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.
Zimride is the largest ridesharing community in the US with over 200 million miles shared. We provide private ridesharing networks for 150 universities and companies across the US. Zimride also partners with hundreds of events each year such as Coachella, Bonaroo, and the Dave Matthews Band tour.
Halle is responsible for building partnerships and overseeing Rock Health’s strategic direction. She previously worked for Intel and Apple, and founded YogaBear.org. She earned a BS at Case Western Reserve University and an MBA at Harvard Business School. Halle was named one of CNN’s “12 Entrepreneurs Reinventing Healthcare” and Forbes “30 under 30″.
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.
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.
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.
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.