VV Show #39 - Guy Kawasaki of Garage Technology Ventures

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Guy Kawasaki

If technology entrepreneurs have a guru, it surely must be Guy Kawasaki. For about two decades, Guy’s been advising entrepreneurs in one way or another. First as an evangelist for Apple, he courted software entrepreneurs and developers to write code for the Macintosh. Guy later tried his own hand at entrepreneurship, and eventually returned to Cupertino as an Apple Fellow. In the late 90’s, Guy jumped ship from Apple again to launch Garage Technology Ventures. Garage went through several incarnations before turning into the venture capital fund that it is today. Guy spreads his vision of entrepreneurship though books including The Art of the Start, speaking engagements, investing and blogging. Now you can hear his story.

1:00 The seminal years


3:00 Getting into the Apple Cult

6:00 Leaving the Apple Cult the 1st time

9:00 Guy's business ventures, a summary

11:00 Back at Apple

15:00 Garage Technology Ventures, a brief history of Guy's current company

17:00 Venture Capitalists are rolling in dough

18:00 Guy doesn't pity entrepreneurs

19:00 Venture capital firms have a false line

21:00 Guy's policy on funding

23:00 Signal Without Noise: Guy's blogging ambitions

28:00 Experts

29:00 Blogging demands heavy correspondence

31:00 Reality Checks vs. DEMO conference fees

37:00 Editorial policy

38:00 Guy's average day

Posted by greg at 12:20 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

VV Show #24 - Bo Peabody of Village Ventures

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Bo Peabody

“Stock lockup” is a term remembered with horror by many entrepreneurs who weren’t allowed to sell their dot com shares before the bubble burst. Bo Peabody founded Tripod, which was sold to Lycos for $58 million in stock. The terms of the sale forced him to hold onto his stock for two years -- while its value happened to increase ten-fold. He also happened to sell his shares just two months before the bubble burst. This lesson in luck was not lost on Bo, who wrote a book titled Lucky or Smart? However, his luck didn’t come out of nowhere. In our interview, he describes the years he spent developing his business even before the Internet was commercially available. He’s now helping entrepreneurs build businesses in parts of the country where venture capitalists typically don’t tread through his venture firm named Village Ventures.

Show notes:

2:15 Starting Tripod during college


4:45 Starting a .com without a technical background

6:25 Choosing a team

8:45 Operating out of Williamstown, Mass.

11:30 Becoming a success

12:15 Where the homepage builder idea came from

13:30 Getting the word out


18:00 Life at Lycos

19:30 When to sell the stock

20:40 Dilution


21:45 Next step

25:00 Starting businesses outside of major markets

28:30 Is venture capital still necessary to tech companies?

30:35 Google’s and Yahoo’s early aqusitions

32:00 Giving up equity


34:20 Pitching to Village Ventures

37:15 Transitioning from entrepreneur to venture capitalist

39:15 Luck in business

40:10 Entrepreneurial advice

Posted by greg at 5:22 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

VV Show #13 - Drew Clark of IBM Venture Capital Group

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 Drew Clark

Entrepreneurs who were doing business in the eighties might still remember IBM for its suits and corporate ways. Now Drew Clark, the co-founder of the IBM Venture Capital Group, has shed his tie and is changing that image. His group is opening up IBM's vast resources to startups. Unlike some of its competitors, IBM has embraced open source software which makes it easer and cheaper to deploy technology. While IBM offers all types of help to entrepreneurs, Drew stresses the IB more than the M: being international and helping with business development over just assisting with the machines.

Show notes:

1:10 Starting at IBM


4:40 IBM's history

6:00 Advantages of open standards

10:20 Why work with IBM?

13:40 Startups IBM is working with

16:05 IBM Virtual Innovation Center

21:45 Measuring success


26:25 IBM's venture team

29:20 Other big tech firms

32:25 The I in IBM: international

34:50 Just launched a VC Advisory Council


36:50 Pitching to IBM

Official bio:

Drew Clark is responsible for driving external innovation into IBM business units and identifying and developing new business opportunities. A member of the corporate strategy team, his focus is on emerging markets. A 20-year IBM veteran, Clark has held a variety of key positions in software development and technology, product marketing and emerging-business development and strategy. He has led several intrepreneurial initiatives,including the formation of IBM's Internet Division. Before working withIBM's Venture Group, Drew led IBM's search, text mining and knowledge-management initiatives for IBM Software. Drew has been awarded two patents in software testing and Artificial Intelligence, holds a BS in physics from Western Carolina University and has completed all coursework toward a PhD in plasma physics at University of Texas at Austin.

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VV Show #12 - Deborah Farrington of Starvest Partners

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Deborah Farrington

Statistically speaking, Starvest Partners shouldn't be in business: Few venture capital funds raised in 1998 survived the dot com bust, first-time partners are a huge bet, and no other venture capital firms are run by women. But don't tell that to Deborah Farrington, the founder and co-chairman of Starvest. Her firm's performance has excelled in the past several years and is headed into the top quartile of its field. Debby's got a number of big hits under her belt now, but she's not about to stop taking risks.

Show notes:

1:45 Career start


7:45 Cold calls and building relationships

11:50 Raising a venture fund

19:45 NetSuite investment

22:50 Be nice?

24:35 Board involvement


29:00 CEO's abilities to scale

36:00 Giving up control by taking on investors

42:10 Pitching to Debby

49:40 Women in venture capital

54:35 Women in the firm

58:40 Harvard PresidentLarry Summers controversy

63:03 The title 'Chairman'

63:20 Starvest's promising portfolio companies and future

Official bio:

Deborah Farrington is a Founder and Co-Chairman of StarVest Partners, L.P., a $150 million New York City based venture capital fund formed in 1999 to invest in e- business services and software.

Ms. Farrington's 25-year career in financial services encompasses private equity investing, investment and merchant banking, both in the U.S. and abroad, and securities analysis. Her focus during the past several years has been on investing in business services companies; she has significant experience in business services, e-Business and application service providers. She has worked with many private and public companies as a director, officer, investor and advisor and has special expertise in financial strategy, analysis of growing companies and corporate governance. She has operational and management experience having served as Chairman of the Board and COO of both public and private companies.

On behalf of StarVest, Ms. Farrington is currently a director of NetSuite, Inc., a San Mateo, California based company that provides an integrated web based accounting and other business services to small businesses and of which Larry Ellison is founder and former Chairman; ComparisonMarket Inc., a Cleveland, Ohio company that provides comparative insurance quotes over the Internet and is the largest independent insurance agent in the U.S.; and Fieldglass Inc., a Chicago based software company that provides spend management services to large enterprises. She is also a director of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT) the largest grader and authenticator of high-end collectibles, including coins, stamps, sports cards and autographs.

From 1993 to1997, Ms. Farrington was President and CEO of Victory Ventures, LLC, a New York-based private equity investment firm. During her tenure with Victory, she was a founding investor and Chairman of the Board of Staffing Resources, Inc., a diversified staffing company, when it grew from $17 million to $250 million in revenues.

From 1987 to 1993, Debby was managing director with Asian Oceanic Group and its affiliates, a Hong Kong-based merchant bank, which invested side by side with its Asian entrepreneur clients. From 1991 to 1993, she was Executive Vice President and a Director of Tigera Group, Inc., a NASDAQ listed public company affiliated with Asian Oceanic and she also served as a director of VideoTech.

From 1976 to 1987, Debby was with Merrill Lynch & Co. where she had a variety of international and domestic assignments in investment banking, securities analysis and management, while based in New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo. At Merrill Lynch, she worked on numerous public and private offerings and mergers & acquisitions for U.S. and international clients. She also held positions with responsibility for international planning, strategy and human resources.

Ms. Farrington is a 1972 graduate of Smith College and received an MBA in 1976 from the Harvard Business School. She has been active in fund raising and alumni affairs for both Smith and Harvard, and currently serves as on the Board of Directors of the Harvard Business School Alumnae Association. She is a member of the Committee of 200 and is President of her New York City Co-op.

Posted by greg at 12:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

VV Show #10 - Brad Feld of Mobius Venture Capital

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Brad Feld

Some venture capitalists keep a low profile, preciously guard their e-mail addresses from needy entrepreneurs and put on a jacket for publicity photos. Not Brad Feld. Brad started his career building his own technology consulting company with nothing but $10 and a 19-year-old's ambition. He grew his business to the level that it was an appetizing acquisition target, worked a bit for the company that acquired his firm doing acquisitions for them, did some angel investing, and is now a managing director at Mobius Venture Capital. All along, he's been vigorously growing businesses -- and sharing his know-how through his popular blog -- and now on this show.

Show notes:

1:15 Life as an entrepreneur


1:55 Growing a consulting firm

6:45 Sold first business

9:50 Entrepreneur or investor?

12:00 Working with a CEO as an investor

13:45 Mobius Venture Capital


16:00 Pitching your business to Mobius

17:55 The business plan

20:20 What to look for in a VC

23:45 Term sheet

26:45 Lawyers

28:20 Geography

34:00 Always on?

35:30 Style


37:00 Today's agenda

Posted by greg at 11:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack