrett of New Jersey.  In this role, I managed the congressman’s communications staff, oversaw all of the office’s communications activities in Washington, D.C. and New Jersey, and worked to advance the congressman’s legislative agenda and promote is leadership roles in the House of the Representatives.

Prior to my time on Capitol Hill, I worked at the intersection of Wall Street and politics for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and its predecessor organization the Securities Industry Association (SIA), first as a coordinator of corporate communications and then later as a director of strategic communications.

Complementing my advocacy and public policy experience, I have served on the frontlines of political campaigns at the congressional and presidential level, including riding shotgun for the 2008 presidential election as a personal aide on the McCain-Palin Campaign.

I earned a Master’s degree in political management from the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University and a Bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College, where I double-majored in political science and communications.

I live in the Foggy Bottom area of Washington, D.C. with my wife and our chocolate Labrador named Liberty.  We are over-the-moon excited to become parents in July with the arrival of our first child.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 12:29




For Corporate VC, 2013 Was a “Pretty Good Year” PDF Print E-mail

John Taylor

Written by John Taylor   

Greetings from Newport Beach, California, where corporate venture investors and business development executives from across the country have gathered for the Corporate Venturing and Innovation Partnering Conference. Over the past three days, this event has focused on best practices for corporations setting up corporate venturing programs and for those with existing corporate venturing programs, providing a unique window for acquisitions and an opportunity to build strategic partnerships.

As the voice of the venture capital community, NVCA is here to support our members in attendance, as well as provide our insights into the growing CVC sector. Speaking of which, the latest MoneyTree Report, prepared by the National Venture Capital Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers using data from Thomson Reuters, indicates that 2013 was a pretty good year for corporate venture. Some insights:

For the first time ever in a non-bubble year, MoneyTree estimates that corporate VCs provided more than 10 percent of the venture capital deployed. A total of 167 firms (plus those who submitted data anonymously) put an estimated $3.1 billion into venture deals.  Corporate groups participated in one out of every six deals, at an average estimated participation of $4.63 million  –  the highest non-bubble level ever.

Q4 2013 was a little softer statistically, but even with that, we estimate that 39 percent more CVC dollars were invested in 2013 than in 2012 ($3.1 billion vs $2.2 billion).

Sector distribution generally matched that of venture capital over all. That is, no sector was over- or underweighted by more than 3 percent.

Corporate VC groups put 9 percent of their dollars into energy and clean technology companies, while overall VC invested only 5 percent of the total in these companies. Interestingly, over 19 percent of all the energy and clean tech dollars came from corporate VCs.

The number disclosed corporate groups making investments rose from 146 to 167 from 2012 to 2013, while the number of corporate groups investing in life science companies fell slightly from 53 to 49.

In all, these figures continue an upward trend for corporate venture investing, and speak to the vital role that CVC will likely play in venture’s continuing evolution.





Many Firsts On-Tap for VentureScape 2014 PDF Print E-mail

Bobby Franklin

Written by Bobby Franklin   

Since taking the helm at NVCA last September, I’ve experienced many exciting firsts – from my first board meeting to my first VC press briefing. But one of my biggest firsts remains on the horizon: VentureScape 2014.

Last week, we took a major step toward getting there when we launched this year’s event site at venturescape.nvca.org. And I’m glad to say we have a number of exciting firsts and new wrinkles lined up for everyone at this year’s annual meeting. They include:

The All-Access Pass – this enables up to 15 members of a single firm to attend all VentureScape programming.

After Hours – reinvented with your feedback for 2014, this year’s VC party will take place at San Francisco’s Exploratorium – one of the city’s most compelling venues. We’ll have music from VC musicians again, but also stimulating exhibits and lots of relaxed spaces to eat, drink and network with colleagues and peers. Plus, the Office Hours entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to join us, thanks to generous support from Qualcomm Ventures.

New Deep Dives – including Women in VC, Young VCs, LPs and Tech Policy. As venture continues to evolve, so will the perspectives we bring to our members.

So, I hope you make your plans today to join us for these firsts – and the other outstanding programming you’ve come to expect from our annual meeting. It’s all happening in San Francisco on May 13 and 14. You can register and book your hotel room online now.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 14:34




Webinar Tackles VC Firm Transition PDF Print E-mail

Janice Mawson

Written by Janice Mawson   

In an industry as fluid as venture investing, change can seem like the only constant. Yet, transition is often a touchy topic for venture firms. Unfortunately, it is also one that cannot be avoided. That’s especially true today, with approximately 1,300 funds currently in the 10-years old or older category. Many of them are likely beginning to tackle issues such as changing leadership, raising smaller funds, or winding down completely.

Recognizing this dynamic, NVCA and Proskauer hosted a webinar for venture firms that provided expert insights into the most common transition issues facing firms today. Panelists included Proskauer partners Robin Painter and Tim Mungovan, as well as Kathy Wanner of Adams Street Partners. (LP perspective) Bryan Costello of Costello & Sons Insurance (insurance perspective) and Greg Walters of Pomona Capital (secondary investor perspective).

While firms in transition face many choices, the webinar focused on a case study examining the two most common scenarios. In the first, venture firms liquidate their historic funds over time as they end their terms. This course of action requires identifying and funding contingent liabilities, selling the remaining fund portfolio, complying with regulatory stipulations, and managing remaining responsibilities to limited partners.  As this takes place, the firm raises new funds based on its evolved strategy.  In the second strategy, the firm chooses to restructure. This option can involve spinning off assets, personnel, and the management of the existing portfolio. Stapled secondary transactions can also enter the picture, creating the need to manage dynamics between potential buyers and current general partners. Again, firms must also consider the perspectives of limited partners as they undertake these actions – taking care to consider concerns pertaining to business continuity, organizational stability, and retaining core competence and coverage.

 If you missed it, a recording of this informative program is now available for download here on the NVCA website. Members can download it free; non-members can access it for $250.00. You’ll also have the opportunity to download “Reps and Warranties Insurance: Another Weapon to Put in Your M&A Arsenal,” a white paper prepared by Costello & Sons Insurance that is referred to often in the discussion.





As Venture Evolves, the Value of Global Connections Will Grow PDF Print E-mail

Josh Green

Written by Josh Green   

At NVCA, we often say that the U.S. venture capital industry is the envy of the world – thanks to the innovation, job creation and economic growth it has helped generate over the past 50 years. Lately, however, the world has done a lot of catching up. Today, venture investing is a truly global phenomenon, with robust startup-venture ecosystems emerging on nearly every continent.

Ironically, even as global venture continues to grow, the U.S. venture model that inspired it faces some significant challenges at home – some perceived, some real. Recently, I had the opportunity to provide some insight into these at a conference organized by the Latin American Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (LAVCA). Specifically, I wanted to take on some of the recent claims that that the venture model is “broken” or “dead” – or on the verge of being disrupted by other types of investment. Part of this pessimism may stem from the fact that capital has never been less important to value creation – at least not in the last 30 years, anyway. Internet and social media startups can go live and achieve scale – garnering millions of users – for a fraction of the capital needed by a typical startup just a few years ago. While this may open the door for whole new avenues and models for raising capital, I believe that venture will remain in the best position to provide not just capital, but the added value – in terms of guidance, sector expertise and networking – that comes with it. However, I do think that venture involvement will require taking on multiple roles in the years ahead. For some VCs, this will require a new nimbleness and adaptability.

Will global venture investing follow this same developmental arc? That’s hard to say, especially since the startup ecosystem is always somewhat chaotic. But as the original U.S. venture model and its foreign progeny evolve to meet the needs of a rapidly globalizing marketplace, the value for American VCs in engaging with their international counterparts to share intelligence and insights will only grow. I’m glad to say that NVCA has been proactive in this regard, thanks to the efforts of leaders like former NVCA chairman Terry McGuire, who has led U.S. venture contingents to Israel and Hong Kong. And while I only had to go to Palo Alto to do my part, I am grateful to the LAVCA for providing the opportunity.





NVCA Launches Redesigned NVCA Mobile PDF Print E-mail

Hannah Veith

Written by Hannah Veith   

As part of our continued commitment to streamlining communications and enhancing connections with and among our members, NVCA has launched a redesigned NVCA Mobile for 2014. The new platform makes it easier than ever for venture capitalists to connect with their colleagues and keep current on industry events, news, research and much more. 

The redesigned NVCA Mobile improves upon the prior version by providing more flexibility and customizable options for users and administrators. In a way, this release is really just a first step toward building a more dynamic and useful tool for everyone at NVCA. Therefore, we are looking forward to engaging members as we build it out from the current base suite of functionalities. So, we encourage you to download it and give us your feedback.

That said, we believe that the new platform already offers advantages over the prior version. Additions and improvements include an updated membership directory that matches our online and physical directories, individual and firm name searches, recommended service provider directory, NVCA and industry events calendars, NVCA news updates, and helpful quick links.

You can download the new NVCA Mobile platform via the NVCA website, where you’ll find instructions for getting it set-up on your device. (Don’t forget to uninstall the prior version first!) Or, you can download it using the links below. Once it’s downloaded, you can use your NVCA website username/password to set it up. The app is for NVCA members only, so it won’t work without the login combo.

If you need help, please contact Hannah Veith at hveith@nvca.org or at 703-778-9289. (This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it). For those members who have changed their original-issue login/password combo since joining NVCA, you will need to email Hannah in order to be added to the mobile app login registry.

We hope you enjoy the new NVCA Mobile, and we look forward to your feedback.

Download NVCA Mobile Now:

Important: Before downloading, please uninstall/delete any prior version from your device.

Download for Android

Apple App Store (Search for “NVCA Mobile”)

Download for Blackberry 




Last Updated on Thursday, 30 January 2014 17:34
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