A Case Study of Learning Lessons for Entrepreneurs(Copy)






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    Building a Silicon Valley Business:
    A Case Study of Learning Lessons for Entrepreneurs

    Series Description:
    SDForum, in collaboration with Nixon Peabody and Frank Rimerman are delighted to announce the launch of a unique and innovative breakfast series: Building a Tech Business in Silicon Valley: A Case Study. The Series is NOT a “talking heads” panel program.   Instead, the important lessons learned are communicated through discussions centering around detailed case descriptions.   Audience members put themselves in the shoes of the company's principals as they suffer and succeed through the rollercoaster life of a startup.  The Series will take place across five sessions from Fall '08 to Spring '09 and will trace the lifecycle of a fictitious Silicon Valley technology company.

    Each session will be kicked off  by a panel of experts and then  participants will discuss and debate what the founders should do, provide helpful insights and materials for the entrepreneurial attendees as they build and grow their own companies.  The experts include seasoned entrepreneurs and CEO’s, service providers, investors and executives with pertinent experience and insights. There will be a dedicated wiki to communicate with  attendees, including disseminating background material prior to the sessions, session materials, news and other related pieces or posts, and speaker and sponsor information.

    Attendees are invited to participate in the entire series, or simply come for one session of particular interest.

    Session #4 - Disaster - April 29, 2009

    A OS employee sabotaged OS’s systems to disclose the BIG secret half-way through the finale of America Has A Big Secret. This resulted in a public relations disaster as the press, bloggers, and general public bombarded the company. It became a financial disaster as contracts were cancelled. Investors demanded that OS hire a seasoned manager to run the company as an investigation of the incident found lax security procedures. How can OS handle this mess and survive?

    Rosemary Brooks, chinablue, inc.
    Gary Byrd, 43PR 
    Lisa Chapman, Nixon Peabody
    Frank Marino, Frank, Rimerman Consulting
    Ben Narasin, TriplePoint Capital
    Moderated by: Susan Lucas-Conwell, SDForum


    $20 for Members
    $30 for Non-Members
    $0 for Platinum Pass Members

    Speaker biographies:

    Rosemary Brooks, President and CEO, chinablue, inc. Rosemary Brooks brings over 20 years of business and financial expertise and has held key leadership, sales, operations and finance positions across multiple industries including consumer products, emerging technology and aerospace companies ranging from pre IPO start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.Rosemary has a track record of increasing shareholder value through developing and executing company strategy , strategic partner development, revenue generation, cost management and fundraising. She has a special interest in turnaround initiatives and rapid growth environments.

    Rosemary assumed the position of President and CEO of chinablue, inc. in January 2005 after spending six months in a consulting capacity focused on operational issues ranging from sales fulfillment, restructure of distribution channels, reduction in cost of goods, debt restructure, team reorganization and securing additional equity and debt financing. In 2007, chinablue reported it’s first ever positive net income from operations. In 2008, chinablue successfully recapitalized through a strategic agreement with it’s manufacturer.  This agreement included royalties, inventory ownership, procurement, manufacturing and delivery responsibilities.

    In the late 90’s, Rosemary was part of the early team that took E.piphany  public, as Senior Director of Global Operations for E.piphany, Inc. an enterprise Customer Relationship Management solutions provider.  Her tenure began pre-IPO with less than 100 employees and she played a key role in the successful management of the company’s acquisitions and growth to 1,000 employees worldwide.  Initially, Rosemary led the business team responsible for the Professional Services business unit. As the company grew, her responsibilities included defining and implementing key enterprise and analytic applications and an Executive Dashboard that provided vital information to the company’s executive team.  She received the CEO Award for Customer Service.

    Rosemary holds a BA in Economics from UCLA and Executive MBA in Finance from Golden Gate University.  She is an active member of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs CEO Forum.   Rosemary has participated in the Entrepreneurial Studies Programs at Stanford Graduate Business School, INSEAD, Paris France and University ofSan Francisco. She is an enthusiastic student of Tae Kwon Do Martial Arts and an upcoming Black Belt Candidate.

    Gary Byrd, Principal and Co-Founder, FortyThree PR. Gary has over 15 years of public relations, promotions and top-tier journalism experience. He specializes in designing, managing and executing domestic and international public relations initiatives for start-up and Fortune 500 companies. He previously held the vice president position at one of the largest technology public relations firms in Silicon Valley where he managed numerous high-profile campaigns, including Cisco Systems and SiteSmith. He was also instrumental in launching iRiver and executing the public relations strategy enabling the company to earn second position behind iPod in the MP3 market.

    As a journalist, Gary established the Central European news bureau for Knight-Ridder in Prague and served as its bureau chief. His responsibilities included providing timely business and technology news to global markets. Before joining Knight-Ridder, Gary was a correspondent for The Economist covering technology, retail and consumer markets. He has written for a variety of publications, including London Times, San Jose Mercury and USA Today. Gary earned a bachelor's degree from University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Lisa M. Chapman, Counsel, Nixon Peabody. Ms. Chapman is a member of the Labor and Employment group. The nature of Ms. Chapman’s practice is twofold; she litigates employment matters and counsels companies and entrepreneurs about employment matters, including employment policies, hiring and termination issues, appropriate notice, leave of absence conflicts, noncompetition provisions in employment contract, and severance packages. She also advises on sexual harassment (including the employer’s duty to provide a safe work environment), compliance, and trade secret issues.

    Ms. Chapman has extensive experience in both advising clients on trade secret and non-competition issues and litigating to defend her clients' interests in these matters.  She understands that, oftentimes,  these issues require immediate legal action to protect a company's intellectual property. Ms. Chapman also trains employers and human resource professionals on developing systems for protecting their intellectual property from employee theft.

    Ms. Chapman has litigated a wide variety of employment-related matters such as cases involving claims of discrimination, FEHA violations, wrongful termination, violation of public policy, discrimination, trade secret theft, sexual harassment, and federal and state regulatory compliance issues. Ms. Chapman puts a priority on achieving successful settlements and resolutions for her clients in a timely and cost-effective manner. She represents clients in federal and state courts, and before the E.E.O.C., the U.S. Department of Labor, and the California Labor Commission.

    Ms. Chapman provides hands-on training in the areas of harassment prevention, workplace violence, and discrimination as well employee termination and avoiding litigation when downsizing. Further, she helps companies and entrepreneurs understand and craft employment policies aimed at enhancing worker retention and growth management.

    Susan Lucas-Conwell, CEO, SDForum. Susan is an accomplished CEO, entrepreneur, business development and marketing executive with global experience. She is the CEO of SDForum (www.sdforum.org), Silicon Valley’s largest and oldest high-tech non-profit that provides education and a networking community of technologists, entrepreneurs, VCs and others. Susan graduated with honours from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in economic history, has a Masters degree in economic history from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from The Wharton School. She started her career in marketing for General Mills before moving to France, where she held senior management positions at Cartier International, Bausch & Lomb (Ray Ban) and Chateau and Country (a French internet start-up). She started the European chapter of FWE&E, and also founded Clear-Day, an international business accelerator working with a portfolio of European and American companies. Three years ago, she moved to Palo Alto with her husband, four daughters, parrot and dog. In addition to her role as CEO of SDForum, she serves on the Advisory Boards of Astia and FWE&E.

    Frank S. Marino, Senior Manager, Frank, Rimerman Consulting. Frank leads the Information Technology team within the core FR Consulting practice. This core area delivers a range of services from helping our clients with their critical business processes and controls in effectively managing their risks across both governmental and industry specific requirements. These service categories include: 

    • Business/Financial Performance Improvement such as business process, workflow assessments, performance measurements, independent reviews, enterprise software solutions as well as aligning functional groups to use the practical solutions within key frameworks.
    • Internal compliance and governance and risk management.
    • IT audit and attest such as SAS 70 reviews, SOX 404 and IT support for financial audits.


     Since joining in January 2006, Frank has helped lead the Consulting group in developing robust compliance, IT risk and project management methodologies. He has also been instrumental in helping to grow our core expertise in several market segments; biotech, semiconductor/hardware, software applications, SaaS/web, clean technology and nonprofit.