Venture Industry and Government Together Will Grow the Economy

3/26/09

With the financial crisis as a backdrop, venture capitalists and policy makers are today finding themselves on common ground more than ever. Our economy has some serious structural problems. And the way past these problems will be through innovation and job creation. Venture capital has been the engine for America’s new, innovative companies for over forty-five years. Now, with the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Congress and a new Administration have signaled their readiness to invest in this portion of the economy that has created the majority of new jobs during every recovery since the Great Depression.

The passage of the stimulus bill was no easy task. Congress should be applauded for its willingness to make tough trade-offs for the greater good. No special interest group was without disappointment in certain areas. Yet, many of the sectors that are beneficiaries of stimulus dollars are poised to serve our region and country and in the process also improve our long term global competitiveness. These are industries that the venture industry also supports with billions of dollars of capital investment each year. And our industry has the track record to prove its worth. In fact, one out of every ten Americans works for a company that was founded or grown with venture capital investment and guidance. And collectively these companies account for 18 percent of U.S. GDP.

The venture capital community is largely responsible for the creation of the biotechnology industry, the Internet economy, and the software, semiconductor, and personal computer industries. It is poised to create additional jobs in these areas as well as in the newly emerging clean technology sector over the next several years. There is no question that together venture capitalists and the government can create significant value.

With a total of more than $37 billion in funding for clean energy grants, loans, and tax credits, the stimulus bill represents a significant expansion in federal funding for renewable energy, conservation, efficiency—in short, green jobs. Here in New England, these provisions will … Next Page »

Tom Crotty, Michael Greeley, Paul Maeder, and Terry McGuire are Boston-based members of the National Venture Capital Association Board of Directors. Follow @

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