The following are remarks by Bruce Aust, Vice Chairman of Nasdaq at last night's launch of the 2017 Forbes Midas List.
Thank you everyone for coming tonight, it is our great honor to host the launch of the 2017 Forbes Midas List. Now entering its 16th year, the Forbes Midas Lists honors a group at the pinnacle of their industry, who are generating exceptional returns and helping to create the most impactful and valuable companies.
Nasdaq proudly supports the Forbes Midas List and the venture capital community, many of you in this room will or have brought companies public on our exchange. Last year, Nasdaq was home to 91% of all venture backed deals. For 45 years, Nasdaq has been at the forefront of innovative initiatives that move our capital markets forward - home to 3,800 listed companies representing more than $U.S. 10.1 trillion in total market value and the five largest companies in the world - and as well as the exchange of choice for category defining leaders in nearly every sector. If you look across the sectors that we operate in, you will see that the companies that are truly creating change, are really driving the future of that business or that sector is listed on Nasdaq.
The space we are in today, the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, is a non-profit established by the Nasdaq Educational Foundation to provide early-stage founders with free access to mentorship and training. The Center recently hosted its 5,000th entrepreneur through classes, has a number of global learning programs in development, and last week graduated its second class of Milestone Makers, who are our entrepreneurs-in-residence.
Congratulations all – we hope you’ll come back soon and tell our entrepreneurs what it takes to make the Midas List. Nasdaq has been in the valley for over 25 years and we’re honored to be a part of this.
For more than a decade, Forbes has published the Midas List to recognize the best investors in venture capital, from the dotcom bubble through its burst – and now into the age of unicorns. The list is data-driven, scanning more than 4,000 deals across hundreds of partners at more than 100 firms to recognize investors who make bold and big bets. Forbes has dived deep into the deals and personalities that led to those big returns—from Benchmark to Andreessen Horowitz, Doug Leone to Chris Sacca.
It’s my great pleasure to introduce list editor Alex Konrad to introduce our panelists, two standouts on this year’s list.