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GCV's Frequently-asked questions

Why did you set up the Global Corporate Venturing Leadership Society?
Claudia Fan Munce, former head of IBM Venture Capital and the first chairman of our Global Corporate Venturing advisory board, suggested there was a need for new and existing corporate venturers to have, in one place, the networking, news and information, data and analysis about the industry and a forum to share with third parties, such as other venture investors, entrepreneurs and society, what the industry does. Effectively, the society can act as a trade body for a unique set of investors by drawing the industry together and developing shared insights into best practices and aggregate statistics and complement the regional venture capital associations for whom corporate venturing is often a second-order priority.

What is different from before?
Global Corporate Venturing as a trade paper had the elements in place through its website and monthly magazine, data, training and events around the world. However, it was focused on answering two fundamental questions – who does corporate venturing and what (deals or fund commitments, etc) do they do? – for the industry itself rather than as a way of influencing other investors, corporate management and entrepreneurs. As the industry has grown by about 50% to 1,200 active CVCs over the past five years so has the need to better explain what it does to the outside world as well as create a platform, or members’ directory, that makes it easier for people to catch up with peers. As an extra service to the directory, the Society is also developing a NDA Club to allow private discussions to take place as well as an industry badge so CVCs can join at a minimal price without necessarily having to subscribe to the full news, data and information insights as a service. Service providers are encouraged through an industry partners scheme, incorporating the Corporate Venturing and Innovation Initiative (CVI2) organisation. As part of Mawsonia, publisher of Global Corporate Venturing’s, commitment to the industry we have also invested in the GCV Analytics platform and World of Corporate Venturing annual review to aggregate and analyse the proprietary information about the industry to more easily share with third parties.

What/Who is Global Corporate Venturing then?
It remains the industry’s only trade paper with unique news, data, events and training. But it is also the insights as a service platform allowing the industry to take its rightful place in the innovation capital ecosystem rather than being seen as a second-class citizen or underappreciated through lack of accurate data and information.

Who owns Global Corporate Venturing and the Society?
Both GCV and the Society, as well as other trade papers, Global University Venturing and Global Government Venturing, are owned by Mawsonia Ltd, a UK-based for-profit company. There is an independent chairman and non-executive director of Mawsonia and a separate, unpaid advisory board and committees for the Society covering GCV’s operations.

Do I need to have an operational venture unit to benefit from Global Corporate Venturing and the Society’s services?
The Society welcomes industry partners, such as law firms, accountants, consultants and advisers, as well as corporate venturing practitioners or those who have spent time in the industry to build its skills. One challenge for the industry has been the loss of experience and wisdom when corporate venturers change roles or take a break from an active unit; the Society acts as a way for these insights and experience to remain available and up to date. In addition, prospective corporate venturers or new units also need a way to engage with an industry through a society structure that enables best practices and networks to form in order to minimize costly mistakes as well as speed up beneficial developments. The Society has a range of member levels to suit these different needs.

How can I understand venture capital?
There are a number of good primers on venture capital’s practicalities, often provided by national venture capital associations, such as the UK (here) and US’s (here). In terms of venture capital itself – a basic (or 101) description are in any search; here’s one.

For corporate venturing, the Society’s training unit, GCV Academy, is developing a glossary and provides courses to suit basic to masters levels of development. Global Corporate Venturing magazine also provides Society members with a CV 101 publication of common questions and issues and an annual review of data and themes, call World of Corporate Venturing (please ask for more details).

Where can I attend Global Corporate Venturing Events?
Global Corporate Venturing runs events, often including streams or sessions from its sister titles, in Sonoma, California, and London, UK, each January and May/June, respectively – see here for the latest – as well as a host of private networking dinners, academies and partner events from Shanghai, Tokyo, Sao Paulo and Singapore.

How can Global Corporate Venturing benefit my company?
With more than 400 corporate venturers and others interested in the industry attending its US and UK events, Global Corporate Venturing brings together investors managing more than $20bn in aggregate on behalf of corporate parents with combined annual revenues of more than $4 trillion, ie more than a top 10 country’s GDP. These conferences help decide the future direction and networks of the people creating the innovation capital ecosystem and so are vital for policymakers, corporations, universities, entrepreneurs and others who want to meet this group.

The events build off the proprietary research and data gather by the Global Corporate Venturing editorial and analytics teams and so allow CVCs and others to see the trends, who to partner with and their best practices. If you want to do more than survive but to thrive in the innovation capital economy and surf the wave of abundance and disruption that follows in the wake of venture investing then Global Corporate Venturing Leadership Society and the other titles in Mawsonia’s stable of publications are the way to do so.

Why choose Global Corporate Venturing?
As the industry’s only trade paper and with unique, proprietary global data and events, the question is perhaps who else could you choose if you want to understand this community and connect with them?

Can Global Corporate Venturing help me with my fundraising?
Global Corporate Venturing tracks the limited partner (LP) commitments to VC funds as well as their direct investments and other venturing activities. Global Corporate Venturing will likely be bringing selected VCs to meet corporate and other LPs in a forum designed to encourage investment, and has already helped whole ecosystems, such as Brazil, design ways to encourage cross-border commitments.

Does Global Corporate Venturing provide contact details?
European data protection legislation (Global Corporate Venturing’s parent, Mawsonia Ltd, is based in the UK) is relatively strict compared to the US or other regions. Beyond that, Global Corporate Venturing and the Leadership Society retain their roles because of our trusted relationship with our industry – would this be useful or help to the people in corporate venturing? If potentially so, then ask them first where possible!

How can I as a university/government benefit from Global Corporate Venturing?
Global Corporate Venturing (GCV) is one of the publications (in its broadest sense, covering news, data, events, training, etc) produced by Mawsonia, which also provides specific titles covering academia and policymakers through Global University Venturing (GUV) and Global Government Venturing (GGV), respectively. These GUV and GGV titles are complementary by looking at the connections with corporations (sometimes called the triple helix) as well as their own industry needs. GCV in turn looks at providing the data and information to encourage university or public research spin-outs and startups by students and faculty and the right tax, regulations and public support for venture more broadly as well as for corporations.

What benefits do I receive as a subscriber?
Global Corporate Venturing Leadership Society membership provides brand exposure, business networking, access to information, avenues to data, and discounts on community resources. It sets the highest standards and provides the talent pool of professionals for the industry to build on.

Additionally, the GCV Leadership Society through the umbrella or sub-groups will catalyse dialogues on behalf of the industry on topics such as deal flow, investment models, partnership approaches, innovation excellence, intellectual property, and CV unit development to venture capital firms, entrepreneurs, angels, government and universities through their trade bodies.

How much does it cost to join the Leadership Society?
See our Leadership Society page for more information or contact Janice Mawson for a tailored quote.

Who is an Industry Partner?
A person who is primarily provides a service to the Global Corporate Venturing and Innovation unit. This category includes legal service firms, accounting firms, intellectual property (IP) management firms, consulting firms, and banking firms which provide and/or sells products and services to the CV&I industry. This classification of membership is not limited to the groups listed but membership approval is required from the board looking for quality contribution rather than solely promotion of services.

Membership Dues: The two available categories for Industry Partners are $5,000 annually for the Standard package or $15,000 for the Advanced

How many deals can I follow on Global Corporate Venturing?
Through the GCV Analytics platform providing insights as a service, members of the Leadership Society or directly into the platform are able to follow and track more than 1,000 deals per year around the world. These deals are categorized by portfolio name, investor syndicate (not just corporate venturers), sector (and sub-sector semantic searches), region, size of round, stage of round and aggregate raised.

Would a sponsorship benefit my company?
It depends on your aims. Ultimately, our goal at Global Corporate Venturing is to try and help the industry of more than 10,000 practitioners grow and develop. If your work or service helps our community, then we could discuss how to meet your objectives. If not, then no.

Is there any membership that provides me discount?
Global Corporate Venturing is fortunate to work with the leading VC trade bodies, such as NVCA in the US and BVCA in the UK, as well as service providers who are part of our Leadership Society as industry partners. The Corporate Venturing and Innovation Initiative (CVI2) founded by Bell Mason Group, DLA Piper, and SVB (as well as Global Corporate Venturing) has also joined with the Global Corporate Venturing Leadership Society. These organisations are given preferential relationships with the Society’s members and the industry as long-term, trusted service providers.

How do I subscribe to the Global Corporate Venturing Leadership Society?
Packages are available for teams and/or to include access to sister sites Global Government Venturing and Global University Venturing – please contact Tim Lafferty for details. Subscribe Now

Aren’t I already a subscriber?
Hopefully! Corporations can take out a company licence so do check with your corporate venturing leader. But there can be some confusion as you might be receiving the weekly Global Corporate Venturing newsletter, which is free to the industry and showcases the great work by the community but is just the tip of the daily newsletters, data, events, training and analysis provided by the Society. For help with your subscription or to be added to our news letter please contact Hannah Bayes-Brown.

Which CVCs invest in funds?
Given limited partnership agreements (LPA) are usually private contracts between two parties it is down to both sides what is made public. There is generally more opacity where a corporate LP is one of potentially hundreds in a large fund but greater clarity when they are a cornerstone or sole LP. Global Corporate Venturing tracks all the public information as well as has access to private commitments given to help our understanding of the industry and to collected aggregate data.

Does Global Corporate Venturing know whether corporations have money in an internally-managed fund or from balance sheet?Yes, it is part of the organization’s details we track. Global Corporate Venturing covers each sector at least once per year to find out people moves, org changes and unit launches and investments and carries out quarterly surveys on deals and other activities.

Is your magazine printed?
Global Corporate Venturing prints some of its publications, such as its annual review (World of Corporate Venturing), usually for its event attendees, but given its global audience having such valuable information available to all simultaneously is a minimum requirement so everything is published online first.

What proportion of VC deals include a CVC? Do you have VC data?
We partner with specialist databases tracking independent venture capital activity, such as Pitchbook, which allows estimates of what percentage of overall venture activity (by volume) comes from corporate investors. Given most rounds are private, it is harder to estimate the percentage by value but as the industry is contributing more of its private numbers to Global Corporate Venturing we are able to have more confidence in this, although there is a large number of undisclosed deals and investments of undisclosed size that make such numbers statistically unreliable.

How far do the deals go back?
Global Corporate Venturing was founded in May 2010 and some deal history goes back to the start of that year. However, more reliable information effectively starts from January 2011.

How many university and government deals have you tracked?
Universities do not generally track the number of student startups and even top ones average about four spin-outs per year. Global University Venturing tracks both with usually more than 500 deals per year, particularly from the top 150 institutions. However, Pitchbook and others, such as Crunchbase, can work back to the education history of a wider pool of venture-backed startups to link entrepreneurs with alma maters. The outlook for university venturing around the world continues to be positive after more than $4bn in 2015 was committed to over 30 new funds targeting primarily academic and public research-led innovations.

This compares to 32 new funds raising $2.7bn in 2013 and 90 launches in 2014 with an aggregate $5.5bn, according to our sister publication Global University Venturing (GUV). Although the final deal tally from institutions is still being counted, 2015 could have been a record-breaking year for deals with potentially more than 700 tracked by GUV, compared to 538 in 2014 and 233 in 2013. And some of these deals, such as Immunocore, an immunotherapy firm which has its origins at Oxford University before raising $320m last year in a round, have in themselves been record-breakers.

Governments are usually the country’s largest limited partner in VC funds, but less regularly direct investors in entrepreneurs for many countries. Global Government Venturing tracks all tax, regulatory, fund and dealmaking, particularly by the OECD and its associated members. There were more than 150 new funds set up either directly run or backed by governments was a nearly three-fold increase over 2014’s total, according to Global Government Venturing (GGV) annual review of 2015. There was also a three-fold increase in direct dealmaking by these government venturing funds with 533 in 2015 compared to 173 the year before, according to GGV’s proprietary database.

Can I speak at one of your events?
Ideally, yes, although there is always more demand than opportunities, alas. Please contact James Mawson with what you’d like to say, why it fits our audience and short bio.

Where is your office?
Our main office is in London, although many people work outside of the UK’s capital from their home offices or from the Tech Hub at the Google Campus in Madrid, Spain.

Does Jim Mawson still live in California?
Jim’s three-year work US visa ended at the start of 2016 and he moved back to the UK after the company closed its growth equity round in 2014 and took on a UK-based chairman. He much misses the great sunshine and people over in Palo Alto and the Bay area (especially as he looks out of a pre-dawn window at a frozen January landscape near Stonehenge at time of writing).

You only have relatively few staff? How do you do so much?
We are fortunate that the industry contributes so much to help us through the Leadership Society’s advisory board and committees and by sending news, attending events and sharing your time and experience. It feels less like we do so much – though we do have a great team – than we are standing on the shoulders of the industry giants.

Can you send me a list of CVC units? How many are there?
The Leadership Society has a list of member organisations through its directory. We do help identify the 1,200 CVCs that have done at least one deal over the past five years, although only about a quarter are publicly active (ie four deals or more per year) at any given time period. We rarely share the full list but help if we can.

Can you please introduce me to some CVCs?
We’d be delighted to! The easiest way is to attend our events – the great and the good of the industry kindly share their time to help all grow and develop. Our motto from David Hume is: “Truth springs from argument among good friends.” So, while we don’t expect everyone to agree with each other we do expect there to be an environment of mutual respect and appreciation of others’ time and perspectives. For individual introductions we try and apply the double-check of making sure the other might be interest first!

I’m looking to get a job as a CVC. Can you help me?
If we can, although we are a society and publication rather than hiring CVCs ourselves. We run a classifieds section in the magazine and society to allow people to be identified or jobs to be posted. A number of excellent recruitment agencies also use our society as industry partners and you can see their services in our directory or at our events.

How many visitors do you get to your websites? How many people read the magazines?
Our weekly Global Corporate Venturing newsletters goes to the full industry of more than 10,000 people – do take out a trial online or contact Hannah Bayes-Brown – if you do not receive it directly. The website is generally used by subscribers, who also receive the monthly magazine.

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