Venture Startup & Financing SIG: What every SV startup needs to learn-from International Companies



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    What every silicon valley startup needs to learn-from international companies setting up shop in the USA.

    How many of you know which bar to go to on a Thursday night so that you can raise $1.2M in seed financing within two weeks on arriving in Silicon Valley. Learn that and much more from entrepreneurs who have migrated to Silicon Valley and who, in many cases have been able to move faster than local companies. Looking for your next gig but don’t have that great idea? Many of the international startups that relocate to the Bay area are desperate to find the right talent-senior management, biz dev, sales and marketing.

    Our panel this month will bring a new twist to our monthly events. We will hear from several international entrepreneurs who have moved their companies in Silicon Valley, plus a SV entrepreneur turned coach and mentor who travels the world working with international startup.

    Learn what it takes to make it here. You will hear stories about what has worked and what didn’t; learn how to raise $1.2 million while drinking margaritas at a local bar (a true story!). Learn how these companies have gained leveraged in what many consider the best, and toughest market in the world. Whether you are a California native who is building a startup or like 95% of Silicon Valley you were born somewhere else, you will find the evening informative and entertaining.

    Since many international companies often need to find talent locally, this event will be a great opportunity to network, be you an international company looking for on the ground management, a seasoned SV veteran looking for your next gig or a VC who wants to see unique dealflow. We are expecting something like 35-50 international companies who will be in town that week, to attend this event-being held at our new, larger venue at IBM, so it promises be a great event.

    Selcuk Atli, Founder and CEO SocialWire

    Selcuk is an endeavor entrepreneur, Fulbright scholar, and a song writer.

    Selcuk is founder and CEO at SocialWire where he helps online retailers advertise efficiently and effectively on Facebook. He previously cut his teeth in personalization and e-commerce where he co-founded iletken Technologies, a SaaS recommendation engine for online retailers.

    Selcuk did graduate studies on Semantic Web and Technology Commercialization at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the United States as a Fulbright scholar with Dr. James Hendler, originator of semantic web and previously studied at Politecnico di Milano, Italy as masters student. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Koc University in Istanbul where he graduated as valedictorian.

    Michelle Messina, CEO Explora International

    Michelle E. Messina is CEO of the global direction and strategy consulting firm, Explora International LLC.  She is a serial entrepreneur, consultant and trainer on innovation, business acceleration, market readiness and development, technology commercialization, entrepreneurship and leadership.  Michelle works with product and service companies optimizing their expansion success and traction in new markets.  She leverages a strong revenue, marketing, and operations background to develop viable growth and expansion strategies.  Michelle brings the best practices of Silicon Valley’s ecosystem, and it’s most successful companies, to startups to ensure their sustainability, competitiveness and vibrancy.  She has worked in software, hardware, textiles, food manufacturing and distribution, and the services sector.  Michelle is part of the U.S. Department of State program Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas for Women Entrepreneurs, focused on economic empowerment and public-private partnerships for SME growth.  She has also assessed and scored companies with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Program in Latin America.  Michelle is also a certified facilitator for Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship’s FastTrac® Growth Venture Program.  Michelle is multilingual and a published photographer and author.

    Daniel Farago, VP Sales and Co-Founder Real5D

    Daniel is VP Sales and Co-Founder of Real5D, a Hungarian software company that within the past year raised $1.2M in seed financing and set up operations in San Francisco. Daniel was previously a film and television producer and editor for a range of broadcasters and corporations. He holds a BA TV Directing and Editing from the Hungarian Academy of Drama, Film and TV, Budapest

    Three Hungarian brothers, Peter, Daniel and Balazs Farago founded the company based on Balazs’s idea, who used to be a C-level manager in real estate companies.

    The idea is pretty simple and straight forward to solve a big problem to finance or sell or lease real estate objects in the pre-construction phase: Real5d allows potential clients to walk through and experience the future object and see & feel it with their own eyes, how the property will look & feel like when it is completed. And you can do this via the internet without special technical skills.

    Jonathan Baer - Threshold Ventures
    Jon Baer is a senior executive who brings a unique perspective to the world of startups. He has been both a venture capitalist as well as the founder and CEO of two venture backed companies, eBoomerang, an enterprise software company which was sold in 2006 and Artificial Muscle, Inc., a spinout from Stanford Research Institute (SRI) which was purchased by A. G. Bayer in 2010. As a principal and founder of Threshold Ventures, Jon works with companies around the world, serving as an advisor/mentor, working on specific projects (such as creating venture backed companies from emerging new technologies and helping international companies develop and execute plans for entering the U.S. market) and when appropriate, taking on interim operating roles. Jon is also a mentor for StartX, the Stanford University student incubator.


    6:30 - 7:00 pm  Registration and Networking

    7:00 - 8:30 pm Presentation