May 5, 2005--The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) has selected Joe Aragona, a general partner of Texas-based Austin Ventures, as its next chairman. Aragona was unanimously elected at the organization's annual meeting held yesterday in New York.

A veteran of the NVCA board since 1999, Aragona chaired the Research Committee that initiated the study, Venture Impact 2004: Venture Capital Benefits to the U.S. Economy.

Aragona is confident that investment in growth companies will remain solid over the upcoming months, despite some risks that could potentially affect both VC firms and small businesses.

"In general, we are seeing some positive signs of recovery," said Aragona. "However, there are a number of factors that pose a risk to small businesses." Among the issues Aragona and the NVCA hope to address with legislators are concerns over Sarbanes-Oxley implementation for small businesses and stock options expensing. "These are not just East Coast issues or Silicon Valley issues. These are concerns that affect all venture firms and all venture-backed companies," he said.

Apart from legislative issues, Aragona said the current venture capital environment is very sector specific. "Right now it is a stock picker's market," he said. "For example, software investment seems to be slow right now, while semiconductor activity is picking up. But it is a matter of being in the right place at the right time."

The NVCA is an advocacy group that represents 470 venture capital and private equity organizations. Aragona succeeds Jim Breyer of Accel Partners, who completed his one-year tenure.