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Venture Capital Advocates Make Push on Capitol Hill

Kim Hart

The National Venture Capital Association wants policymakers to know how important venture capital investors and venture-backed companies are to the economy.

Over the next few weeks, the NVCA -- the venture industry's association based in Arlington -- plans to send this video to key members of Congress as the organization lobbies a number of committees for policies favorable to investors as well as the companies they support.

It's the first time NVCA has put together a video like this, although it has long had relationships with, for example, the Senate Finance Committee and Small Business Committee. The NVCA is now trying to get involved in health care reform and energy legislation, since life science start-ups and clean tech firms are garnering a lot of investment and attention these days.

"We need to consistently educate Congress about the unique contribution of venture capital to the US economy so that they can take those contributions into account when setting policy in the areas that matter to us," said Emily Mendell, NVCA vice president of strategic affairs.

Capital gains tax rates, for example, are set to expire in 2010. The NVCA wants to current rates to remain in place to encourage the types of high-risk, long-term investing that is required to support biotech firms and alternative-energy technology.

The current crisis in the capital markets is also alarming to the NVCA. Only six venture-backed firms have gone public this year. In a stable environment, about 100 companies typically go public in the span of one year.

"It's an abysmal market for venture capital," Mendell said.

"We want to make sure Congress takes a long-term view and not just a look at year-to-year tax benefits," she said.

She said the organization is still trying to find the best way to get the video to lawmakers. In the meantime, you can watch it on YouTube.

By Kim Hart  |  September 24, 2008; 9:00 AM ET  | Category:  Kim Hart
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The problem here is that VC firms have failed to return decent returns, as an industry, for 10 years. Yet most General Partners are paid a risk-free salary in the several millions. The problem is that the VC model has simply failed to return the expected returns and his now here to whine and blame everyone but themselves.

Posted by: charlestown | September 25, 2008 6:48 AM

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