Today was the National Venture Capital Association “Big Tent” event. MVCA was on the steering committee for this event so I have been so excited for this day to arrive. Things started off rainy, with no umbrella – but I was still in awe of everything as I walked past Capitol Hill at 7am. D.C. is absolutely buzzing, even at 7am! I made sure to snap a few touristy photos on my walk to the event.
The Big Tent event is aimed at venture capital associations and gives us all an opportunity to share best practices and discuss big initiatives that have worked in each of our states. I came to the event wanting to know how MVCA could better serve our members and to steal some great ideas. The event covered “Big Wins”, NVCA resources and support, membership, events, messaging (presentation by yours truly), organizational funding, and veered into a ton of other topics that weren’t on the agenda. It was a very successful working meeting and I got a few absolutely great ideas! My three big takeaways from the meeting were data, policy, and events:
Data! The MVCA Research Report and how we utilize it to create a consistent voice for the venture capital community in Michigan was a big topic of discussion–a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Research and messaging is something that many states and the NVCA have struggled with and Michigan is absolutely nailing it so they were excited to hear more. One thing I have been interested in is getting the Midwest states to up their research game so we can put together a Midwest report and get some national attention. Everyone was very jazzed about data and messaging after the presentation – almost as jazzed as I usually am! The Midwestern states would LOVE to collaborate with MVCA on individual and a “Midwest” report, and NVCA would like to continue the conversation as they look into their data collection/messaging efforts and how best to support the regions. I will be leading a focus group to coordinate what each state is doing with their research and related messaging. It was a great day in Emilyland!
Policy! NVCA currently prioritizes policy issues in four different buckets – initiatives they will lead, initiatives they will consult on, initiatives they will partner on, and initiatives they will keep an eye on. Many of these initiatives are ones that are at the top of all of our minds lately: net neutrality, venture tax issues, Dodd Frank, Jobs Act, etc. What I want to know is how can MVCA be supportive in their policy efforts on Capitol Hill and in Michigan? We are going to start working more closely with them to provide feedback on what initiatives should be in what buckets so they know what public policy issues are important to Michigan VCs. They will also be keeping MVCA more in the loop on issues that we flag as important to us so we can work that into our own legislative efforts.
Events! In addition to hearing a few great ideas for events from other states, the National Venture Capital Association would like to host an event in each region. They have a national platform that would be great for Michigan to be able to stand on from time to time! MVCA will be working closely with NVCA to figure out how we can be supportive in helping them reach their goals while showcasing Michigan and leveraging their national reach.
This evening I’m off to charm the NVCA board and hopefully make room on their board for a Michigan VC! (Don’t worry – no laws will be broken in the process…) Stay tuned for my blog tomorrow when I meet with David Weinberg from Representative Gary Peters Office and Sarah Shine from Senator Stabenow’s Office!