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07

Apr

2011

NVCA Honors Schlein and Sahlman PDF Print E-mail

Mark Heesen

Written by Mark Heesen   
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Today, with hundreds of venture capitalists in attendance at the NVCA Annual Meeting in Boston, two professionals were recognized for their dedication and service to the venture industry.  Ted Schlein, Managing Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), was awarded the Outstanding Service Award and William Sahlman, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, accepted the American Spirit Award.

The Outstanding Service Award recognizes an NVCA member or firm that has committed an extraordinary amount of time, resources and dedication to Association efforts that in turn benefit the entire industry.  Ted has worked tirelessly to protect VC firms and portfolio companies from unintended consequences of regulation and legislation, specifically on the carried interest tax treatment issue.

The American Spirit Award recognizes individuals who have shown outstanding leadership by applying business skills, knowledge, expertise and resources to make a meaningful contribution to society. Mr. Sahlman’s work as a professor, researcher and thought leader in the area of venture capital and entrepreneurship has educated our country about the important impact of the start-up ecosystem for decades.

You can read the full press release here.

 

07

Apr

2011

NVCA Elects New Chair and Six Board Members PDF Print E-mail

Mark Heesen

Written by Mark Heesen   
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Today, at the 2011 NVCA Annual Meeting in Boston, Paul Maeder, Co-Founder and General Partner of Highland Capital Partners was elected to serve as the 2011-2012 Chair of the Board of Directors. 

Kate Mitchell, Managing General Partner of Scale Venture Partnerscompleted her one year term, helping lead the venture industry through a very challenging political environment.  During her leadership, Mitchell was instrumental in educating Congress on the importance of maintaining tax incentives for long term investment and exempting the venture capital industry from SEC registration under the Dodd Frank Act of 2010, formed the Medical Innovation and Competitiveness (MedIC) Coalition, and presided over a major marketing initiative for the NVCA, updating the Association’s overall brand and materials     

The NVCA also announced that it’s Chairman-elect for 2012-2013 is Ray Rothrock, General Partner of Venrock in Palo Alto, California.

Along with Maeder’s appointment, the NVCA announced six new members to its Board of Directors.  Beginning their four year terms today are Jon Callaghan, True Ventures; David Douglass, Delphi Ventures; Bob Goodman, Bessemer Venture Partners; Ray Leach, JumpStart, Inc.; Jonathan Leff, Warburg Pincus; and David Lincoln, Element Partners.

Retiring from the NVCA Board after serving four-year terms are: Ira Ehrenpreis, Technology Partners; Jim Hale, FTV Capital; Pascal Levensohn, Levensohn Venture PartnersKate Mitchell, Scale Venture Partners; Roger Novak, Novak Biddle Venture Partners; David Prend, RockPort Capital Partners; and Jonathan Root, U.S. Venture Partners.

The Association thanks these accomplished investors for their service and we look forward to working with those joining today. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 April 2011 11:49
 

01

Apr

2011

NVCA Disappointed in House Patent Reform Bill PDF Print E-mail

Kelly Sloane

Written by Kelly Slone   
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On Wednesday, the House of Representatives introduced H.R. 1249, its version of “The America Invents Act,” sponsored by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.  Largely modeled on the Senate patent reform bill S. 23, the House bill retains the popular fee diversion language and some of the safeguards of S. 23, but it removes others and introduces new problematic provisions.  Like the Senate bill, NVCA believes that H.R. 1249 is not friendly towards small companies and entrepreneurs, particularly as it relates to the post grant review provisions which lengthen the time period infringement defendants have to pursue a post grant challenge. 

There is also a significant amount of concern by small and independent inventors about the switch to a “first to file” patent system from our current “first to invent” system.  They believe that the change disadvantages small and independent inventors and diminishes respect for property rights.  NVCA has not taken an official position on this issue because our members have varying views.  However it remains a source of contention.

The one positive provision in both the Senate and House bills is one that ends the diversion of fees from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  This provision would help provide the needed resources to improve the quality of the patent application process. Still, this is not enough to garner the support of the NVCA for this bill.

House Judiciary Committee leaders have suggested they will consider the bill in the Judiciary Committee in early April and attempt to pass the bill in the full House of Representatives in May.  If the House is successful in passing H.R. 1249, (which is very likely to happen) the House and Senate will need to work out a compromise between the two bills.  It remains unclear whether Chairmen Leahy and Smith will be willing compromise on their respective bills.  However, they both have been working on patent reform legislation for more than 6 years and this is the closest they have ever come to getting a bill enacted.  The promise of passage might be real enough to get this issue over the top.

The NVCA has expressed disappointment in both bills and continues to voice our concern that the legislation as currently proposed does not go far enough to protect small inventors.  We will continue to have conversations with both the House and the Senate as the bill moves through the legislative process with the hopes that amendments can be made to protect small companies.

 

 

01

Apr

2011

Q1 VC Exit Market Encouraging But Has Room To Grow PDF Print E-mail

Mark Heesen

Written by Mark Heesen   
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Today the NVCA and Thomson Reuters released the Q1 2011 Exit Poll data which measures venture-backed IPOs and M&As for the quarter.  The data demonstrates the continuance of several trends that we have been following over the last year including:

Robust Acquisitions Market:  With 109 transactions in the quarter, the pace of venture-backed strategic sales remains strong.  In 2010, we saw a record number of acquisitions with 431 for the year.  Signs suggest this activity will continue.  More importantly though, the quality of these sales appear to be strong with 47 percent of the disclosed transactions earning 4 times or more of the original investment.

Viable IPO Market:  The IPO window remains open for companies, with 14 public offerings in the quarter.  This is a marked improvement from the first quarter of last year and we are hopeful that we will see the 49 companies in registration begin to move through the IPO process in the coming months.  We are far from declaring recovery but are encouraged to have a market that appears somewhat stable and a solid post IPO performance from 11 of the 14 offerings.  Also of note is that the first quarter of every year is traditionally slower for public offerings.  The volume is poised to rise throughout 2011.

Foreign IPOs:  Four of this quarter's IPOs were from outside the U.S. - three from China, one from the Netherlands.  This is a trend that began to take shape last year and is expected to continue with the success of companies such as Qihoo 360.  The NVCA and Thomson Reuters account for these IPOS in our total number if there is a US venture investor and the company goes public on a US exchange.  Still, we are looking to the U.S. number (10) as the critical indicator of potential economic growth for our country.  Ninety two percent of job creation occurs after a company goes public - we need more U.S. IPOs.

NYSE vs. NASDAQ:  With five of this quarter's IPOs taking place on NYSE, including the top technology IPOs, we continue to see a balancing of offerings across the two major exchanges.  As we have stated before, this competition is good for venture-backed companies who are entitled to choices when listing their companies.

Impact on Returns:  We believe that the exit activity over the last two quarters is translating into more distributions to limited partners - something our industry needs to increase if we expect to raise funds in 2011.  There is typically a lag in the return numbers but we are hoping to see an impact as we report venture performance at the end of the month.

Last Updated on Friday, 01 April 2011 08:28
 

30

Mar

2011

2011 NVCA Yearbook Now Available PDF Print E-mail

John Taylor

Written by John Taylor   
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The NVCA 2011 Yearbook, prepared by Thomson Reuters, has been published and is now available for download at the NVCA website.  The yearbook contains the latest analysis of venture capital activity in the United States through the end of 2010. Data tables in this edition have been expanded to included quarterly data, in some instances, and more international data.  Readers can find information on topics inclduing:  

  • What is Venture Capital?
  • Venture Industry Resources (including size of industry and number of firms)
  • Capital Commitments
  • Investments (by geography, stage, industry and round numbers)
  • Portfolio Company Valuations
  • Exits (IPOs and Acquisitions)

As the nation continues to look to the entrepreneurial sector for job creation, economic development and innovation, these statistics reflect the venture capital activity that supports this growth over time.   Here at the NVCA we are pleased to serve as the definitive resource for this information and encourage those who are interested in the state of the venture capital industry to download the yearbook.  It is a wealth of information.  Your comments are always welcome at research@nvca.org.

 

 

28

Mar

2011

The Monday Meeting with Matt Witheiler PDF Print E-mail

Emily Mendell

Written by Emily Mendell   
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Welcome to the last Monday of March!  Today we have a chance to talk to Matt Witheiler of Flybridge Capital Partners in Boston, Massachusetts.  Matt's investment interests and experience broadly cover companies and technologies across the information technology sector including financial technology, digital media, semiconductors.  He currently represents Flybridge Capital Partners on the board of Convoke Systems and serves as an observer on the boards of DataXu,  Ready Financial, Sand 9 and a portfolio company working in stealth.  He also sits on the board of The Capital Network and is a Founding Executive Committee Member of FirstGrowth Venture Network, a network of venture and angel investors supporting first and second time entrepreneurs building exciting companies in the New York area.  Mattt joined the Flybridge as a Senior Associate in July 2008 after completing his MBA at Harvard School of Business (HBS).  Prior to HBS, Matt spent seven years in various roles in the high technology industry including tree years at ATI Technologies, a $4B 3D-graphics silicon provider where he focused on the integration of 3D graphics and digital video and was responsible for the TV on the PC integrated circuit product line.

matt_Witheiler_Flybridge

Matt Witheiler, Principal, Flybridge Capital Partners

Q. From which industry sector do you think we will see the most innovation in the next 2 years?

A. Financial technology. The financial world was rocked from 2008- 2010 across the spectrum, impacting both consumers (subprime mortgage crisis, CARD Act, etc) and enterprises (The Great Recession, Dodd-Frank Act, etc).  Be on the lookout for innovative companies playing across this spectrum, from consumer facing financial services products to back office technology companies.

Q.  2011 is the year of the ...

A. ... IPO.  With an equities market in a more favorable place than in years past, look for more and more IPOs to come out and provide much needed liquidity into the venture industry.

Q.  The biggest threat to the US venture capital industry is ...

A. ...lack of liquidity.  The industry has been hampered by a lack of capital coming out of the system  in the past 4 years given a weak IPO market and a somewhat lackluster M&A market.  Thankfully, there are some bright spots so far in 2011 in the form of a more robust IPO market and an increased appetite for secondary transactions.

Q.  What is your favorite book of the last year?

A.  Mastering the VC Game.  Although it’s somewhat self-serving being it was written by my colleague Jeff Bussgang, it’s a great learning tool for entrepreneurs and VCs alike and honestly one of my favorites from last year. 

Q.  Name a venture-backed company you are not invested in but wish you were. 

A.  Square.  Disruptive product, great team, huge market: there’s not much to dislike.

Q.  Name a practicing VC from another firm who you admire and why?

A.  Eric Paley at Founder Collective.  I had a chance to get to know Eric in his transition from co-founder of a Flybridge backed company to venture capitalist.  What  makes Eric great is how much he genuinely cares about the entrepreneurs he meets with.  He goes out of his way to be helpful no matter the person or the stage and he is universally respected by the entrepreneurial community as a result.  I try to approach each and every meeting I do in a similar manner.

Last Updated on Monday, 28 March 2011 08:08
 
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