Esther Dyson of EDventure Holdings is a former journalist and Wall Street technology analyst who is a leading angel investor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and commentator focused on breakthrough innovation in healthcare, government transparency, digital technology, biotechnology, and space.
Her primary activity is investing in start-ups and guiding many of them as a board member. Her board seats include 23andMe, Airship Ventures, Boxbe, Voxiva, Eventful, Evernote, IBS Group (Russia, advisory board), Meetup, Midentity (UK), NewspaperDirect, Yandex (Russia)…and WPP Group (not a start-up). Some of her other direct IT investments include Flickr and Del.icio.us (sold to Yahoo!), BrightMail (sold to Symantec), Orbitz (sold to Cendant), Medstory and Powerset (both sold to Microsoft), Plazes (sold to Nokia), Tacit (sold to Oracle), BlogAds, BrightHouse, ChoiceStream, Dopplr, Dotomi, Linkstorm, Mashery, Organized Wisdom, Ovusoft, PatientsLikeMe, Resilient,Technorati, ThingD, Vizu.com and Zedo. Indirectly, she is an investor in Amee.cc and Wesabe.
Hear her speak of innovation in healthcare, government transparency, digital technology, biotechnology, and space. She’s considered to be one of the most influential female investors in the startup world today. You don’t want to miss this fireside chat!
GroupMe was conceived at TechCrunch Disrupt 2010. Founders Jared Hecht and Steve Martocci raised US $10.6 million in venture capital from Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, angel investors, and others. August 2011, Skype acquired the one-year old start-up for around $80 million. Skype had itself been purchased by Microsoft in May 2011, with the purchase finalized in October 2011. Come listen to how they recount their experience and what they have up their sleeves in the coming months with their involvement in Skype.
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.
Jon Steinberg is the President of BuzzFeed in NYC. He is an Ex-Googler previously as a Strategic Partner Development Manager on Google’s SMB (Small Medium Business) Partnerships team. Prior to Google, Jon was the Director of Business Development at Majestic Research and the founder of iBuilding, a commercial real estate software company backed by Tishman Speyer Properties, Benchmark Capital, and 12 Entrepreneuring. He is a graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and holds an MBA from Columbia University. .
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.
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.
Bob Dorf, a serial entrepreneur, is often called the “midwife of Customer Development,” helping Steve Blank deploy it when Blank’s eighth start-up, E.piphany, opened in 1996. The two have been friends and colleagues since. Dorf is co-author with Steve Blank of The Start-up Owner’s Manual. He also runs the firm’s boutique consultancy, helping major corporations and start-ups alike effectively deploy the Customer Development process. Entrepreneurial since age 12, Dorf founded six companies, most explosive of which was Marketing 1to1 (later Peppers & Rogers Group), a former Inc. 500 company. He’s invested in or advised more than a score of start-ups and teaches Customer Development at Columbia Business School. @bobdorf
Neil Anderson is a New York & London based entrepreneur and early stage investor with operational experience in corporate strategy, enterprise software & innovation management, international outsourcing and infrastructure development. A founding partner of the Hubitat incubator and founding investor of Angel Round Capital Investment.
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.