Author: smaloney@nvca.org

Forgepoint Capital



For this deep dive, we spoke with Alberto Yépez, Co-founder and Managing Director at Forgepoint Capital.  

Tell us about your firm. What makes it different?

Forgepoint Capital is a sector-focused venture capital firm focused on cybersecurity and infrastructure software. As the most active venture capital fund in cybersecurity and cyber-adjacent areas with 37 active portfolio companies, we combine a thesis-driven approach with proven experience building and supporting companies.  

We are mission-oriented in that we view security as fundamental and work closely with the entrepreneurs and innovators protecting our digital future. We believe that greater cybersecurity enables economic prosperity and helps businesses transform digitally, while protecting individual privacy.  

We are particularly proud of our community, which includes our Advisory Council of 80+ industry leaders and decision-makers, who collectively bring expertise and connections to guide product development, business strategy, and go-to-market success. Our team of investors and operators work hard to support our companies from inception to exit.  

Finally, we believe in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives within our own team and portfolio companies. We developed an ESG Handbook for our firm and portfolio and share it with other firms and LPs to make ESG actionable from first meeting to exit. Forgepoint also has more Asian and Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Hispanics/Latinos, and Veterans represented than industry averages in VC. We’re also proud to be a founding signatory of ILPA’s Diversity in Action Initiative and an active participant (Read more...)

Overlooked Ventures



Welcome to our Member Spotlight series where we profile the exciting work of our member firms. For this deep dive, we spoke to Janine Sickmeyer of Overlooked Ventures.

Janine Sickmeyer

Tell us about your firm. What makes it different?

Overlooked Ventures invests in early-stage companies with one or more historically ignored founder(s). Fund I is a  pre-seed/seed-stage fund investing in tech and tech-enabled startups building for humanity, wellness, and industries lacking innovation. 

 We’re a founder-first venture firm with a focus on adding value and helping portfolio companies to the next round. As a 2x entrepreneur, I co-founded Overlooked Ventures to leverage my experience and provide hands-on support to OV portfolios. 

What defines your portfolio?

Overlooked Ventures invests in diverse, scrappy founders who are in the early stages of building billion-dollar businesses. 

Tell us about how your portfolio companies are navigating through the current market environment.  

The fundraising landscape looks a lot different than it did in 2021. We’re seeing valuations drop and startups having a harder time raising capital. Historically ignored founders including but not limited to Black, Latino, disabled, and women founders have always started businesses in these conditions. The founders that Overlooked Ventures invests in are not as impacted by the market downturn and are  building great profitable and investable businesses. 

What are the benefits of being an NVCA member? 

As an Emerging Fund Manager, I was searching for a community and network that I could join. When I came (Read more...)

Member Spotlight: BHP Ventures



Welcome to our Member Spotlight series where we profile the exciting work of our member firms. For this deep dive, we spoke to members of BHP Ventures.

From top left (L to R): Dr Brigid O’Brien, Josh Su, Natalie Cira, Alexandra Iljadica, Michael Buzzo, Susanna Campitelli, Jordan Mitchell

Tell us about your firm. What makes it different?

BHP Ventures is the in-house venture capital arm of BHP. We scour the globe to find and foster emerging, game-changing technologies with the potential to help make BHP’s global operations safer, productive, and sustainable. This complements and enhances the innovation already underway within BHP by forging new partnerships and creating fresh opportunities to strengthen our portfolio and lower our emissions.

For our partners, BHP Ventures provides the opportunity to collaborate with one of the world’s largest natural resources companies. With more than 80,000 talented people working at top-class assets across Australia and the Americas to produce premium iron ore, copper, nickel, and metallurgical coal for global customers, we have a unique vantage point to support our portfolio companies. Our products are the foundation of energy transition. We understand how to navigate the entire value chain, and we’re experts at calling capital-intensive projects to bring products to the global market.

What defines your portfolio?

BHP Ventures targets game-changing technologies and teams to support future growth for BHP in:

  1. Driving innovation in our core operations (electrifying our fleet, low/no-CO2 fuels, and site-electrification).
  2. Growing our resource base in key commodities (new exploration and extraction technologies).
  3. Exploring potential (Read more...)

NVCA National Security Campaign 



NVCA National Security Campaign


At NVCA, we have convened VCs and climate-focused entrepreneurs from across the country to discuss an innovative policy agenda that will focus the power of the U.S. startup ecosystem on climate technologies. Effective partnerships between the public and private sectors create space for cutting edge ideas to challenge traditional business models and approaches. This forged alliance will be integral in unlocking the full potential of startup innovation in the energy transition.

The nation’s startup ecosystem is advancing breakthrough climate technology innovations in areas such as new energy sources and storage, transportation and mobility, carbon capture and utilization, agriculture and sustainability, water and recycling, and manufacturing.

In 2021, 887 U.S.-based climate tech startups raised $27.55 billion in VC funding, more than double 2020’s record of $12.7 billion invested. Given the importance of speed in getting the economy to carbon-neutrality, this wave of young companies will play a fundamental role in advancing the country’s effort to address the climate crisis.

In honor of Earth Day, we’re recognizing and celebrating five leading VCs in climate and sustainability investing within the NVCA member community. We’re excited to hear from them, highlight their impact, and cheer their continued success!

Nick Beim, Partner, Venrock 


As a Partner at Venrock, Nick focuses primarily on artificial intelligence, software, fintech, and defense investments. He likes to invest early in companies with significant disruptive potential and help them develop their products and business strategies. When he is (Read more...)

Member Spotlight: Fin Capital



Welcome to our Member Spotlight series where we profile the exciting work of our member firms. For this deep dive, we spoke to Logan Allin, Managing Partner & Founder of Fin Capital to learn more about the firm.

Logan Allin, Managing Partner & Founder of Fin Capital

What makes your firm unique?

We are “FinTech Nerds with Capital” – all of us are former operators and bring decades of FinTech expertise to bear on a full life-cycle approach to investing in FinTech software from pre-seed to pre-IPO across three private fund strategies principally in the U.S. and UK/EU. As a growing team of 25, we bring a formal operating playbook in supporting our founders, driven by business and corporate development. We are also a UN PRI signatory and integrate ESG metrics into our company evaluation and ongoing reporting.  

What defines your portfolio?

We are broadly diversified in FinTech software, including embedded finance, asset management/capital markets, CFO Tech Stack, Blockchain/Web 3, InsurTech, and Infrastructure/Enabling Tech. We only back repeat founders focused on greenfields in FinTech software. We’re approaching 100 companies spanning all stages and diversified geographies, and our founders are deeply passionate about their thesis while also considering ESG principles and a durable longterm business model.

Tell us about the current VC landscape in your geography/region.

We are unique in our b2b/software orientation vs. b2c and b2smb oriented investors, but we find it to be highly (Read more...)

Member Spotlight: 500 Global



Welcome to our Member Spotlight series where we profile the exciting work of our member firms. For this deep dive, we spoke to Christine Tsai, CEO and Founding Partner of 500 Global to learn more about the firm.

Christine Tsai, CEO and Founding Partner of 500 Global

What makes your firm unique?

500 Global is a venture capital firm that invests early in founders building technology companies with global potential. We have $2.7B in AUM, an expansive, diversified global portfolio of companies across multiple sectors, stages, and geographies (81 countries and counting), and a truly diverse team that earned recognition on The Information’s VC Diversity Index.

We began in Silicon Valley 12 years ago, but our investment thesis and overall mission were global from Day 1. Today, our team is located in more than 20 countries and brings extensive experience as founders, investors, and operators. Of the 51 companies valued at over $1B in our portfolio, nearly 40% of them hail from outside of the U.S.

As one of the first institutional investors that a founder brings into their cap table, we care deeply about building trust with our founders and supporting them throughout their journey. We continue to be active at the pre-seed/accelerator and seed stage because those are our roots. However, we’ve also expanded our investment strategy to include the later stages of a company’s growth – writing larger checks into companies, leading or co-leading rounds, as well as offering co-investment opportunities to limited partners. As (Read more...)

Member Spotlight: Airbus Ventures



Welcome to our Member Spotlight series where we profile the exciting work of our member firms. For this deep dive, we spoke to Thomas d’Halluin, Managing Partner, at Airbus Ventures to learn more about the firm.

Thomas d’Halluin, Managing Partner, Airbus Ventures

What makes your firm unique?

At Airbus Ventures, we champion outstanding leadership, science, and engineering through financial investments encouraging founders of Seed to Series B+ ventures to make an impact that spans a multitude of aerospace and adjacent sectors on and beyond Earth.

We independently support startup companies set to shift the future of aerospace. Investing in a full spectrum of fast-accelerating technologies — including autonomous mobility, electrification, low-carbon economy, advanced materials, manufacturing systems, next-generation computing, sensing, and security — our firm uniquely operates internationally to transform technology designed to address our planet’s greatest challenges. Learn more about the vision and scope of the fund on our newly launched website.

What inspired the name of your firm?

Airbus Ventures is the autonomous venture arm of Airbus SE. Given our roots in aviation and passions for aerial flight deeply imprinted in our DNA, we proudly leverage the richly dense networks of our mothership Airbus and its supply chain, as well as the wider ecosystem of our Limited Partners (LPs).

The fund’s ecosystem includes multiple LPs – including Development Bank of Japan Inc., Mitsubishi HC Capital, Fuyo General Lease Co., Ltd., and McKinley Capital – to foster a collaborative environment that better nurtures and enables our entrepreneurs to succeed.

(Read more...)

Member Spotlight: Woven Capital



Welcome to our Member Spotlight series where we give a profile overview of our many diverse members. For this deep dive, we spoke to George Kellerman, Managing Director at Woven Capital.

Tell us about your firm. What makes it different?

Woven Capital is the $800 million corporate venture capital arm of Woven Planet, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Toyota Motor Corporation committed to developing the safest mobility on the planet. Woven Planet plays a leading role in accelerating Toyota’s transition from a global automobile manufacturer to a global mobility company, and Woven Capital aims to broaden Woven Planet’s global reach and accelerate innovation through partnerships with exceptional growth-stage ventures.

We define “mobility” broadly. It’s not only the movement of goods and people. It’s also the movement of information that’s required for the social and economic ecosystems that help anyone navigate their daily lives safely and securely. We consider a range of mobility-adjacent areas, from food delivery and robotics to logistics and smart cities. Sometimes a company’s greatest advantage is how it masters the intersection of related industries and technologies.

Woven Capital and Woven Planet share a goal: discovering and developing groundbreaking technologies that will help people all over the world lead happier, healthier, richer lives. And we do that by helping the brightest minds in technology — the entrepreneurs and innovators — bring their visions to life.

What inspired the name of the firm?

The inspiration for “Woven” comes from the earliest days of the company that is (Read more...)

NVCA Celebrates Earth Day with VC Leaders in Climate and Sustainability



NVCA Celebrates Earth Day with VC Leaders in Climate and Sustainability


At NVCA, we have convened VCs and climate-focused entrepreneurs from across the country to discuss an innovative policy agenda that will focus the power of the U.S. startup ecosystem on climate technologies. Effective partnerships between the public and private sectors create space for cutting edge ideas to challenge traditional business models and approaches. This forged alliance will be integral in unlocking the full potential of startup innovation in the energy transition.

The nation’s startup ecosystem is advancing breakthrough climate technology innovations in areas such as new energy sources and storage, transportation and mobility, carbon capture and utilization, agriculture and sustainability, water and recycling, and manufacturing.

In 2021, 887 U.S.-based climate tech startups raised $27.55 billion in VC funding, more than double 2020’s record of $12.7 billion invested. Given the importance of speed in getting the economy to carbon-neutrality, this wave of young companies will play a fundamental role in advancing the country’s effort to address the climate crisis.

In honor of Earth Day, we’re recognizing and celebrating five leading VCs in climate and sustainability investing within the NVCA member community. We’re excited to hear from them, highlight their impact, and cheer their continued success!


As a Partner at Sandbox Sustainability Ventures, Taryn invests in entrepreneurs who are using technology to create transformative impact across the food and agriculture value chain. Previously, Taryn served as the Food and (Read more...)

Content and Community Manager / Director



Job Title: Content and Community Manager / Director
Reports to: Executive Director
Location: San Francisco, CA
Prepared Date: 2/16/2022
Note: Title and compensation are commensurate with experience

SUMMARY

Venture Forward is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, focused on shaping a stronger, healthier future
for the U.S. venture capital (VC) ecosystem. Venture Forward was launched in June of 2020 as a
supporting organization to the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA).
Women, people of color, and other marginalized communities are underrepresented in the venture
ecosystem. Our mission is to change that. We support emerging investors through educational programs
and networking opportunities and enable current investors to create powerful, positive changes within
their firms that are good for society and business.

Venture Forward is seeking a Content and Community Manager/Director (“Manager/Director”) who will
support Venture Forward and its constituents as they apply, participate, and matriculate through our
programs and initiatives.

In collaboration with the Executive Director and Senior Programs Director, the Manager/Director will
develop marketing and communication campaigns, support program applicants and participants, and
expand alumni and stakeholder engagement. The Manager/Director will serve as the voice of the brand,
providing information, guidance, and support, to further develop a sense of community and value
among our audience.

The Venture Forward team is highly collaborative, but as a relatively young entity with two full-time
employees, this role is ideal for someone with several years of relevant professional experience, who is
prepared to take the lead in developing and managing community engagement efforts.

RESPONSIBILITIES & DUTIES