2012 CDVCA Annual Workshop and Conference summary

CDVCA’s 17th Annual Conference was held in Washington, DC from March 22  23, 2012, and was preceded by an Introductory Workshop on March 21, 2012. The Introductory Workshop provided potential fund managers with the foundation they need to start and run a successful CDVC fund. The Workshop also provided an overview of the industry that would prepare participants for conference sessions on the following two days.

Veteran in the industry, Ray Moncrief of Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, opened the Annual Conference for attendees, which represented a mix of fund managers, investors and government officials. Participants also heard from keynote speaker, Don Graves, who is both the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Small Business, Community Development and Housing Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Executive Director of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness at the White House. In addition, a range of experienced speakers contributed their views on issues currently affecting the CDVC industry and offered personalized advice and commentary for participants in this interactive conference.

Venture capital industry leaders, including Mark Heesen of the National Venture Capital Association, Jim Jaffe of the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds, Kristi Craig of the Small Business Investor Alliance and CDVCA’s President, Kerwin Tesdell, all participated in an Industry Outlook session to discuss the state of the CDVC industry and predict its future. Speakers were moderated by Eduardo Rallo of Pacific Community Ventures and discussed a range of issues including the current economic and political environment and its affect on the industry.

Tom Loy of Metafund moderated a panel on the CDFI Fund and New Markets Tax Credit. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Treasury, including Ruth Jaure (CDFI Program Manager) and David Meyer (Senior Policy and Program Officer for the New Markets Tax Credit Program), along with Russ Davis of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, LLP discussed new developments in these programs as well as a small business initiative in the CDFI program that can be made compatible with venture capital investing.

Bob Rapoza of Rapoza Associates gave conference attendees an Advocacy 101 session to prepare them to for their meetings with their House and Senate representatives. Bob discussed the state of the economy and budget restraints, but noted that certain programs relevant to the CDVC industry were being supported by the White House. He also gave attendees tips on how to effectively represent the CDVC industry and advocate for certain programs. After this session, some conference attendees went off to meet with their representatives and reconvened for an evening reception at the Hill.

CDVCA’s Kerwin Tesdell began the last day of the conference by moderating a panel on how to use the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) for Venture Capital Investing. Panel speakers were Jonathan Goldstein of Advantage Capital Partners and Neil Faden of Mannat, Phelps & Phillips. Kerwin made observations regarding obstacles in using the NMTC for venture capital investing and Jonathan went through Advantage Capital’s different models for making the NMTC effective. Neil was able to offer his legal opinions on these creative models of the NMTC based on his broad experience with these transactions.

The conference concluded with a CDVCA Roundtable of experts that answered the individual questions of participants based on their own experiences with their funds/potential funds or questions they had developed from the previous days of presentations.

The agendas with photos can be found here. Presentations from the Introductory Workshop and Conference are available free to all conference attendees. Please contact CDVCA at cdvca@cdvca.org for more information.

Thank you to all participants and speakers for making the conference an engaging learning experience for all and a great networking opportunity. We hope to see you at the next conference in 2013!