SVASE Main Event: What to do when an 800 pound Gorilla competes with YOUR startup
Start: 10/06/2011 - 6:00 pm
End: 10/06/2011- 8:30 pm
“So, what ARE you going to do when Google/Facebook/eBay/Twitter/Visa comes out with a competing product?”
You've probably all heard that Facebook is coming out with a photo sharing app that industry experts are saying will cause the death of Instagram, PicPlz, Color, and just about every other awesome photo app that you can think of. “How can these companies possibly compete?”
You’re in the middle of your pitch for your first, or maybe your next, round of funding. Things are going well – they smiled when they met you, have been nodding their heads sagely so far - when suddenly, this question comes out of left field. And it shouldn’t have been a surprise to you, as there’s plenty of examples of dominant companies coming out with their own versions of hot new products:
- Every new product released by Google wipes years of effort off of the traffic numbers of affected companies……
- Twitter launches its own photo-sharing app integrated into their product……
- Microsoft launches its version of social networking…….
- Twitter announces its own version of URL shortening…..
- Apple & Google BOTH announce their own TV versions….
- Apple launches iMessage……
So how have DropBox, Box.net, DocStoc, Scribd, SlideShare, Foursquare, StubHub, Zappos, Instagram and many others thrived? Is it really dangerous playing in the same sandbox as the Big Boys?........ or is there actually plent of room at the zoo?
And just how DO you respond to this question? Do you blanche, hope the ground will open up & swallow you? Or do you turn with a smile and say…. Well, what DO you say?
Our opinionated panel of entrepreneurs and investors, who have been there when the Big Boys started to flex their muscles, will help you find your answer to this potential show stopper.
The Panel: (see below for bios)
• Rich Skrenta, CEO, blekko
• Jonathon Linner, co-Founder, Brightkite
• Saad Khan, Partner, CMEA Ventures
• Jeff Clavier, Managing Director, SoftTechVC
Moderator: Greg Clark, Cooley LLP
When: Thursday, Oct 6
6:00 – 7:00 pm Networking and hors d’oeuvres
7:00 - 8:15 pm Panel discussion and Q&A
8:15 - 8:30 pm Additional networking
Where: Cooley LLP, 3175 Hanover Street, Palo Alto, CA 94304
Registration: Pre-Registered Rates (All Rates Include Hors D’oeuvres):
Members - $20; Affiliates who advertise this event - $29; General Public - $49
Pre-registration closes at 9 PM the night before the event.
Walk-In Rates: Add $10.00 to the listed price
To reserve an Exhibit Table, please contact [email protected], $350 Members, $850 Non-members (Includes exhibit table, 2 tickets to the event and 1-year corporate membership).
Seating is limited, so early registration is recommended to avoid disappointment on the day.
This event is co-sponsored by Cooley LLP, www.cooley.com
Rich Skrenta, CEO, blekko
Rich is a seasoned technology executive with nearly two decades of industry experience. He is currently CEO of blekko, a web search startup based in Redwood City, California. Previously he was founder and CEO of Topix, the leading online news community. Prior to Topix, Rich headed up engineering for a variety of products within AOL, including AOL Shopping, AOL Music and Netscape Search. Prior to AOL, Rich was the co-founder and CEO of NewHoo, which was acquired by Netscape and renamed the Open Directory Project. The ODP is the world's largest human edited directory of the web and used by Google, Yahoo, AOL and many other companies. Rich was an engineering manager at Sun Microsystems prior to NewHoo and has also had development roles at Unix Systems Labs and the Amiga UNIX Group at Commodore Business Machines. Rich holds a patent in network security, and has authored many well-known pioneering software efforts, including some early multi-user online games. Rich graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Computer Science.
Jonathon Linner, co-Founder, Brightkite
Saad Khan, Partner, CMEA Ventures
Joined CMEA: 2007
Years Experience Building Companies: 12
Education: BS, Symbolic Systems; BA Economics with Honors in Science, Technology and Society from Stanford University where he was a President’s Scholar
Board Seats: Blekko , Evolution Robotics, Inc. (Observer), Jobvite, Pixazza, Inc.
Deal Starters: Big ideas, World Changing Entrepreneurs
Non-starters: The Status Quo
Outside Activities: Film Investing, Social Entrepreneurship
Saad has spent his career innovating. From R&D to entrepreneurship, from Hollywood to Silicon Valley, Saad has always sought the bleeding edge of technology and creativity. “I’m happiest when I am surrounded by whiteboards and thought provoking people.”
His pursuit of innovation often takes him to unexpected places. Saad grew up between Pakistan and the Bay Area, and attended an American high school in Karachi where his soccer tournaments and theater performances were often played out in locations including Kathmandu, Delhi, and Islamabad.
After moving back to the Bay Area, Saad launched his first Internet Startup while still a student at Stanford. Those early lessons were subsequently put to use at the Walt Disney Company, where Saad helped launch their Internet Strategy across their media properties, and then at IBM alphaWorks, one of the first corporate crowd-sourcing initiatives for IBM research.
Saad then spent years building companies, advising entrepreneurs, and investing in Silicon Valley startups at Garage Technology Ventures where he worked closely with early stage entrepreneurs across the Garage portfolio including Pandora, cFares, and TripleHop (ORCL). Saad led Garage’s software and media investments, and spun-out (and subsequently sold) the Garage advisory business.
“Whenever I’m considering an investment, I ask ‘Would I want to work on that team?’ If the answer is yes, then I know I’m on the right path.”
In addition to his activities at CMEA, Saad also co-founded the Film Angels, an angel network for indie film where recent presenters have included Carlos Santana, Steve Wozniak, and many Academy award winning actors, directors and producers. Saad is an advisor to peer-to-peer internet lending platform Lending Club and is a Charter member of TIE.
Jeff Clavier, Managing Director, SoftTech VC
Based in Palo Alto, California, Jean-Francois “Jeff” Clavier is the Founder and Managing Partner of SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed stage investors in Web 2.0 startups. Since 2004, Jeff has invested in close to 100 consumer internet startups (Fund I, Fund II, Fund III) in areas like social media, monetization, search, gaming or B2B/B2C web services. These investments are typically located in Silicon Valley, New-York and Boulder. With over 20 years of operational, entrepreneurial and venture capital experience, Jeff is able to add relevant perspective and value to his companies as they grow from inception to maturity, and hopefully, success.
In 2007, Jeff was recognized as one of the 13 “Web 2.0 King Makers” by (late) Business 2.0. BusinessWeek named him one of "The 25 Most Influential People on the Web" in 2008, and one of the "Top 25 Angels in Tech" in 2010. He was also nominated in the "Best Angel" category at the Crunchies in 2009 and 2010. He is often noted for his investments in categories such as “passion-centric communities” or online gaming, or for having sold a number of his Web 2.0 startups to the likes of Yahoo, AOL, Intuit or more recently Twitter and Groupon.
In September 2007, after successfully investing as a business angel, Jeff announced the formation of SoftTech VC II, L.P. – a $15M seed fund backed by a mix of institutional and private investors to invest in 60+ consumer Internet companies over 3 years.
Some of Jeff's representative investments include Mint (Intuit), Brightroll, Truveo (AOL), Userplane (AOL), Rapleaf, Ustream, Milo (eBay), Blekko, Eventbrite, Tapulous (Disney), DNANexus, FanBridge, BillFloat,...
A popular speaker and moderator, Jeff appears at dozens of industry events per year. Ranging from local Silicon Valley keynotes or panel discussions to international conferences, he shares his passion for building Internet startups, angel and VC investing, innovation and entrepreneurship. Jeff has produced a number of technology conferences and was a founding co-chair of the SDForum Search Special Interest Group.
Believing that you have to practice what you invest in, and vice-versa, Jeff started Software Only in 2004, one of the early venture capital blogs where he primarily covered social media, search, online communities and investing. After a few years of active posting, Jeff switched to micro-blogging, and a less time consuming production, mostly through @jeff on Twitter.
Prior to founding SoftTech VC, Jeff spent more than 16 years in the enterprise software world as an entrepreneur, senior executive and venture capitalist. Throughout his career, he was exposed to global markets leading development teams in Europe and on Wall Street, designing products sold internationally and investing in software infrastructure startups across the U.S. and Europe.
In 2000, Jeff became President of RVC Capital, the firm managing the Reuters Greenhouse Fund with $600M invested in 82 companies, including Yahoo!, Verisign, Phone.com and Infoseek. He joined the venture arm of Reuters from the company’s product development division, where he was leading a 250+ staff in Paris, London and New York, and was responsible for the Risk Management and Desktop products. Jeff joined Reuters through the acquisition of Effix Systems, a Paris-based startup company he helped develop in 1989 while still in school.
Jeff was born, raised and educated in France, earning a MS in Computer Science and a research degree in Distributed Computing. He has been happily living in Silicon Valley since 2000 with his wife @Bernadette and their two children. When he is not busy working, Jeff likes to spend time with his family and friends, cook, collect wine and wander around Northrend on his hunter. He also skis, hikes, dives and plays golf so poorly it is not even funny.
Added by svaseinfo on September 13, 2011