555 Mission Street, Suite 2400
San Francisco, California 94105

SVASE Startup-U SFO: First Customers: Targeting The Right Customers with Pete Solvik, Ralph Clark & Gary Hromadko

Start: 09/10/2009 - 11:45am
End: 09/10/2009 - 1:30pm

Contact Info: Anne Donker
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 415.378.3966

Location: DLA Piper
555 Mission Street, Suite 2400
San Francisco, CA 94105

URL: www.svase.org/?q=node/1972

Few things will excite a potential investor more than a startup that validates their proof of concept the old-fashioned way: By landing customers. But finding and persuading that first customer is a daunting challenge even during the best of times, never mind the current economic uncertainty.

So given the current economic climate, what are the most effective steps a bootstrapping entrepreneur can take now to market, attract, and, yes, land! that first customer?

Join our stellar panel of seasoned VC's & Operators for a discussion covering:

* How to find and get those smart users - and getting them to pay for your product
* How to find that Reference Customer you need to convince investors
* How to customize intelligently for your clientele
* How to best position and package your business to meet your market's needs
* How to mitigate offering the right product for the right price
* How to find and inform potential customers of the availability of your product
* Mistakes to avoid


Gary Hromadko - Gary joined Crosslink in 2002 to focus on investments in the Communication Services & Infrastructure sector. Over the past 10 years, Gary has been a private venture capital investor. Previous investments in software and communications infrastructure companies include Packeteer (NASDAQ: PKTR), Netcode (acquired by Netscape), and Medior (acquired by America Online).

Prior to forming his own investment practice, Gary was a partner with Merrill, Pickard, Anderson & Eyre, an early stage venture capital firm focused on technology. He was also a partner at Robertson, Stephens & Co., focused on equity research in the software sector. He began his investment career in public market investing at Dodge & Cox.

Pete Solvik - With over 20 years experience on leadership teams of successful, high-growth information technology companies, Peter applies his background and perspective to helping entrepreneurs form and build successful businesses. He joined Sigma in 2002 and brings his deep understanding of the evaluation and implementation of leading edge information technology. Pete invests across the entire spectrum of information technology products and services.

Prior to joining Sigma, Peter had a very successful 10-year career at Cisco Systems. His contributions as Senior Vice President & CIO, and founder & general manager of the Internet Business Solutions Group helped make Cisco one of the most successful companies of our time. During his tenure from 1992-2002, Cisco achieved wide recognition for early and aggressive use of the Internet, e-commerce and information technology, including being a very early customer of supply chain and e-commerce industry leaders like Ariba, Siebel and webMethods. During Peter’s time at Cisco the company experienced explosive success, growing from $300 million to well over $20 billion in annual sales run rate. Prior to Cisco, Peter spent 11 years at Apple Computer. He held a number of senior IT management roles supporting the rapid growth and global expansion of the firm and oversaw the Apple Online Services Group.

Ralph Clark - As Chief Operating Officer for GuardianEdge, Ralph Clark oversees the company's financial health and manages human resources and information technology activities worldwide. Mr. Clark comes to GuardianEdge after spending much of the last decade working with information technology startups, providing leadership in the financial arena.

Most recently, Mr. Clark served as Vice President of Finance for Adaptec and was Chief Financial Officer for Snap Appliance before Adaptec acquired the company. Before that, Mr. Clark was the founder and CEO of Blue Makoi, a next-generation email marketing system. Mr. Clark's career also includes tenures at IBM, as well as at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, where he was an investment banker.

Mr. Clark holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of the Pacific, and an MBA with second-year honors from Harvard Business School.

11:45-12:00 Registration, Networking and Food
12:00-12:15 SVASE/Startup-U Overview, Introductions, Speaker Intro
12:15-1:15 Speaker Presentation & Interactive Q&A
1:15-1:30 Networking with the presenters!

Pre-registration closes at 9 AM the day of the event.

With your help, we will start on time so the speaker can provide you with as much interactive information as possible.

Please note topics are subject to change without notice.

Popular FAQs regarding Startup-U:

What is the cost of this event?
A $5 (member) or $15 (affiliate/non-member) registration fee, plus a $1.50 credit card processing fee, includes event and lunch, available through advanced online registration. A $10 or $20 fee is collected at the door.

What is the format of a Startup-U event typically?
Generally speaking, each event begins with an introduction by the host followed by a brief talk about SVASE and self-introductions by each of the attendees. After the introductions, the host introduces a speaker (usually 20 minute presentation, followed by group discussion) or the discussion topic; the exact format varies based on the host and that variety is what makes this event so exciting!

Who should attend?
Startup entrepreneurs, anyone thinking about forming a startup, service providers, angels and VCs active in the Silicon Valley information tech and biotech entrepreneur communities. Past participants include:
Current and aspiring entrepreneurs
Venture Capitalists, Angels and other members of the funding community
Service Providers (e.g. human resources, contract programming, etc.)
Independent Consultants (e.g. sales, marketing, engineering, etc.)

Do I need to be a member of SVASE to attend this event?
Non-members and guests of members are welcome to attend any 2 SVASE Startup-U events. Afterwards, we recommend that non-members become members of SVASE. For more information on the benefits of joining SVASE, please visit our website at www.svase.org/?q=membership or alternatively, you can also join at the event itself.

Please note additional parking expenses will be incurred if you choose to park in DLA’s garage. DLA Piper does NOT validate parking.

This event is co-sponsored by DLA Piper, www.dlapiper.com.

Official Website: http://www.svase.org/?q=node/1972

Added by svaseinfo on August 19, 2009

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