Election Post Mortem: How Former VCs Did in Their State Races

There weren’t a lot of ex-VCs running in last month’s election. But we found two seeking political office, as voters re-elected one former venture capitalist and voted down another during the Nov. 6 election in races in Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Rob McCord, who co-founded a suburban Philadelphia venture fund in the 1990s, won his re-election bid for the post of Pennsylvania Treasurer, while one-time VC Paul Hirschbiel lost his campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives. Both men are Democrats.

McCord, formerly a managing director for Novitas Capital (previously known as PA Early Stage Partners), ran for his first four-year term in 2008. Applying some skills he may have learned in the venture business, McCord out-raised his opponent by 15-to-1 in that race, securing a job that entails oversight of two of the country’s largest state pension funds.

This time around, McCord, 53, won handily with 52.5% of votes, defeating opponent Diana Irey Vaughan, a Republican, who received 44% of the ballots.

Meanwhile, in coastal Virginia, the race didn’t go as well for Hirschbiel, who lost to first-term U.S. Rep. E. Scott Rigell. Rigell, an auto dealer and marine veteran, won 55.4% of the vote for a district encompassing the Norfolk, Va., metro area, compared to 45.5% for Hirschbiel.

Hirschbiel co-founded Cornerstone Equity Investors, a private equity and growth capital investor based in Stamford, Conn. He left the firm in 1998 and, along with Senator Mark Warner, helped found Envest Ventures, an early-stage venture firm based in Virginia Beach. He is currently owner and president of Eden Capital, a Virginia Beach-based consulting and investment firm.

Mayfield Looks to Modernize

On a recent visit to Mayfield Fund, we noticed a group of people walking around the office, taking notes and examining the decor.

They weren’t buyers, but designers. The firm, which has been around since 1969 and has been located in the 2800 block on Sand Hill Road for nearly 20 years, is looking to update its office and give it a more modern-looking feel that’s more appealing to today’s entrepreneurs and other guests.

The discussions are preliminary and no date has yet been set on the redesign, but we’re looking forward to the new look, which coincides nicely with a new generation of VCs joining the firm.

Three Cheers for Oktoberfest

Source: Photo by Kelsey Schweickert; courtesy of e.ventures

For Oktoberfest, e.ventures took over Transamerica Redwood Park and filled it with beer and lederhosen.

If you can’t get to Munich for Oktoberfest, then bring Oktoberfest to San Franciso.

That was the thinking of e.ventures in October when the firm, formerly known as BV Capital and which has operations in Hamburg and Berlin, held an authentic-looking German Oktoberest on a Friday afternoon at the base of the Transamerica building in San Francisco, where it’s U.S. headquarters are located.

We spotted about 120 guests, including Stewart Alsop, among other entrepreneurs and investors. We also saw plenty of lederhosen, as most of the local e.ventures staff was decked out it the proper attire.

In addition, a German rock band played Oktoberfest music and an e.ventures spokesperson noted the beer served came directly from German beer importers in the area.

We’re looking forward to next year’s event—for the beer and the outfits.