My year chairing the corporate venture group of US trade body the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) has come to an end, and I am handing the baton to Elaine Jones, venture capital executive director of Pfizer Venture Invest- ments, the venturing unit of the pharmaceutical company. While Global Corporate Venturing now reports the existence of 900 corporate venture funds, two-thirds of them in the US, I want to note and thank those who have stepped up to leadership roles not just among their corporate ven- turing peers, but among the entire venture community. We have 75 members representing corporate investors who have chosen to stand with the leaders of the financial investment community to help shape the venture industry. Claudia Fan Munce of IBM Ventures has acted as a board member for the past year and will be joined by Sue Siegel of GE Healthymagination. Many others have volunteered their time to support education, networking, and public pol- icy efforts of the NVCA. We have a corporate venture group community made up of people with established investment track records in ven- ture capital, real experts in their fields, and who bring the backing and support of major corporations to their invest- ing activities. They do not take a back seat to the financial venture capital firms – they are out in front finding great entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas and leading deals to help them bring their innovations to market. I hear people talk about wanting to invent corporate venturing 2.0. They want to create change and help companies participate in venture capital more successfully. Whether their mandate is finding new product or service innovations, leveraging emerging capabilities, or stoking their developer ecosystems to drive markets for their products, they are excited about contributing to the growth engines of their companies, as well as, of course, making money for them. In truth, the fact that so many companies have launched venture funds and built the teams they have reassures me in a challenging economy that companies are committed to innovation and embracing new sources of growth. I have watched this community commit a lot of energy to building bridges and looking for ways to benefit from each other’s experience and even to look for ways to do deals together. For example, much effort went into plan- ning the NVCA Annual Corporate Venture Group Summit in November. Of course, Hurricane Sandy derailed those plans. However, the team regrouped and replanned…
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Changing of the guard
Jun 10, 2013 • Stephen Socolof
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