Highlights from the SVB Innovation Outlook Report 2015

Entrepreneurs and executives from around the world expect higher revenues, larger workforces, and improving business conditions in 2015. But they’re realistic about the challenges ahead—their responses to SVB’s Innovation Economy Outlook 2015 survey reveal that it’s reality, not over-exuberance, that’s driving their optimism. There are some really interesting insights in the report and it’s worth a read. In the meantime, we’ve got some of the highlights (complete with gifs) for you below. 

Business Conditions

After a great 2014, leaders in the innovation economy expect an even better 2015. Executives are optimistic yet realistic about growth opportunities and their ability to deliver. In the survey of executives at companies around the world, from startups to multinational enterprises, most said they met or beat their 2014 revenue targets. In fact, 76% said their company met or exceeded revenue targets in 2014 and 71% expect conditions to be even better this year.

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Creating Jobs

According to SVB’s survey of 1,100 executives in the technology and healthcare sectors, companies of all sizes expect to grow in 2015, with 77% planning to hire new talent. Yet it’s not all smooth sailing—executives believe it will be challenging to recruit employees with the critical skills their companies need. 65% of those surveyed said they are looking for talent with traditional STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, and math). But they’ll need more than tech experts to succeed. Of the executives surveyed, 31% said that sales and marketing were the most critical skills needed in 2015 to grow their company. This all makes sense though: you need the people to build new products and then you need the people to sell and market those new products so your company can grow.

Unfortunately, despite many technology companies publicly acknowledging the need for more women in their ranks, few are taking concrete steps to add more women leaders as they grow their companies. 45% of the companies surveyed have no women at the board or C-level and 71% of the companies surveyed have no program in place to attract female leaders.

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Raising Capital

Capital is available, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to come by. In SVB’s 2015 survey, across the board they found that the fundraising environment is encouraging but challenging. Although IPOs make the headlines, most leaders are focused on growth in 2015—not an immediate exit. Investors are demanding more fully developed ideas and sound business models, and business leaders are stepping up to meet those expectations.

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Government & Public Policy

The top policy issues that emerged from SBV’s survey highlight the need for collaboration between government and companies on the leading edge of innovation. On issues ranging from immigration to consumer privacy, business leaders believe government can play a key role in helping them bring their transformative ideas to the world. When asked about the single most important public policy issue affecting their companies, responses from the executives were all over the map. However, it should come as no surprise that many had issues like cybersecurity, data privacy, and corporate taxes in common.

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Check out the full report here.

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Raquel Vincent
msraquelvincent@gmail.com

Raquel Vincent is a Dallas-based creative with a knack for words and inspired creative direction. When she's not working, you can find Raquel hitting a gallery opening, working on her book, or thrifting for unforgettable vintage finds. She loves music festivals, tacos, and her rescue cat Berlioz.