Earlier this month, the National Venture Capital Association launched its VC Jobs Count as part of an effort to quantify the amount of economic activity venture capital adds to the economy.
The organization has been producing with Global Insight a report (called Venture Impact) that measures the jobs produced by VC alum companies that have gone onto merger or IPO. The names aren’t surprising–Intel, Genentech, Facebook, Microsoft, Starbucks and FedEx. But the fact that they account for 11,900,000 jobs (11 percent of our economy’s total and $3.1 trillion of revenue (10% of total economy) might be.
VC Jobs Count has a different, complementary mission. The project tallies jobs created at current (pre-IPO/non-alum) VC portfolio companies. The count is just underway. At present it includes just those companies who both (a) received investment from NVCA members and (b) have to date voluntarily reported their employment totals.
But it’s still impressive. My company’s investor, Boulder-based Foundry Group, is already up to 6,479 current jobs. Industry biggie NEA is at 34,000. Battery Ventures is up to 12,493. A lot of the well-known VC firm names (including some Brightleaf clients) aren’t yet up on the board.
As this list fills out, it will be interesting to see how many jobs each VC firm is presently responsible for creating. This season’s presidential election continues to heap onto our heads accusations and innuendo and anecdotes of how evil the venture capital industry is with the job displacements from their various modernizations and efficiencies and outsourcings. (I’m still waiting for the charge that Microsoft is evil because its Office products eliminates the need for Secretary and Bookkeeper jobs). VC Jobs Count is a timely reminder of what that industry actually does for us.