Nuggets of Wisdom from the Stanford GSB Entrepreneurship Conference

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Last week, I attended the 2010 Conference on Entrepreneurship (http://www NULL.stanford NULL.edu/group/econference/index NULL.html) held at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.  Here are a few nuggets of wisdom I found particularly valuable and/or interesting:

  • What’s the best way to conduct a search without using a search firm?  Andy Price of Schweichler Price & Partners (http://www NULL.schweichler NULL.com/) emphatically recommended getting a LinkedIn Business Account (http://www NULL.linkedin NULL.com/business) and doing key word searches using company names and desired skill sets.
  • How much should you seek to raise in your seed round?  Bob Zipp of Amicus Capital (http://www NULL.amicuscapital NULL.com/): “In your seed round, you should raise the amount of money necessary to achieve the milestones that you want to be able to show to the next round’s potential investors. When you’re raising your next round, what do you want to be able to say in your PowerPoint?  How much money will it take to get there?”
  • When granting options to Advisory Board members, what kind of vesting schedule should be imposed?  Anu Shukla of Offerpal Media (http://www NULL.offerpalmedia NULL.com/): “Make vesting contingent upon some deliverable, like setting up a key meeting or making a key introduction.”
  • When Todd Sacerdoti of BrightRoll (http://www NULL.brightroll NULL.com/) was seeking angel funding, he and his partner categorized each potential investor as one of four types: VCs playing in the seed capital space, professional angels, operational angels, and angels with just money. The panelists regarded taking VC money as a double-edged sword: if the VC wants to participate in the next round, that greatly enhances your ability to attract new investors, but if the VC declines to participate, that’s almost the kiss of death.  Re: professional angels, Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures (http://www NULL.felicisvc NULL.com/) saw them as adding value through “pattern recognition,” among other things.  The value of operational angels is self-evident, while the value of angels with just money is simply the money they’re investing.
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