What are investors looking for? And how can you snare their attention, dollars, and expertise? This month, learn from some of Silicon Valley's most seasoned serial investors and entrepreneurs, including Ron Conway, Mike Maples, Mitch Kapor, and Jesse Fink.
Experienced angel investors, Ron Conway, Founder of Angel Investors LP, and Mike Maples, Founder of Maples Investments, provide a rare look into the ins and outs of angel investing. Conway and Maples discuss how angel investors assess opportunities, provide assistance to entrepreneurs and transition start-ups to larger venture investments or exit. In addition, Conway and Maples provide advice to entrepreneurs about finding one's passion and developing that passion into new ventures, including insight into how much money to raise and how to manage that money after it is in the bank.
Serial entrepreneur Mitch Kapor speaks about the fundamental principles of building successful companies by drawing on his experience as creator of Lotus 1-2-3, Chairman of Second Life, Founder of Foxmarks and a wealth of technical and social entrepreneurship knowledge. Kapor emphasizes the elements of company building that technology has changed, such as faster feedback cycles and lower barriers to entry, as well as the elements that remain the same, such as how to establish culture and trust. Kapor illuminates his observations with contemporary and historical examples that create a context-rich primer on building vibrant companies.
Retired serial entrepreneur Steve Blank interviews MissionPoint Capital co-founder Jesse Fink. The two discuss the manifold investment opportunities in alternative energies and environmental conservation.
Video Highlights - Picking the Right People
How do you select the right people for your organization? We've selected some outstanding video discussions from Guy Kawasaki, Kathy Eisenhardt, and Jason Green, analyzing how entrepreneurs-to-be can make the right choices, whether it's choosing an investing partner or talent.
Kawasaki explains that hiring infected people is the most important factor. Often, how a person looks on paper means nothing if they are not enthusiastic and ready to work hard. All of the experience in the world means nothing if they are not bitten and infected by the start-up bug. He also tells you how to avoid the bozo explosion, which only leads to layoffs, and how to apply the shopping center test to know if you're hiring the right person.
Kathy Eisenhardt, co-director of Stanford Technology Ventures Program and professor in Management Science and Engineering, discusses the size and composition of successful teams. She recommends a team of 3-5 cross-functional people with diverse age group and experience.
Jason Green, Founding Partner at Emergence Capital, speaks on how to select a venture partner. Green emphasizes that selecting a VC is a long-term partnership commitment and encourages entrepreneurs to pay attention to four things when selecting a venture partner: 1) Negotiate from a position of strength, 2) Find shared belief, 3) Listen to your instincts and 4) Pay more attention to the partnership than the terms.