VF SIG: Restarts, Rebounds and Vulture Ventures



  • Want to start a company based on assets purchased out of bankruptcy of a failed tech venture? Thinking of restructuring your present company and starting fresh? Considering a sale of your company versus shut-down/liquidation? Then come and listen to those that have been there in the last 2 years.



    Steve Ciesinski (bio) - Earlybird
    Tom Furlong (bio) - Granite Ventures
    Takashi Kousaka (bio) - formerly with Kick.com
    Richard A. Lapping (bio) - Thelen Reid & Priest, LLP
    Steven Marder (bio) - Gramercy Venture Advisors, Inc.
    Geoff Workman (bio) - Titan Venture Partners, LLC


    Tom Cervantez, Corporate Attorney (bio) - Thelen Reid & Priest, LLP

    Note: new date, this month only.


    Program Overview

    Restarts, Rebounds and Vulture Ventures

    Have you thought about doing a startup that is based on assets purchased out of bankruptcy of a failed tech venture? Wondered how you may save your current venture by remaking/recapping/reorganizing the company and starting fresh? Thought about doing a sale of your current venture so it looks better then just shutting it down? Then come and listen to those that have been there in the last 2 years - learn about the process they used, what to consider and avoid and how to land on your feet when all the dust has settled.


    About the Panelists and Moderator


    Steve Ciesinski

    Steve Ciesinski joined Earlybird in 2000, and primarily focuses on the high technology practice.

    Previously, Steve served as President and CEO of Resumix Inc., a leading supplier of technology-based applications for e-recruiting and human skills management. Resumix was merged with HotJobs.com (now part of Yahoo!) in May 2000. Steve was formerly an Executive Vice President with Octel Communications, a worldwide leader in voice messaging products (now part of Lucent Technologies). He also held management positions at Applied Materials and Procter & Gamble, and was a consultant with the international professional services firm Booz, Allen & Hamilton.

    He has been an active private company investor and advisor in Silicon Valley for over 15 years, and has served on a number of public and private boards. Currently, he is on the boards of private companies, IQ Labs and InTime Software. He is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for his alma mater, Union College, and serves on the President's Cabinet of the California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.

    He holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and an A.B. in Modern Languages from Union College and an MBA from Stanford University.


    Tom Furlong

    Tom Furlong has been a Managing Director of Granite since July 2000. Tom joined Granite after serving as Vice President and General Counsel at Zhone Technologies, a communications equipment provider. Prior to Zhone, he was a partner with the law firm of Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, LLP, a leading Silicon Valley law firm, where he practiced corporate, securities and intellectual property law for 13 years counseling technology companies (including Adobe, Applied Signal, Ascend, Datapath, Network General, Silicon Spice, SynOptics, Tollbridge, Vantive and Visigenic), venture capitalists and investment bankers. He is on the Board of Directors for Biz360, Kinecta and TuVox.

    Tom holds a B.A. in economics and an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from the University of Chicago, and a J.D. from Northwestern University.


    Takashi Kousaka

    Takashi Kousaka was most recently President and Founder of Kick, Inc., a developer of profile-based personalization software for media companies; raising $7.5 million of venture capital financing and eventually selling the company in January 2002. Prior to Kick, he held the position of senior consultant, Internet engineering at MyPoints.com (MYPT).

    Takashi holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley's Haas School of Business.


    Richard A. Lapping

    Mr. Lapping is co-chair of Thelen Reid & Priest’s bankruptcy practice, where his practice has focused on the spectrum of problems associated with businesses facing financial distress. He has represented debtors, creditors and parties to transactions with debtors, before, during and after bankruptcies. He was featured as one of four panelists in The Recorder’s October 17-18, 2001 Roundtable on current bankruptcy issues facing emerging companies, “Going for Broke.” He is also Thelen’s San Francisco hiring partner. Mr. Lapping received his law degree in 1982 from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and his undergraduate degree from UC San Diego. He resides in San Francisco.

    Recent representations have included creditors or other parties in interest in the Excite @Home, Western Integrated Networks, and Enron bankruptcies. He represented Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in its acquisition of the Webvan’s IP platform and licenses; Calpine and other creditors in the PG&E bankruptcy in connection with executory contracts and the successful resolution of over of $500 million in claims; Bechtel Enterprises, Inc. in the bankruptcy acquisition of BCN Data Systems, a wireless affiliate of CellNet Data Systems; Specialty Physicians Alliance, the largest medical IPA in Sonoma County in its pre-bankruptcy windup; GE Capital Business Asset Funding in connection with an alleged securitization of computer leasing portfolios in the Leasing Solutions, Inc. bankruptcy; KUSK, an independent television station in Phoenix in its Chapter 11; Hyundai Electronics in the Stormedia bankruptcy; NEC Corporation in the CyberIQ bankruptcy; and a number of internet and technology companies or their principals in corporate windup or restructuring, or the purchase or sale of assets, including Ascent Logic, Makeover Networks, Maas Intek, Repnet, DSL Networks, Intabia, 2Bridge, Image Micro and others. Mr. Lapping has advised businesses in connection with securitization, trust formation, acquisitions and divestitures in connection with financially distressed assets, and has advised corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships on governance and control issues.


    Steven Marder

    Steven E. Marder currently manages the North American operations of Gramercy Venture Advisors, Inc., a boutique strategic investment bank and venture catalyst (Gramercy) based in San Francisco, California. Mr. Marder is an experienced corporate executive, venture catalyst, strategic advisor and New York and California attorney with over 14 years of professional experience in financial, operation and corporate management with Fortune 500 companies as well as multi-national start-ups. With his diverse background in private equity, management, operations, marketing, finance, information technology, business incubation and international transactions, he provides capital advisory, mergers and acquisitions advisory, and corporate development services to early to mid-stage technology clients primarily serving the media, communications and information technology market segments.

    Prior to Gramercy, Mr. Marder served as Chairman & CEO of eMemberDirect, Inc. (formerly PetPlanet.com), which he founded and eventually took public in 1999. Prior, Mr. Marder was a Principal of global venture catalyst, Double Impact, with which he merged his consulting practice. At Double Impact, Marder advised early stage Internet publishing and technology companies on strategic relationships, mergers and acquisitions and business development. Mr. Marder advised DI client GlobalBrain.net on its exclusive multi-million dollar licensing and investment transaction with Snap.com and negotiated its subsequent sale to NBCi for US$32,000,000. A former intellectual property and entertainment attorney, Mr. Marder previously ran business development and licensing at Compton's NewMedia, a $100 million new media unit of the Tribune Company, and worked in the recording industry, where he Co-Founded an independent recording company, NYC-based Metropolis Records and then handled business development & affairs at the Special Markets division of EMI Music and CEMA Distribution. Mr. Marder is currently serving on the Board of Directors for Gramercy, SLI Systems, Inc. and Delivery Agent, Inc. He is a graduate of Columbia College/ Columbia University and St. John's School of Law.


    Geoff Workman

    Geoff Workman is a Member of Titan Venture Partners LLC, a San Francisco merchant bank. Geoff is a Silicon Valley native with over twenty years of experience supporting entrepreneurial ventures as a founder, principal, advisor or investor. He has worked primarily with private technology, media and finance companies in financial, operational and strategic roles with responsibilities in mergers and acquisitions, licensing, partnering and alliances, strategic equity and debt investments, and corporate management. A recognized strategist in corporate private equity initiatives and alliances he has advised firms such as GE Capital, MediaOne, British Telecom, Cable & Wireless, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts and IBM.

    Most recently he was a founding partner in TerraNova Capital Partners, a New York-based NASD broker member firm and fund management company. He began his financial career in 1983 as a NASDAQ Assistant Trader of technology and biotech stocks for Montgomery Securities (now Banc of America Securities). Geoff has developed a broad professional network through his leadership in the co-founding or directorships including the Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs, the Young Entrepreneurs' Organization. He studied at University of Miami and San Francisco State University.


    Tom Cervantez

    Mr. Cervantez is a partner in the Business & Finance Department of Thelen Reid & Priest, LLP in San Francisco. He specializes in securities, capital structure planning, private placements, mergers and acquisitions, venture financing and licensing transactions for emerging growth companies, venture funds, and software and hardware computer companies.

    Mr. Cervantez received his Bachelor's in Business Administration, magna cum laude, from Loyola Marymount University in 1986. Mr. Cervantez earned a JD from Harvard Law School and a MBA from Harvard Business School in 1992.


    Event Logistics


    Pre-registration is closed at this time. Please register at the door.



    Microsoft Main Campus

    1065 La Avenida, Bldg. 1

    Mountain View, CA


    6:30pm-7:00pm registration/networking/refreshments

    7:00pm-8:30pm program (starts promptly at 7:00pm)

    Note: Latecomers who arrive after 7:20pm will not be admitted to avoid disruption of the session.



    $20 SDForum Members

    $30 Non-Members

    $10 to full-time students (not alumni) with valid ID

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