Introducing the June 2021 Cohort of VC University Scholarship Recipients

The seventh sold-out cohort of VC University ONLINE begins June 1, 2021!

Serving approximately 200 participants per course, VC University is an educational certificate course, jointly operated by NVCAVenture Forward, and Startup@BerkeleyLaw. Participants learn the nuts and bolts of venture finance over the course of several weeks through self-paced lectures, interactive assessments, virtual office hours, monthly webinars with faculty and industry experts, and interviews with leading venture capitalists.

Thanks to the generous financial support of our sponsors, Venture Forward was able to offer 43 full scholarships to attend VC University ONLINE, to underrepresented, aspiring and early career VCs.

In this blog post, Venture Forward provides more details about the program, and highlights the 43 talented scholarship recipients who were competitively selected to participate in the  June 2021 cohort.

Article: Why Institutional Investors Should Double Down on VC

In this article, Why Institutional Investors Should Double Down on VC, Dan Malven of 4490 Ventures summarizes the findings of a working paper, “Has Persistence Persisted in Private Equity? Evidence from Buyout and Venture Capital Funds,” researched and written by Robert S. Harris, Tim Jenkinson, Steven N. Kaplan & Ruediger Stucke, and published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

 

The paper, published in November 2020, contradicts the conventional wisdom that only a small handful of marquee VC managers are worthy of investment by institutional investors.

Instead, using a data source that was previously unavailable to researchers, the researchers found that VC firms’ outperformance is much more broadly distributed than previously understood. The decades-long belief has been that only top-quartile VC funds outperform public equities, but the data show that half of all VC fund managers outperform the public markets, and are therefore worthy of institutional investment.

The State of U.S. Early-Stage Venture: 1Q21

This time last year, the venture industry was upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most startups had trouble raising funds, even on investor-friendly terms. But by 3Q20, early-stage venture showed, and Q4 saw the industry come roaring back to have its in terms of markups.

In “The State of U.S. Early-Stage Venture: 1Q21,” AngelList Venture and Silicon Valley Bank report that that 2020 momentum has carried over, and outline the data and trends that have particularly marked the first quarter of 2021.

2021 Trends in Entrepreneurship Report

The Trends in Entrepreneurship Report brings together expertise and data from academia, industry and policymakers to highlight relevant topics facing entrepreneurs and investors today.

Our aim is for this information to guide leaders in their decision-making, as well as to highlight gaps in research and policy for leaders in academia and government.

 

The 2021 report, produced by the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise and the UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Entrepreneurship Center, explores the following:

    • Initially, we explore the state of startups, small businesses and investments after a year – and global pandemic – have passed.
    • Then we dive into one of the hottest areas today: health innovation. We highlight trends related to
      COVID-19, as well as other relevant topics, such as how AI and machine learning are impacting innovations in health.
    • After that deep dive, we zoom out to explore broader trends related to investment structures, the impact of
      economic recovery funds distributed by the government, and other capital formation specific to entrepreneurs and small businesses. One of the major highlights is the disparity in funding as it relates to support for underrepresented groups in entrepreneurship.
    • We then take on the theme of diversity, equity and inclusion in entrepreneurship, highlighting some of the
      massive experimentation of the past several years to create more inclusive ecosystems through case studies and models, with a hope to inspire action and research related to these topics.
    • We conclude by examining factors inside organizations related to teams and talent, and how those elements play into the ongoing success of organizations.

Report: Why New Black Venture Capital Will Generate Outsized Returns and Help Close the Racial Wealth Gap

Why New Black Venture Capital Will Generate Outsized Returns and Help Close the Racial Wealth Gap” – a new report by Culture Shift Labs.

 

About Culture Shift Labs:
Culture Shift Labs (CSL) is a diversity and innovation consultancy that provides services under three pillars: Advising, Strategy, and Activation. Since 2006, we have been a recognized leader in integrating social and financial returns in ways that improve businesses and society. Our Knowledge + Network Formula powers those outcomes in tangible ways

 

2020 VC Human Capital Survey

What does the venture capital (VC) industry workforce look like in terms of demographics? What is the current state of VC diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)? The VC Human Capital Survey, powered by Deloitte, National Venture Capital Association, and Venture Forward, answers these and other questions for VC firms seeking to expand the diversity of both their teams and portfolios.

The third edition of our VC Human Capital Survey assesses the state of the US VC industry workforce, with a special focus on DEI. Results from this edition were benchmarked against findings from the first and second editions, which were originally conducted in 2016 and 2018. Conducted in 2020, this third edition requested firm demographic information (e.g., investment stage focus) and demographic information for each employee (e.g., gender and race). Additionally, firms were asked to provide information regarding their talent management practices and DEI programs.

While there have been other industry assessments of VC diversity, this survey provides a more holistic perspective. We gathered data from VC firms of all types and sizes, examined DEI for a variety of groups across all types of positions, and assessed firm talent management strategies. (Learn more.)

Report: Guidance and Best Practices for Investors on Diversity & Female Entrepreneurship

Guidance and Best Practices for Investors on Diversity & Female Entrepreneurship is a report published by the British Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.

The report was commissioned by the Alison Rose Review and HM Treasury, and includes tactical guidance for investors to create an inclusive pipeline and portfolio. It was inspired by broad recognition in the investment community that diverse and inclusive portfolios have substantially lower risk and better performance.

 

High-level, the report recommends:

  • Implementing specific tactics to recruit diverse talent to your investment firm
  • Adopting specific practices to create an inclusive culture at your investment firm
  • Using tried-and-tested strategies to remove bias from the investment process
  • Engaging with portfolio companies using validated tools and tactics
  • Signing up to the Diversity VC standard

Institutional Investors Must Help Close the Race and Gender Gaps in Venture Capital

In this Harvard Business Review article by Ilene H. Lang and Reggie Van Lee, the authors discuss the role of institutional investors in addressing the race and gender gaps in their investment portfolios.

Recruiting for diversity in VC (TechCrunch)

Like many industries with a high concentration of wealth — and the careers that help professionals accumulate it — investment firms have a severe dearth of diversity in their ranks.

The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

In their new book The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem,  Brad Feld and Ian Hathaway explore what makes startup communities thrive and how to improve collaboration in these rapidly evolving, complex environments.

We are in the midst of a startup revolution. The growth and proliferation of innovation-driven startup activity is profound, unprecedented, and global in scope. Today, it is understood that communities of support and knowledge-sharing go along with other resources. The importance of collaboration and a long-term commitment has gained wider acceptance. These principles are adopted in many startup communities throughout the world.

And yet, much more work is needed. Startup activity is highly concentrated in large cities. Governments and other actors such as large corporations and universities are not collaborating with each other nor with entrepreneurs as well as they could. Too often, these actors try to control activity or impose their view from the top-down, rather than supporting an environment that is led from the bottom-up. We continue to see a disconnect between an entrepreneurial mindset and that of many actors who wish to engage with and support entrepreneurship. There are structural reasons for this, but we can overcome many of these obstacles with appropriate focus and sustained practice.

The Startup Community Way is an explanatory guide for startup communities. Rooted in the theory of complex systems, this book establishes the systemic properties of entrepreneurial ecosystems and explains why their complex nature leads people to make predictable mistakes. As complex systems, value creation occurs in startup communities primarily through the interaction of the “parts” – the people, organizations, resources, and conditions involved – not the parts themselves. This continual process of bottom-up interactions unfolds naturally, producing value in novel and unexpected ways. Through these complex, emergent processes, the whole becomes greater and substantially different than what the parts alone could produce.