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.
Personally the first Startup Grind event I ever attended, complete with Cash Money Records music, free pizza, and great networking. I was lucky enough to see one of the legendary VCs from Silicon Valley, Jeff Clavier. Throughout this interview he goes over a variety of topics any entrepreneur will still find valuable today such as how to get a meeting with SoftTech VC, how to perfect your pitch, and what NOT to do when trying to get a VCs attention.
[00:00:05.20] QUESTION: What about this thing right now, are you seeing, there’s been a lot of talk of, that just there’s all these companies that were funded at the angel level, they’re now coming in for a series A, not able to get that funding. Are you seeing that with your companies that you’re having, or not you specifically but companies in general, that is this a real trend that’s happening that companies raised angel round are now struggling to raise series A, maybe because they shouldn’t have deserved an angel round or some other reason?
One of the first big interviews Startup Grind ever hosted was with Jason Calacanis. Jason was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule during his meetings in Palo Alto to come and speak to small intimate group at the Startup grind offices. Watch and learn more about Jason’s early entrepreneurial ventures during Web 1.0, what catches his eye in an entrepreneur and how to perfect your pitch.
[00:02] DEREK: On that note, let me introduce Jason; he needs no introduction, he’s worldwide.
In one of the earliest Startup Grind interviews, David Cowan from Bessemer Venture Partners joined us to discuss a variety of things going on in Silicon Valley. From what VCs are really looking for, seeing potential in the right entrepreneurs, and being on the board of one of the most successful app developer, Smule.
[02:34] DAVID: OK. I didn’t mean to get involved in the technology industry, it was an accident. I loved computer science and studied it in college. I had some friends that worked with me in the Science Center and we were called Terminal Watchers. They told me when I graduated that I had to interview with a company called Oracle. I didn’t know what it was or care, I was all set to get a job at some investment bank or management consulting firm; that was more glamorous back then. My friends urged me to go to the interview so I did. Back then, Oracle was hiring like crazy and didn’t know who I was, just that I was a computer science major.
Danny O’Neill is the “Bean Baron” of The Roasterie, inc., a specialty coffee roaster that services espresso bars and coffee houses, fine restaurants, high-end grocers, and coffee-lovers all around the world.
Danny was born and raised in Denison, Iowa, and is the middle of ten children. During his senior year of high school he traveled to Costa Rica as a foreign exchange student and spent several weeks picking coffee. It was at this moment that his passion for it ignited. After his return, he received his B.A. from Iowa State University with a double major in International Studies and Political Science, and a structured minor in Economics. In 1993 he received his MBA from the Rockhurst University Executive Fellows Program in Kansas City.
After holding various sales and marketing positions for ten years, he decided to take the leap and start roasting coffee in the basement of his home in Brookside. In 1993 he founded The Roasterie on three basic premises: to find the best coffees in the world, to roast them the best way known to man, and to get them to his customers as fast as humanly possible. In 2001 he was awarded “Super Taster” status on the Specialty Coffee Institute Sensory Aptitude Test.
He serves on a number of advisory boards for various local companies and associations, and is currently on the Board of Regents at Rockhurst University, and the Board of Directors for The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and Missouri Restaurant Association. He is also past President of the Specialty Coffee Association of America.
2005 marked the birth of Danny’s son, Terry, as well as the opening of first Roasterie Café in Brookside, just blocks from where The Roasterie began. In 2008 his daughter, Sophia, was born; and in 2010 the second Roasterie Café opened, this time in Leawood, Kansas. The third Café is inside the new roasting factory, underneath their beloved DC3 airplane.
Our Dave McClure interview is easily one of the most memorable Startup Grind interviews ever. Dave came to the stage and talked about everything from farting unicorns to expanding out to international cities with 500 Startups. Watch and learn how to get the right VC’s attention, expand into new markets, build a great product, and get a meeting with the pirate VC himself.
[00:01:22.08] QUESTION: Welcome to the Startup Grind. We like to start these things out by just getting to know you a little bit, hear about your background. Tell us a little bit about where you grew up tell us about –
[00:01:30.26] DAVE: I know I’m really hard to find on the web, so it’s all a big secret.
[00:01:37.25] QUESTION: We’re going to dive deep, man, we got handkerchiefs, we got everything. We expect the tears to flow. So, tell us about West Virginia, tell us about your family and tell us all about it.
Happy April, Grinders! March was a busy month with over 20 Startup Grind events hosted around the world, including a panel at SXSW on Why Austin? Is Awesome for Startups.
We are selling out events across multiple cities so please plan ahead and book your tickets now! Get a Global Pass and reserve your VIP seat at all Startup Grind events, including summer socials, holiday parties and the Startup Grind 2014 conference next February.
View our highlight video of Startup Grind 2013 and our latest videos featuring interviews with Steve Blank, George Zachary, Mark Suster (GRP), Dave McClure (500 Startups), Clayton Christensen (HBS), Ann Miura-Ko (Floodgate), Leah Busque (TaskRabbit), Naval Ravikant (AngelList), Patrick Collison (Stripe) and more.
We’d love to see you at one of our upcoming events. Let us know how we can make your startup journey more connected and inspired. We’re listening and want to help.
Easily one of our most eccentric speakers with a lot to say, Ben Parr was editor at Mashable when he spoke at Startup Grind. Watch to learn more about him growing up to be an astronaut, creating the next great company, and contributing to the entrepreneurial world.
I run the Startup Grind Chapter in Melbourne. Before I joined the team I had a couple of Meetup Groups with about 1200 members in total, so I was no stranger to holding and running events. I can’t remember how or why I reached the Startup Grind website, but the day I did was the day my life and reason for holding these events would change forever. I always wanted to help people, help them learn, encourage them to keep going and sometimes when people hear you say that they are skeptical, but that is the truth and perhaps only the people that put the time into growing a community and work hard to promote event after event for the benefit of others can understand that.
As if you haven’t seen enough video footage of Startup Grind 2013′s global community event last month, we’ve gone and taken some of our favorite parts and mashed them together in a highlight reel for your viewing please. Thanks to all the Chapter Directors, speakers, volunteers, and community members for coming, participating, and making it the most fun 2-day stretch we’ve had maybe ever.
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Daniel is a small business owner in Kansas City, Missouri. He co-owns and operates Cremalab, a web and mobile development company that works alongside startups and entrepreneurs to build online products. He joined in 2010 as Partner and COO, overseeing all of the firm’s day-to-day operations, business strategy, and general management. His previous experience in account management, entrepreneurial spirit, and educational background brought fresh insight, organization, and direction to the company. Since joining in 2010, Daniel has been a key catalyst in the growth, efficiency, and sustainability of the company, leading to year-over-year growth and profitability. Daniel’s key responsibilities include operations, administration, business strategy, and organizational leadership.