Author: Devin Miller

VC Policy Pulse: Startup Visa with Scott Raney & Sophie Alcorn



Welcome to our VC Policy Pulse series, where we speak with a VC or founder on a policy issue that is having a major impact on the venture and startup ecosystem. Today, we’re speaking with Scott Raney, Managing Director at Redpoint, and Sophie Alcorn, Founding Attorney of Alcorn Immigration Law, about a Startup Visa category for immigrant entrepreneurs who want to come to the U.S. to create a new company. 

Background

NVCA has long supported the creation of a Startup Visa that offers a separate visa category for immigrant entrepreneurs who create a new business, are backed by venture capitalists or other investors, and create American jobs. A Startup Visa is a common-sense way to grow the American economy through new company formation by immigrant entrepreneurs. Far from taking the job of an American, an immigrant entrepreneur can only qualify for the Startup Visa when he or she has created jobs for Americans and has been backed by investors with a track record of success.

While the U.S. has failed to pass a Startup Visa into law, more than 20 other countries—including Canada, the U.K., France, Spain, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, and Singapore—have put into place a Startup Visa or a similar structure. This puts the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage in the competition for global entrepreneurial talent.

On July 26, Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced the Let Immigrants Kickstart Employment (LIKE) Act of 2021. NVCA strongly supports the LIKE Act. Rep. Lofgren’s bill creates both a nonimmigrant and immigrant (Read more...)

Portfolio Operations Manager – Scrum Ventures



Portfolio Operations Manager

Job description

Scrum Ventures is an early-stage venture firm based in San Francisco. With entrepreneurial expertise and a strong network in Japan, we actively support portfolio global growth and success. Through our Scrum Studios platform, we connect global corporations with startups to partner in innovation.

We are growing and looking for a Portfolio Operations Manager to support the investment team and our portfolio companies.

  • Manage the support activities and operations of Scrum Ventures’ US portfolio companies
  • Be the point of contact for Scrum portfolio companies and support operations
  • Ideate, create, and build a support platform for portfolio companies
  • Lead efforts to provide services to portfolio companies including but not limited to recruiting, M&A, BD, Sales, and coaching
  • Manage communications with and between portfolio companies
  • Organize portfolio support content and educational activities
  • Portfolio company tracking and analysis
  • Lead follow on funding diligence and processes
  • Lead valuation and reporting functions
  • Build and maintain a network of corporate partners, industry experts, functional experts, and other key individuals for supporting Scrum portfolio companies
  • Identify tools and processes to best manage and optimize support of portfolio companies

Requirements

  • Be involved in startups or entrepreneurship for the last 5 years either as an investor, operator, or founder
  • Knowledge and experience of how to scale growth for startups
  • VC and portfolio management experience a plus
  • Experience in a growth role at a large tech company will also be considered – revenue growth, operations, product lead, etc.
  • Well networked in the US
  • Can build platforms and structured organizations for (Read more...)

Growth and Momentum in Indiana’s Startup Ecosystem



NVCA’s ‘Spotlight On’ series highlights VC ecosystems across the country. Our second program featured Indianapolis. Chris LaMothe, Chief Executive Officer at Indiana-based VC firm Elevate Ventures, shares his perspective on the evolution of Indiana’s startup scene and why the region is poised for growth.

Q&A with Chris LaMothe of Elevate Ventures

Can you tell us about your background in the Indiana startup ecosystem? What were your first interactions like?

My first engagement with the startup ecosystem was when I was running the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. I began to encourage state policy toward building an entrepreneurial ecosystem in our state. Eventually that work generated the formation of the 21 Fund, which was an investment vehicle investing in startup and early-stage companies in Indiana. I participated at the early stages of the public policy development around entrepreneurism and innovation in our state back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

After 10 years of being CEO of the Chamber I left to run a wealth management company that invested client assets in a broad range of investments including private equity. I served on the boards of those and other companies and helped in developing and encouraging their growth. That was really the first direct engagement with the ecosystem.

I then left that organization and formed my own private equity company that began investing directly in entrepreneurial startups and existing companies around the Midwest. I ran, grew, and sold several companies over the course of 15 to 20 years. Around (Read more...)

Business Development Analyst – Catalyst Investors



Firm Overview

Catalyst Investors is a growth equity firm based in New York. Over the past 21 years, Catalyst has had a successful track record of investing in and scaling companies across the software, tech-enabled services and internet infrastructure sectors. The firm employs a rigorous top-down research focus to identify investment opportunities in rapidly-growing private companies where it can partner with strong entrepreneurs to build great growth businesses.

Job Overview

Position: Business Development Analyst, Full-Time
Location: New York, NY
Description: Responsibilities include outbound deal sourcing, conference screening, market research and business development support. This position is uniquely suited to candidates seeking a sales-oriented sourcing role at a leading growth private equity firm.

Key Responsibilities

  • Identify potential investment opportunities that align with Catalyst’s research initiatives
  • Conduct outreach and build relationships with prospective companies
  • Build a robust pipeline of opportunities, identifying top near- and long-term investment prospects
  • Screen conferences and other relevant industry events; lead coordination and planning for meetings on behalf of Catalyst attendees; attend conferences and other networking events when appropriate
  • Conduct market research in existing areas of interest as well as new sectors
  • Support all business development efforts as needed

Requirements

  • Excellent academic credentials
  • Proof of ability to work in the U.S.

Qualifications

  • Preference for candidates with 1-2 years of relevant deal or prospect sourcing experience; for example, in venture capital, growth equity, private equity, a commercial or investment bank, high-growth start-up or technology company; experience either serving or within the technology sector is a plus
  • Intellectual curiosity and (Read more...)

Building Better: S3 Ventures & Alkami



Welcome to the NVCA Blog series, Building Better, where we celebrate the dynamic relationship between our VC members and their innovative portfolio companies around the nation. For today’s Building Better, we spoke with Brian R. Smith, Managing Director of S3 Ventures, and with Stephen Bohanon, Founder of Alkami, an S3 Ventures portfolio company that recently had its initial public offering on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker symbol of ALKT on April 14, 2021. Learn about their partnership in the Q&A below! 

S3 Ventures: Brian R. Smith, Managing Director

Give us some background on S3 Ventures: How did the firm start, what is your mission and how does the firm strive to meet its goals?

S3 Ventures was founded in Austin, Texas in May 2005. After founding a startup and taking it public, I had a strong desire to create a venture capital firm that was focused on supporting visionary, Texas-based entrepreneurs with patient capital and local resources. I was incredibly fortunate to find a limited partner in a highly philanthropic family office that shared these goals. They backed the entirety of our first $20M fund; 15+ years and several funds later, we have grown the firm to eight investment professionals with $600M AUM – all with the same, solo LP.

As the largest VC focused on Texas, our goal has always been to partner with amazing companies for the long-term – throughout their growth journey – not just a single investment transaction. With our (Read more...)

Analyst, Private Equity – Battery Ventures



Battery Ventures is a global, technology/software‐focused investment firm pursuing the most prominent companies and ideas. Founded in 1983, our firm makes venture‐capital and private equity investments from six offices around the world in Boston, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, New York and London. We work hard, but humbly, and are guided by data‐driven processes. We seek out extraordinary business leaders who operate the same way. We manage over $9 billion of capital since inception and are currently investing out of our latest funds with a combined capitalization of $2.4 billion.

Role Overview
Battery’s seeking a current senior or recent college graduate to join our Private Equity team in Boston. The Analyst role offers significant responsibility and is best‐suited for a hard‐working, mature, self‐starter with strong curiosity and an ability to learn quickly. The analyst program provides an opportunity for direct promotion into an Associate role for high performers.

Key Responsibilities
• Work closely with senior-level investment team members on the private equity team to identify and source buyout investment opportunities
• Develop relationships with founders and CEOs. Participate in management meetings with companies
• Cover a variety of technology segments, and develop market maps for strategic sectors
• Support investment analysis and diligence work
• Build a deep understanding of the private equity process

The Analyst role is an integral component of the firm’s ability to identify exciting investment opportunities. The Analyst will work closely as a core part of the private equity investment team to develop investment themes and investigate (Read more...)

Investor – Obvious Ventures



Open Position

We take a focused, thesis-driven approach to investing. We dive deeply into market and technology trends ahead of our investments, backing relatively few companies per fund so we can meaningfully support those companies. We have a tight-knit, fun-loving, nerdy team of five Partners, one Principal, one Senior Associate and three Venture Partners.

We are looking to grow the Obvious Ventures family with a new team member who will work directly with the investment team based in San Francisco. We hope to find someone who shares our general curiosity for how the world works, and passion for exploring a wide range of topics — from quantum computing to U.S. healthcare reimbursement models. We hope that you will contribute to the general intellectual discourse while bringing a vibrant, entrepreneurial spirit to the office.

Your Responsibilities

  • Networking: To strategically strengthen relationships and networks for the firm — with co-investors, industry partners, services providers, and founders.
  • Sourcing: To effectively generate compelling deal flow and investment opportunities.
  • Thesis Development: To build out a researched point of view on how the world will change in an area of interest.
  • Public Presence: To contribute to the firm’s thought leadership and public perception with presence on social media, industry events, and firm publications.
  • Everything Else: To assist in all aspects of the investment process like reviewing business plans, taking first meetings, performing due diligence on prospective companies, and supporting portfolio companies.

Our Responsibilities

Vice President Fund Finance – TechStars



Job Summary:

The Vice President of Fund Finance is the most senior representative of the Fund Finance team and is responsible for overseeing fund administration, fund accounting and reporting, portfolio valuation, managing team related to existing and new investment products, and playing a key role on strategic cross functional projects. They will partner with company leaders to develop and implement the company’s capital formation strategy, and lead efforts to scale our ability to serve stakeholders, including Limited Partners, Managing Directors, General Partners, Techstars Management and Board, etc. This person will lay the foundation for Techstars fund finance systems, processes, and team to scale globally in the next several years. This role will report to the Chief Financial Officer.

Key Responsibilities:

    • Strategy: Build and maintain positive, productive relationships with company leaders and collaborate on cross-functional strategic initiatives.
      • Contribute significantly to the development and implementation of the company’s capital formation and capital deployment strategy
      • Lead efforts to scale our ability to provide best in class service to stakeholders, including LPs, MDs, GPs, etc.
      • Advise on investment instruments
      • Recognize opportunities and proactively take ownership of projects or elements of projects.  Be accountable to peers and leadership for deliverables, impact, and project deadlines.
      • Play a key role on cross functional projects by providing subject matter expertise
      • Work closely with investor relations, product, legal and compliance, technology, and sales & marketing teams
    • Leading the Team / Function:
      • Foster a culture of teamwork, growth, and continuous improvement
      • Proven track record for successful team management
      • (Read more...)

Executive Assistant – NVCA



JOB TITLE: Executive Assistant
DEPARTMENT: Administration
REPORTS TO: President/CEO
LOCATION: Washington, D.C.
FLSA STATUS: Exempt
PREPARED DATE: 4/22/2021

The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) unites the U.S. venture ecosystem to support the formation of high-growth companies and ensure the U.S. remains the most competitive environment in the world for entrepreneurs. NVCA is a nonprofit association powered by a diverse group of member firms. We convene venture capital investors, entrepreneurs, and industry partners to shape public policy priorities, to develop new industry initiatives, to provide premier research, and to participate in professional development opportunities with their peers.

SUMMARY: The Executive Assistant is responsible for managing the various administrative needs and priorities of the President and CEO. In addition to supporting the President, the Executive Assistant works closely with the Director of Administration to manage the Association’s administrative needs as well as provide interdepartmental support across a variety of NVCA departments.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING (OTHER DUTIES MAY BE ASSIGNED):
• Manage the CEO calendar including scheduling multiple daily meetings, speaking engagements, and travel arrangements
• Coordinate executive communications on behalf of CEO, including drafting emails, presentations, talking points, and social media posts
• Manage the administrative duties to support the objectives and projects of the CEO
• Work directly with the NVCA Board of Directors to manage calendars, deadlines, and prepare meeting materials for quarterly board meetings, including the quarterly Board Book
• Assist Director of Administration with the Association’s accounting and finance duties
• Perform general administrative (Read more...)

VC Policy Pulse: The International Entrepreneur Rule with Yiannis Yiakoumis



Welcome to our VC Policy Pulse series, where we speak with a VC or founder on a policy issue that is having a major impact on the venture and startup ecosystem. Today, we’re speaking with the founder of a VC-backed startup about the International Entrepreneur Rule. Yiannis Yiakoumis founded Selfie Networks in 2017 and since then has raised VC financing from Bowery Capital, Lightspeed, and individual investors. Yiakoumis is originally from Greece and has been able to stay in the U.S. to build and continue to grow his company here through the International Entrepreneur Rule. We spoke with him about his immigration journey, utilizing the International Entrepreneur Rule, and what the rule could do for other founders who want to found new companies in the United States.

Background

The International Entrepreneur Rule (IER), which was originally put into place at the end of the Obama Administration in January 2017, operates like a startup visa and would facilitate immigrant entrepreneurs being able to launch high-growth companies in the U.S. The Trump Administration attempted to remove IER, but NVCA successfully sued the Trump Administration to prevent its removal. The Department of Homeland Security tried again to remove IER, but, after NVCA advocacy, failed to finalize its removal order before leaving office. The survival of the IER opens the door for the Biden Administration to properly launch IER and allow more immigrant entrepreneurs like Yiannis to come to the U.S. and build new startups here instead of in other countries.

Q&A with Yiannis (Read more...)