Over 18 years professional experience in web/online/mobile product development. Experience in developing innovative consumer and enterprise collaborative web products and services. Has started three previous startups. Previously worked for AOL and Merrill Lynch. Is a CMUer.
Michael Chasen is the cofounder of Blackboard and SocialRadar. Blackboard is one of the biggest enterprise and educational technology companies in the world with revenue of around $500 million and is used by over 9,300 institutions in more than 60 countries. He had helped raise $103 million in venture funding and led the company as CEO for 15 years and successfully sold it to Providence Equity Partners for $1.7 billion in 2011. He has a new startup called SocialRadar, a company focused on the mobile location services space and is building applications on smartphones and Google Glass that will change the way people connect. Michael is also an investor and advisor to several companies that are focused on using technology to improve education as well as several start-up ventures and mature companies across the technology spectrum. Michael received a BS degree in computer science from American University and an MBA degree from Georgetown University School of Business.
In April, Startup Grind Washington DC had the privilege to speak with Dr. Magid Abraham, co-founder of comScore. This event marked Startup Grind DC’s first time hosting a speaker out of 1776, DC’s newest (and very promising) co-working space. The event was certainly an interesting and eventful occasion for all those involved: interesting due to Dr. Abraham’s remarks, and eventful due to an unexpected fire alarm that temporarily moved the event to the building’s lobby, stairwells, and sidewalk (not even kidding, on the street networking definitely happened). It was certainly a Startup Grind first, but in the end, we all came away with some insightful and powerful points provided by comScore’s legendary leader.
Jim is CEO and Chairman of Vox Media, a global internet media company that currently has three major editorial brands, SB Nation, The Verge, and Polygon, a video-gaming site.
SB Nation, its sports brand, boasts over 30mm users per month across 300 individually branded, fan-centric sports communities, each covering a specific professional or college team, league or sport. In November 2011, Vox Media launched The Verge, which has quickly established itself as a category leader and the fastest growing site that covers technology. In October, Vox launched Polygon, a site dedicated to news and community for fans of gaming, anchored by an all-star roster of writers. All Vox Media sites are built upon its world-class proprietary publishing platform.
As the former Executive Vice President of Programming and Products at AOL, Bankoff has developed and led many notable websites including Aol.com, Mapquest, Moviefone, AOL Music, Netscape and AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) . He is also known for establishing websites TMZ, Fanhouse, BloggingStocks and Engadget. The company enjoys support from leading investors including Accel Partners, Comcast Interactive Capital and Khosla Ventures. He is also a Senior Advisor for Providence Equity Partners.
Nigel Morris co-founded Capital One Financial Corporation which started as a simple idea of dropping the annual fee of credit cards and instead target different credit cards to specific segments of the population. Now it’s a publicly traded company (NYSE: COF) with $21.3 Billion in revenues headquartered in Tyson’s Corner, VA.
Nigel is now the managing partner of QED Investors, a direct investment fund focused on high-growth companies that leverage the power of data strategies. In addition, he serves on the board of numerous companies, including TransUnion, Red Ventures, Prosper, MediaMath, and Braintree. He has angel invested in Webs.com (acq by VistaPrint for $117M) and AddThis.
Startup Grind DC was very lucky to host Reggie Aggarwal of Cvent for its most recent event. The event had a good mix of returning and new attendees who listened how the event management SaaS giant came to be. Since Reggie is busy running his company and only does public appearances once in a blue moon, this rare glimpse into the background of an elusive executive made for an incredible event. Reggie spoke on how he went from living in his parents’ basement at 33 to leading one of the most successful event management software, to almost losing it all.
If it weren’t for his risk taking nature and constant drive, Cvent would not have existed today.
Dr. Magid Abraham co-founded comScore, Inc. in 1999, an Internet Market Intelligence company and is the go-to provider of internet customer behavior for some of the biggest technology publication. The company provides marketing intelligence for companies in the CPG, internet media, media, retail, telecom, and other industries, spanning 6 continents and 41 countries. He is also the father of Jack Abraham who is the cofounder of Milo (aquired by Ebay for $75M). comScore is a publicly traded company since 2007 (Nasdaq: SCOR) with $255 million in revenues.
Hear some of Magid’s founding days of comScore and how it became one of the leading internet companies that provide insight for the digital world. He will also be talking about his insights of megatrends to look out for in 2013. You don’t want to miss this oracle speak!
Everybody has heard of Eventbrite, Meetup, Plancast, and Evite, right?
But did you know Cvent is on pace to channel more than $9 billion in event and conference spending in 2013 and is bigger than its next 10 competitors — combined!
Founded in 1999, Cvent is now a booming company with 1,000 employees and 10,000 clients in 90 countries. His investors list read like a who’s who of Washington’s top business leaders from the likes of Steve Case, Marc Andreessen, Jack Biddle, etc and has raised close to $136 million in venture funding.
Reggie’s path to success is truly a spectacular story of a founder who went up against all odds including being a 33 year old bankrupt entrepreneur living in his parent’s basement. And through his sheer tenacity and raw guts he persevered the post dot-com era to become one of the most successful startup companies in the DC area. Now it is rumored that Cvent will be the next IPO company and will definitely have an immediate impact to the startup DC ecosystem.
This will be a fireside chat with Reggie as he talks about the founding days of Cvent and the trials and tribulations of the company before overtaking the event management industry by storm. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to hear from this rag to riches founder.
Startup Grind DC hosted Eugene Stoltzfus, co-founder of Rosetta Stone, for its third event in Washington, DC. The event was hosted at local incubator nclud, and welcomed many first-time Grinders to the community. Public events are far and few between for Eugene, so we were honored to hear his thoughts on a family business which was started by his late brother, Allen Stotlzfus and eventually turned into a colossal publicly traded company (NYSE: RST) with revenues of more than $270 million.
“On January 7th, Startup Grind DC was honored to host Revell Horsey, founding President ofHelloWallet, for its second event at nClud. Roughly sixty guests came by to listen to Revell speak about his formative years before he became the IPO guru he is today. Revell reminised about how he first discovered the value of money by working as a 13 year old pot washer in the back of a Pakistani restaurant, only to grow up to recognize the true value for wealth and its potential for growth. Before talking about his involvement with major company IPOs such as Amazon.com, Infosys, Starbucks, IHOP and Home Depot, he touched upon the difficulties and reservations a young entrepreneur will encounter when being presented with investments and seed funding. Revell spoke about his experiences in working with investors such as Steve Case, Tige Savage and Don Rainey, and having Bill Clinton plug his startup during apresidential speech. He recounted the story on how he convinced the highly reputableRockerfeller Foundation to give a grant to a for-profit startup because of its valuable social mission and its potential ability to get Fortune 500 companies to focus on their double bottomline. He also shared his opinions on consumer internet versus enterprise startups in so that entrepreneurs need to pick and choose one or the other and focus on their customer acquisition strategy. Moreover, he stated that enterprise startups need to be ‘mission critical’ rather than “nice to have” and must be focused on reducing costs. For any startups whether consumer or enterprise, a megatrend in 2013 he explained would be methods to protect data and privacy of your customers as it will become increasingly difficult to manage over time. He also warned the crowd about the pressures and temptations one will have with newly-granted capital. His appreciation for understanding the world around him has shaped him into the entrepreneur he is today, which drives the motivation behind HelloWallet in helping people make better forecasted financial decisions. Revell concluded that his favorite superhero is Asterix from Asterix and Obelix, due to his cunning persona, his acceptance to challenges, and his infallable spirit against all odds, which he believes are characteristics all entrepreneurs should possess.”
On December 10th, Startup Grind DC hosted Steve Blank (author of The Startup Owner’s Manual, Four Steps to the Epiphany, and co-founder of E.piphany) on its launch event with considerably overwhelming proportions which also happened to be on the anniversary of the first Startup Grind held outside of the Valley. Attendees from all over the DC area had the pleasure to watch Eric Koester, COO and co-founder of Zaarly, interview the father of lean methodology himself. The event was held at iStrategyLabs in the heart of the Capital. A record-shattering 120 guests for an inaugural event flocked into a packed room to mingle and listen to great insights provided by Steve (interspersed with some of his appreciable anecdotes as well).
Steve covered a range of topics throughout his interview, touching upon entrepreneurship in the modern age and how to run a successful startup in today’s market. He mentioned that today’s entrepreneurs are “inudated with news and media, not experience,” and that they need to treat their business more like medicine – “a combination of theory and practice.” Steve went on to say that entrepreneurial dissonance is key to a thriving startup community, and that today’s entrepreneurs really need to ”get out of the building” and “get their hands dirty,” for a “vision is [merely] retinal noise” that doesn’t carry very far with investors and consumers. Overall, Steve’s talk was incredibly insightful thanks to Eric’s handling of the interview, and the engagement from the crowd was spectacular to watch as they eagerly participated and learned from Steve’s various experiences. For as Steve mentioned, the best term to describe a failed entrepreneur is ”experienced,” and that’s what serves you best in the long haul.
Guests had the opportunity at the end to meet Steve with any questions about his talk, or to sign a copy of one his books.
For our next event, Startup Grind DC will be hosting Revell Horsey of HelloWallet on January 7th, 2013 at 6PM.
Google is offering startups $1,000 of credit to start building applications on Google App Engine. App Engine is a development platform that makes applications easy to write, simple to scale, and trivial to manage. Use verification code: SGAE-02