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Global Venture Capital Congress

The venture capital and private equity (VC/PE) industries have evolved substantially from their roots in Europe and America over forty years ago. Initially focused on technology startups in the 1970s, today’s VC/PE asset classes now include growth equity and leveraged transactions of both mature and rapidly growing businesses. And no longer is investment principally found in America and Europe, with active industries on every  continent. The domestic focus of the past two decades of most VC/PE investors has evolved as venture capital and private equity have become an international business with investors increasingly indifferent to national borders.

The implications of the global evolution of VC/PE compelled us three years ago to gather many of the leaders of the global industry in a forum designed to examine the dynamics of our asset class.  Previously, venture capitalists from around the world rarely met to discuss shared issues and opportunities.  We called this inaugural gathering the Global Venture Capital Congress (GVCC) and met for the first time in Geneva, New York with delegates from Africa, Australia, Britain, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Emerging Markets, Latin America, Singapore, South Africa, and the US. The US National Venture Capital Association was our host. The following year we were hosted by the Israeli High Tech Association and met in Jerusalem to discuss the challenges of exits and IPOs. This past year brought us to Farmleigh House in Dublin, Ireland where we were hosted by the Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny, and the European Venture Capital Association. At the third GVCC we examined the vitality and perception of VC/PE through the eyes of a number of stakeholders including limited partners.. We were also joined by the European Commissioner for Science and Technology, Máire GeogheganQuinn.

As we look forward to our fourth gathering, we do so with gratitude for our hosts at the Hong Kong Venture Capital Association and leadership from the Asian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, Australian Venture Capital Association and the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association. We have forged strong relationships with one another during our time together, and we are anticipating making valuable connections once again as we examine the issues and opportunities for global venture capital and private equity in the coming year.