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Archive for the ‘Mentorship’ Category

8/25 Office Hours with Asheem Chandna from Greylock Ventures

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Asheem joined Greylock in 2003. His areas of interest span enterprise IT infrastructure, software and services. He has invested in companies in cloud computing, data center, electronic payments, networking, management, security and virtualization.  Asheem’s current company boards and investments include AppDynamics, DelphixImperva, Palo Alto Networks, TechProcess and Xsigo Systems. He was previously on the boards at CipherTrust (MCAF), NetBoost (INTC), PortAuthority Technologies (WBSN), Securent (CSCO), Sourcefire (FIRE) and also invested in Aruba Networks (ARUN).

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Asheem Chandna visited us today during our last week at 401 Ellis St to hold office hours with our teams. We welcomed his advice and thoughts on our teams, and look forward to seeing Greylock again next month.


Written by ahzietsman

August 26, 2010 at 12:56 am

8/14: Dinner with Karl Jacob, hosted by Christine Herron from First Round Capital

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Karl Jacob is a four-time entrepreneur and has been building and advising companies for the last 14 years. He also worked as a manager at Sun Microsystems and an executive at Microsoft. In his career, Jacob raised over $200 million from prestigious investors like Amerindo, Microsoft, eBay, Integral Partners, Norwest Ventures, Bay Partners, Benchmark Capital, Deutsche Bank, Ignition Partners, Vulcan Ventures and others. He started four companies from no revenue to significant revenues or being acquired. One of his companies, Dimension X, was acquired by Microsoft in 1997; and another, Keen (now Ingenio), was acquired by AT&T in 2007. Companies with Jacob as CEO have generated over $300 million in returns to investors and over $150 million in revenue per year. He has received numerous awards, including being named one of BusinessWeek’s top ten up-and-comers.

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Christine Herron joined First Round Capital as a Principal in 2008.

Previously, Christine was a director at Omidyar Network, where she developed the Media practice strategy and drove $15 million in early-stage placements. Prior to joining Omidyar Network in 2005, Christine was the VP of Marketing for Mission Research, which develops small business CRM solutions. While there, she led marketing from initial business plan authoring through the acquisition of paying customers and distribution partners. Earlier, Christine founded and led Mercury2, a software-as-a-service developer of international trade logistics systems, and managed Internet products and strategy at both NetObjects and Microsoft.

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Today we were lucky to have Christine Herron, Trish & Karl Jacob join us for a great meal catered by Gobble.  Our teams appreciated the opportunity to hear from someone who has been an integral part of many successful companies across multiple industries.

His advice for aspiring entrepreneurs? Be Relentless. Additionally, put some thought not only into your business plan, hiring scheme, elevator pitch, etc., but also know what you want to do, and what you enjoy doing.

Thanks for your time and for sharing your insights with us; good luck (although you don’t need it) with your current exciting company Coveroo.

Written by ahzietsman

August 14, 2010 at 2:06 am

8/12: Dinner with George Zachary at SSE Labs

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George Zachary is a partner at Charles River Ventures, one of the oldest early-stage venture capital firms. He specializes in consumer internet and infrastructure ventures, bringing his many years of experience at Mohr Davidow Ventures and Silicon Graphics, where he led the Nintendo 64 development team.

At dinner, the teams were able to hear about a wide range of topics from George’s experiences in Silicon Valley. His points about what situations startups should avoid in order to steer clear of disaster were especially relevant. A few of these were:

  • When considering funding, focus on how much capital your team needs get through to the next milestone.
  • Recruit carefully; consider every person you hire early as a brother or sister.
  • If building an internet service, focus on building a strong community to get consumers, investors, and employees excited

George is a member of our Board of Advisors and sponsor to our program; his help was also instrumental in developing and launching SSE Labs. He continues to be actively involved, contributing much of his time and experience to our teams.

Written by ahzietsman

August 13, 2010 at 9:23 pm

8/11: Supreet Oberoi on Valuing Excellence

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Supreet Oberoi is currently Vice President Engineering at RTI, which provides infrastructure for real-time applications in many industries. Supreet has had experience not only at Agile Software, oneREV, and Oracle, but also at Trading Dynamics, of which he was a founding member. SSE Labs is also lucky to have him as one of our mentors in the program.

As a long-time technology executive, Supreet had a lot to offer our teams in the workshop he gave yesterday in our office on Valuing Excellence. Some key points he emphasized were:

  • Do not compromise any aspect of excellence in the interest of haste
  • Consider that excellent people join teams not for the explicit benefits but to work with other brilliant people
  • Have a plan for profit from day one

Thanks for your time, Supreet! Our teams learned a lot and we hope to see you in the office again soon.

Written by ahzietsman

August 12, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Posted in Mentorship, Workshop

8/5: Midway Evaluation at SSE Labs

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The teams have been working hard since the beginning of the summer, so it is exciting for us to be reaching the halfway point. It was great to see our mentors in the office, and also Brad Garlinghouse, Trent Herren, and Greg Castro of AOL. Thanks for stopping by!

The teams were able to demo their products and talk about their ideas one-on-one with experienced entrepreneurs. It was a valuable experience and a great time to get feedback, especially for those who are launching in the near future (Accevia, Fountainhop, etc.).

We’d like to take this chance to thank our mentors for all that they have contributed to the program. Mentorship is one of the core values of SSE Labs; without our mentors, the program would be entirely different and the teams would get significantly less value out of their summers. Our mentors are vital to the program, and we really appreciate all the time and help that they give.

Thank you for your continued support at these events – we look forward to seeing you next time!

Written by ahzietsman

August 6, 2010 at 3:18 am

Posted in Mentorship, Milestone

8/3: Office Hours with Mark Dempster from Sequoia Capital

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Mark is the Marketing Partner at Sequoia Capital. Mark’s role is to provide portfolio companies with an “entrepreneur start-up kit” in marketing, sales and services. Prior to joining Sequoia Capital in 2000, Mark led the brand strategy practice for CKS Partners. Previously, Mark was a Brand Strategist for Landor Associates. Mark received a BS in Economics and Communications from UC Davis.

Today, we welcomed Mark Dempster from Sequoia Capital for our office hours. Thank you for your time and feedback, we hope you enjoyed it as much as our teams enjoyed meeting with you.

Written by ahzietsman

August 3, 2010 at 7:12 pm

7/31: Chuck Eesley at SSE Labs – Tech Entrepreneurship

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This Friday, we were fortunate to have Chuck Eesley join us to speak on “Success Factors for Technology Entrepreneurs.” Chuck is a professor at Stanford in the Management Science & Engineering department and maintains a weblog. He is also a faculty member of STVP, the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. Prior to coming to Stanford, Chuck worked as a consultant and analyst, founding Lobby 10 Consulting and also served as a mentor to teams in the MIT 100K and Ignite Clean Energy Competitions. He focuses on strategy and technology entrepreneurship, and teaches E145 (Technology Entrepreneurship) at Stanford.

Our teams were able to gain some great insight to the findings of Chuck’s research on Entrepreneurial Impact, which examined different success factors for startups. For example, he provided his data-driven inferences on the positive correlation between the number of founders on the chance of the company having an exit or IPO. His research surveyed around 8,000 MIT alumni entrepreneurs and plans to continue his research in the area.

Chuck presented a lot of information in his slideshow under a few main points that he wanted to emphasize:

  • Learn to share well with others. Chuck noted Noam Wasserman’s  “Rich-versus-King Tradeoff,” which states that there is a negative correlation between valuation of a founding member’s share and the amount of control (defined as Board control and CEO role) he has in the company.
  • Try, try again. The more ventures someone has been involved in, the more likely they are to find funding, launch successfully, etc.
  • Be careful who your friends are. Among other things, it’s important to carefully weigh important decisions like early hiring and co-founder selection.

Thanks again to Chuck for a great talk and the presentation from his unique research-based perspective.

Written by ahzietsman

July 31, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Posted in Mentorship, Speaker