Government Affairs Agenda

IVCA supports an entrepreneurial spirit in Illinois' public policy that encourages economic and business development and rewards investment in job creation and job relocations. To that end, IVCA's government affairs objectives, developed by the IVCA Legislative Committee and adopted by the IVCA Board of Directors, seek to:

Educate government officials in Illinois about the positive effects venture capital and private equity investment in Illinois has on economic and job growth.

Encourage Illinois officials to promote and maintain a business environment that supports venture capital and private equity investment in Illinois through:

    • Increased public pension investment in venture capital and private equity and, all things being equal, with Illinois-based firms.
    • An expanded Technology Development Fund.
    • Exploration of state initiatives to promote early stage (seed/angel) investment in Illinois companies.
    • Removal of disincentives to private equity investing, which include:
      • Advocating for pension fund reform to provide transparent, competitive, performance-based opportunities to access public pension fund investments
      • Clarifying of restrictions on public pension funds' private equity investing to ensure that any and all restrictions are workable and allow the private equity community to comply
      • Eliminating discriminatory taxes
      • Clarifying the Freedom of Information Act

IVCA-PAC Co-Chair - Jim TenBroek, Growth Catalyst Partners

IVCA-PAC Co-Chair - Rocco Martino, OceanM19

IVCA-PAC - Vice Chair Lee Mitchell, Thoma Bravo

IVCA-PAC - Vice Chair Tony Palcheck, Zebra Ventures

IVCA-PAC Treasurer - Mark McDonnell, ARCH Venture Partners

Bret Maxwell, MK Capital

Ryan Phillips, WP Global Partners

Troy Phillips, BPOC

John Yeager, H.I.G. Whitehorse

Christie Pruyn, IVCA Executive Director

The IVCA-PAC instituted new policies in mid-March 2011in light of SEC Regulations to ensure compliance with "pay to play" rules on the federal, state and local levels of government.

The IVCA-PAC contributes only to candidates or members of the Illinois General Assembly. It no longer makes contributions to statewide officials (Governor, Lt. Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General or any other elected officials (or candidates for these elective offices) at the County or City levels of government as these positions frequently hold pension board positions.

As part of its compliance processes, the IVCA-PAC will maintain a "prohibited persons list" of offices and persons deemed to have, directly or indirectly, the legal authority to cause or can influence the awarding of an investment advisory contract. Currently in Illinois, the IVCA-PAC prohibited persons list includes the following five such offices and one additional elected official on the list:

At the State level:

  • The Governor appoints pension fund board members (JB Pritzker).

  • The Treasurer who serves on a pension fund board and invests the State's money (Michael Frerichs).

  • The Comptroller (Susana Mendoza) serves on the Illinois State Board of Investments (ISBI).

  • One member of the Illinois House (no one is currently filling this seat) serves on ISBI's Board.

  • One member of the Illinois Senate (currently Senator Robert F. Martwick, Jr.) serves on ISBI's Board.

  • Justice Debra B. Walker of the Illinois Appellate Court serves on ISBI's Board.

In addition to this prohibited list of officials, anyone in a firm who gives individually to candidates for elective office should be cautious and take steps to ensure no candidate receiving campaign contributions from them has influence over any public pension fund selection of investment advisors or the awarding of government contracts.

For example, firms which have or wish to have Chicago pension funds as limited partners are prohibited from contributing to the re-election campaign of Chicago City Treasurer Melissa Conyears - Ervin who serves on the Boards of:

  • Municipal Employees' Annuity & Benefit Fund,

  • Laborers' Retirement Board Employees' Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago,

  • Policeman's Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago and

  • Fireman's Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago.

The following at a county and city level also serve on the pension fund boards:

  • DuPage County Treasurer Gwen Henry is on the IMRF Board

  • Anna Valencia, Chicago City Clerk is a Trustee of the Fireman's Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago

It is the responsibility of the individual to determine whether or not his or her campaign contributions do not violate any federal, state or local pay to play rules. The SEC rules are the most restrictive and carry significant penalties for the firm if violated. The IVCA-PAC has taken steps to ensure full compliance with all relevant rules in this area.

IVCA is a state trade association which does not lobby on the federal level. However, many of our members are increasingly affected by federal legislation and regulation. To help keep them informed about key federal actions, IVCA is providing links to relevant national trade associations including:


Additional information links will also be provided when available.

The IVCA Scholar Program

IVCA_Scholar_Program-01 reduced

The IVCA Scholar Program is intended to create an inclusive industry with more gender, racial and ethnic diversity by providing undergraduate students exposure to a possible career in the venture capital/private equity industry.

The Program provides undergraduate students a very rare opportunity to be placed with a venture capital or private equity firm for 10 weeks. In addition, Scholars will participate in informational & training sessions at a variety of investment firms and at professional service providers that partner with Venture Capital & Private Equity investors (accounting, investment banking, valuation, legal, consulting etc.).

Submission for the 2024 IVCA Scholar Program is now closed.


The Program


This program offers a 10-week, deep dive into the industry with significant exposure at a venture capital or private equity firm.  Assuming successful program completion, students will be granted a $10,000 stipend during the summer.

The program seeks to engage "underrepresented" groups (women & persons of color) in their undergraduate education so that they can better their chances for a position in the industry through training and networking experience. Since its inception in 2007, 94 students have taken part in the program.

How will the IVCA Scholar Program benefit you? View video below.

As a student


As a student, submission for the 2024 IVCA Scholar Program is now closed.  Check back later for information for the 2025 IVCA Scholar Program!

As a firm


As a firm, if you are considering participating as a host firm in our program, please contact Christie Pruyn at

IVCA Diversity Program Series

In spite of how much we have committed to DEI (Diversity Equity Inclusion), how much we have talked about it, and the efforts we have taken to achieve it, the outcomes in today's workplaces, especially in our industry, do not seem to reflect our intentions.

  • Why are our inputs not resulting in our desired outputs?
  • Are we doing the wrong things?
  • Do we need to give it more time?
  • Should we be doing additional things?
  • Is it primarily up to organizations to affect change or can individual actions make a difference?
Past Events

March 22, 2022 - IVCA Webcast: Inclusion in Action Series, Part 1 - Why Inclusion Efforts Aren't Working in Workplaces Today and What You Can Do About It.
Missed it and would like to see the recording? Click HERE!

June 29, 2022 - IVCA Webcast: Inclusion in Action Series, Part 2 - How to be an Upstander When You See Bias in Action.
Missed it and would like to see the recording? Click HERE!

September 8, 2022 - IVCA Inclusion in Action, Part 3 - How To Be Authentic at Work, Especially in Uncertain Times.
Missed it and would like to see the recording? Click HERE!

November 18, 2022 - IVCA Inclusion in Action, Part 4 - Strategies for Survival: Cultivating Mentors and Allies for Success
Missed it and would like to see the recording? Click HERE!