Ever wonder how to find out who the most prolific Twitter user is at the New York Times? How about whether or not you can advertise your next fund under the new general solicitation rules? Do you know how to get on Deirdre Bolton’s Bloomberg TV show Money Moves? Any sense what policy reforms have the best chance of passing in 2013? And if the venture industry was a musical instrument, what would it be?
If you were part of the NVCA Fall StratCom meeting in NYC in November, you would have answers to all of these questions – and more.
While it may feel like the role of marketing and communications is a new, emerging focus for venture capital firms across the country, the fact is that many NVCA members have embraced this discipline for years. Nowhere was that more apparent than in a filled room at Bloomberg World headquarters in New York City on November 13th as approximately 50 marketing, communications and IR professionals gathered for the Fall Strategic Communications (StratCom) group meeting. Now in its 8th year, the StratCom Group brings together NVCA members who are responsible for the brands of their respective firms and portfolio companies to learn from one another on the best way to communicate in a rapidly changing market place.
November’s meeting focused on a wide range of topics from social media, to fundraising to PR to branding. The day kicked off with a press panel from the various Bloomberg channels including newswires, BusinessWeek, television, newsletters and LINK conferences. Throughout the day we heard from:
- Marry Kuusisto and David Tegeler of Proskauer on general solicitation of funds rules
- DeSantis and Breindel and Rooney & Associates about the importance of brand in the VC industry
- Kareem Hamady and Jill Lewandosky on the private equity section of the Bloomberg terminal
- Jennifer Dowling from NVCA on the post election environment in Washington DC
- Greg Galant ,CEO of MuckRuck, on following journalists on Twitter
- Katy Knight and Jeff Salvitti on using Google+ to create communities
- Mike Nugent, Bison, Ryan More of Atlas Venture and Roland Reynolds Industry Ventures on the importance of transparency of fund information
- Gina Bauman, IVP and Dipti Pratt of Silicon Valley Community Foundation on ESG strategies
It was a jam packed day with a great deal of information sharing. The group was also together the evening before when we joined members of the NY Financial press for cocktails at the Aspen Social Club.
Any NVCA member is welcome to join the StratCom Group which gathers twice each year (next meeting will be in the late Spring on the West Coast). Additionally we stay in touch throughout the year on a variety of projects. We encourage those responsible or those who have an interest in marketing, communications and investor relations to consider joining this ever growing group. PR agencies with NVCA member clients are also invited to join under the venture firm name.
If you have any questions or would like more information on the StratCom Group, please contact Emily Mendell at email@example.com.
This morning America awoke to the political version of the 1993 Bill Murray film Groundhog Day. After billions of dollars spent during a brutal campaign, we essentially had a status quo election. The re-election of President Obama, a Republican House and Democratic Senate presents the venture industry – and the country – with an identical political landscape for the next four years. However, if you recall the film, once the main character, Phil Connors, understood what was happening, he began to greatly improve his actions and interactions with the people in his world and, of course, a happy ending ensued. We are optimistic that the same holds true for our country this time around.
While overall, the political power makeup is very much the same, there are subtle differences that will impact the way we interact with Congress and the Administration. The Senate became more divided as moderates were turned out in favor of candidates on the right and left. The Republicans did remarkably well in the House, thereby creating an effective lever against President Obama suring the lame duck session. Hopefully, both parties will recognize that the country needs comprehensive solutions to problems that have been with us for several years: a budget that needs balancing, a tax code which needs fundamental change, an immigration policy which honors the entrepreneurial spirit, and a government that recognizes the importance of research and development to the future of the country.
These challenges will all be addressed by one of the most inexperienced Congresses in history. The education process on Capitol Hill never ceases. NVCA will continue to educate new members and their staffs about the importance of maintaining and supporting a vibrant entrepreneurial sector of which venture capital is an integral part. Because of this inexperience, particularly in House, party discipline could be problematic and finding solutions to pressing problems could take longer than many are currently anticipating.
Aside from the obvious challenge President Obama will face with a country divided, he will also have to address the makeup of his Administration. The President has done a remarkable job in keeping the lion's share of his appointees in their positions for four years. Come January you will see many who will leave the Administration, potentially opening up major slots at Treasury, DOE, SEC, and many other departments and agencies with whom our community interacts. This turnover will take time. We are going to have to be patient as this process unfolds.
Venture capitalists are by their nature optimists and thus we view these elections as a time to inform the newly elected and re-engage with those returning about the venture process and its important contribution to moving our economy forward. Like Phil Connors, we know this drill even better than we did four years ago and intend to use this familiarity to advocate even more effectively for our industry.
NVCA has posted a comprehensive election report on our website. We encourage you to review it today.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 November 2012 13:58
|NVCA yesterday filed our comments with FASB highlighting concerns with the draft private company decision-making framework. While many of the draft provisions were consistent with anticipated reforms in private company accounting rulemaking, the concern raised by NVCA was the possible interpretation of the draft that using investment company accounting preempted use of the much-anticipated and much-needed private company accounting changes. That is, as private investment companies, venture capital firms would be unable to benefit from private company reporting improvements.
In the letter, Mark Heesen, NVCA President states, "... we firmly believe that the draft Framework needs to be substantially revised with regard to its treatment of private investment companies so that they are clearly placed on an equal footing with other private entities."
NVCA will continue to work with the Financial Accounting Foundation's (FAF's) Private Company Council (PCC) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to bring about relevant and appropriate private company accounting changes to benefit the industry's private investee companies, and the private investment companies which invest in them.
Last Updated on Thursday, 01 November 2012 16:13
|Last evening, NVCA Chairman Ray Rothrock, SVP of Federal Policy Jennifer Dowling and I were privileged to attend the 2012 Kauffman Fellow's Summit on Smart Connected Capital where NVCA was presented one of three Visionary Awards. The award recognized our work on the JOBS Act and commitment to job creation and I must say we were in excellent company, joining True Bridge Capital and Endeavor who also were recognized for their contribution to entrepreneurship and innovation.
But the excellent company extended beyond our fellow honorees. We were also joined by a community of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who are dedicated to building and growing companies and committed to making the world a better place. The NVCA has long supported the Kauffman Fellows which now boasts a network of more than 300 fellows on 6 continents in 42 countries. Many of the Fellow's alumni have served as NVCA Board Directors. As the venture capital industry continues to operate under an apprenticeship model, Kauffman Fellows have been a leader in the spirit of this model with great success.
Also offering remarks last evening was Kauffman Foundation CEO Benno Schmidt Jr. who expressed his support for the Kauffman Fellows and the venture capital industry, indicating a desire to work more closely together with both constituencies going forward. Here at NVCA we couldn't agree more that we all do better when working together. As Ray Rothrock remarked on accepting the award:
"It is truly an honor to be recognized by an organization that shares our commitment and dedication to funding innovation and empowering entrepreneurs. We, in turn, recognize how critical the Kauffman Fellows have been to developing some of the outstanding venture capital investors who contribute to our industry. We look forward to working with the Kauffman Fellows and the Kauffman Foundation to advance and empower venture capital investors and their portfolio companies so that America can maintain its global economic leadership for decades to come."
Last Updated on Thursday, 25 October 2012 15:23
|As part of the quarterly MoneyTree report, NVCA captures and reports on corporate venture capital investment statistics. While the third quarter in general for U.S. venture capital was down, corporate venture capital continued to increase share by most metrics.
Among the key findings in this analysis:
- Overall, year-to-date the percent of deals with corporate venture group involvement increased to 15.8% and the percent of dollars estimated to be coming from corporate venture groups is up to 8.7%. 3Q alone saw a spike in dollars to $670.1 million which corresponds to 10.3% of all invested dollars.
- The software sector continues to rule the roost with 28.4% of corporate venture capital dollars going to these companies. The two sectors where corporate groups provided more than 10% of total US venture capital investment dollars are Industrial/Energy (where many clean tech companies are classified) and Semiconductors.
- Corporate venture groups continue to be very active with 21.2% of all corporate venture capital dollars going to companies tagged as clean tech. Clean tech companies in represent 15.1% of total venture investment, and corporate venture groups represent just over one ninth of that amount.
- Looking at company stages, corporate groups were most heavily involved in expansion stage companies with 40% of the corporate dollars going here. Not surprisingly, 28.6% of all deals with corporate venture group participation were seed and early stage. By contrast, 51% of all venture rounds since January 2011 went to seed and early stage companies.
Full corporate VC data can be found here.
Corporate venture capital investors make up the fastest growing segment of NVCA's membership. Within the NVCA, there are 64 corporate group members. The Corporate Venture Group (CVG) special interest group serves the needs of members by collecting investment data and in hosting a variety of events throughout the year. Webcasts, exclusive networking receptions, Corporate Venturing Summit and NVCA's VentureScape are just a few of the ways both corporate VCs and traditional venture capital firms can connect with one another and work more closely together. Contact Janice Mawson at 703-524-2549 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.