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Archive for the ‘Venture Capital’ Category

11/3 & 11/4: GreenBeat 2010

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John Doerr talks about the SmartGrid

John Doerr is a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Together with KPCB’s partners, John has backed many of America’s best entrepreneurial leaders, including: Amazon, Google, and Intuit to name a few.






Redwood Systems transforms the way businesses power and control lighting to reduce energy costs and improve building performance. Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Fremont, California Redwood Systems combine three typically discrete systems (power, communications, sensors) into one low-voltage networked system.





On Nov. 3 and 4 SSE Labs along with VetureBeat was proud to host GreenBeat 2010 at Stanford University.

A general theme throughout the conference was that data may be the next big wave in cleantech. Spearheading this theme was John Doerr, who shed light to the fact that the smart grid is all about generating data on energy use. He pointed out that the next wave of innovation and investment is all about making that data useful and producing it in real time. Keeping in line with his claim that cleantech’s “Netscape moment” will rise within data oriented systems, he said opportunities opening up in data-driven cleantech businesses could well be billion-dollar markets.

We would also like to Congratulate Redwood Systems for winning the Innovation Competition. Of 10 companies that presented at GreenBeat 2010, they were voted from a panel of experienced judges as the most likely to bring the smart grid to reality. Their intelligent lighting system pitch included presenting a system that puts its lights on a network — much like a broadband network — to control lighting and make the systems easier to tune and monitor. As the winner, Redwood Systems gets the opportunity to present at DEMO Spring 2011, which takes place at the end of February next year.

The Conference included a wide variety of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, Stanford affiliates & students, as well as highly respected innovators within the cleantech space.

We would like to thank all those who came out to the conference and made it a great success! For pictures on GreenBeat 2010 click here.


Written by ahzietsman

November 24, 2010 at 4:08 pm

9/9: Dinner with John Lilly and Greylock Partners

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John Lilly is the CEO of Mozilla Corporation. He joined Mozilla Corporation in 2005 as Vice President of Business Development, and, since 2006, has served as COO and a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to this, Lilly was the founder, CEO, CTO and VP of products for Reactivity, a software company acquired by Cisco Systems in 2007. Previously, he held staff positions at Apple, Sun Microsystems and Trilogy Software. Lilly has been an active participant in open source projects, serving on the boards of the Open Source Applications Foundation and Participatory Culture Foundation.

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Tonight John Lilly, Asheem Chandna and David Thacker from Greylock Partners joined us for dinner at 395 Page Mill. He engaged our teams with an interesting discussion on entrepreneurship as well as Mozilla’s history and vision. A few of his recommendation to new entrepreneurs are:

  • “I’ve gotten my ass kicked a lot; its about longevity.” It’s always good to be reminded that successful entrepreneurs don’t give up.
  • “Try to find things that make your soul sing.” We’ve heard from a lot of our mentors and speakers that you need passion to succeed, but this was a great new way to relate passion as an emotion.
  • If you find good people, hold on to them and stay close to them. These are people you’ll know years down the line, and you never know what opportunities these relationships may lead to.
  • “Scared” isn’t a business term.

Thanks to our generous Greylock hosts for putting us in touch with John; we appreciate the help and insight you’ve been able to provide to our teams.

Written by ahzietsman

September 9, 2010 at 7:51 pm

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

8/19: David Lee and Ben Choi at SSE Labs

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We were fortunate to have David Lee in the office with us tonight for dinner at SSE Labs. David is an angel investor at SV Angel, which he founded with Ron Conway. SV Angel focuses on early-stage consumer media funding.

Before SV Angel, David held business development positions at StumbleUpon and Google, and was a partner at Baseline Ventures.

David’s focus on the consumer internet and mobile space was especially relevant to our teams, and he led an interesting open discussion on a wide range of topics. Based on his experiences, he stressed a few main points:

  • Have a technical founder. Successful companies almost always have at least one technical co-founder and investors will be looking for someone technical on the founding team.
  • Set long term goals for five, ten years in the future. Then set short-term goals by looking backwards from those long-term goals and figuring out how those long-term goals can be achieved, milestone by milestone.
  • If building an app (like many of our teams are), make it the must-have app on one platform. Then quickly move it to other platforms.

Ben Choi was also in the office today. Ben is a principal at Maveron, a VC firm with a consumer focus. Prior to Maveron, Ben was at Storm Ventures, RRE Ventures, and In-Q-Tel, the VC branch of the CIA, in addition to mobile and internet technology startups. We’d like to thank Ben for holding office hours tonight with the teams, and also Maveron for hosting tonight’s dinner.

Overall it was a great night at SSE Labs – thanks so much to David and Ben!

Written by ahzietsman

August 20, 2010 at 3:40 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

8/10: Office Hours with Christine Herron from First Round Capital

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Christine Herron is a Principal with First Round Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm. Previously, Christine was a director at Omidyar Network, where she developed the Media practice strategy. Prior to Omidyar Network, Christine held operational roles with Mission Research, NetObjects, and Microsoft, and was the founder and CEO of Mercury2. She started as an investor with Geocapital Partners, where she funded early Internet and network infrastructure businesses including Netcom and AXON Networks. Christine earned degrees from both Stanford University and Columbia University.

Today we welcomed back Christine Herron to 401 Ellis St for office hours with our teams.

Chrstine, thank you for your team and thoughts; we hope you enjoyed talking with our entrepreneurs.

We look forward to seeing her again soon on Friday for one of our team dinners, along with Karl Jacob.

Written by ahzietsman

August 10, 2010 at 3:39 pm