Venture Finance SIG: Successful Funding Strategies in Uncertain Times



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    Successful Funding Strategies in Uncertain Times

    Wall Street is going through a shake down, unemployment is starting to rocket and you have to secure your next round for your venture.   So, what is happening out there in Silicon Valley?  Come listen to a panel of investors and CEOs that are making investments and have recently closed on funding and hear their take on what is the funding market like now, what is working and what is not.   Why does this matter?  Maybe one of the following scenaries fits you?

    -You have done your Series A round, looking to go the Series B round and just starting the process - but what are the terms now?  Where are valuations going?

    -You have a great idea, on paper, but now need to seek first round angel/early stage venture funding - what is the process?  How early can you be and still secure funding?  How true is that you can go the angel route and you won't be "looked at" so hard? 

    -You have done an angel round, now looking to go to VC round - who is looking, what are the key metrics now and how long will the process take?

    If any of these sound familiar, then this would be a good event for you. Listen to a panel of VCs, angels and CEOs who are active in the funding market as they discuss the funding market now and other issues:

    -Has the credit crunch/financial market affected Silicon Valley funding of startups, how?

    -Have the terms started to change for financings, are they starting to get more conservative?

    -Should I really be looking at a sale of the company rather than raising more money?

    -Has the time schedule for funding changed?  Is it taking longer now?

    -What are the key metrics to be sure to get the valuations you want?

    -What are early stage ventures hearing from their customers?

    -Traps to avoid when structuring a financing for your company

    -What is a "clean" financing deal, what does it look like?

    -Should you use an investment banker or other intermediary?


    Kent Lindstrom, Friendster - Prior President and current Senior Vice President, Corporate Development

    Kent is currently the senior vice president of corporate development focusing on corporate development and new business development. Previously, Kent was Friendster's President leading Friendster and the day-to-day business operations at the company from February 2006 through July 2008. Prior to this, he served as Friendster's CFO from March 2003 to January 2006. Kent joined Friendster in 2002 as one of the company's first employees.

    Kent has over 15 years of experience in finance and management consulting, including significant large-firm management experience. He was a senior manager at Deloitte & Touche LLP, specializing in strategic planning and finance. He left Deloitte & Touche in his partnership year to join NetRead as its first President. Prior to Deloitte & Touche, Kent was an officer of First Colonial Bankshares Corporation.

    Kent is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

    Rohit Gupta, Opus Capital
    Rohit Gupta is an associate with Opus Capital, where he sources and evaluates investment opportunities.

    Rohit brings a technology and operational background to Opus. Prior to Opus, Rohit worked at Accenture, where he was a consultant focused on SOA, BPM, and SaaS technologies. While there, Rohit served in software architect and project manager roles for various medium-to-large companies in the telecommunications, energy and software sectors. Rohit has also worked extensively with clients to create technical assessments, feasibility reports and roadmaps, resulting in the appropriate use of funding and resource allocation. In addition, he previously worked at an embedded wireless mesh networking startup, as well as at a few political campaigns.

    Rohit holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a minor in Political Science. Rohit served as the Class President at MIT, and continues to serve as the Alumni Class President.

    Warrick Taylor, Serial Entrepreneur.    Warrick is a technology business executive with 20+ years experience with start-ups and big public companies.   In addition to counseling companies on their fund raising strategies and negotiations, Warrick actively advises a number of early stage ventures on critical operational areas, including financial, operations, product and business development management.  Warrick also sits on a number of advisory boards for early stage ventures, including and Seethroo.   In the past Warrick has been the CEO of, COO/CFO of Zvents, Inc. and COO of Corizon.  Warrick has his MBA from Case Business School and his bachelor degree from the University of Reading.
    Moderator: Tom Cervantez, Davis Wright Tremaine
    Tom Cervantez is a Corporate Partner with the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in San Francisco and founder of the Golden Gate Angels and Harvard Angels (angel investor groups in SF). Tom has over 15 years experience working as a lawyer in the venture capital and startup technology company field in Silicon Valley. Tom's core area of focus is the securities and finance field, with a focus on helping emerging growth companies, venture funds, and software and hardware computer companies navigate issues concerning securities, capital structure planning, private placements, mergers and acquisitions, venture financing and licensing transactions. Tom has also participated at an operating level at several companies, including a venture fund, boutique investment bank and an ISP. Tom is also an active angel investor in the computer, communications and networking sectors and runs the Harvard Angels (angel group for Harvard Business School NorCal Alum and Harvard Club SF) and the Golden Gate Angels investor group in San Francisco. Tom holds a Bachelor's in Business Administration, magna cum laude, from Loyola Marymount University, a JD from Harvard Law School and a MBA from Harvard Business School.

    Event Logistics


    DLA Piper LLP
    2000 University Ave.(University Circle)
    East Palo Alto, CA 94303
    Tel: 650.833.2000
    Note: These are the tall buildings on the corner of University Avenue and Woodland Avenue on the west side of Hwy. 101. They are in the University Circle complex.



    6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Registration / Networking / Refreshments
    7:00p.m.-8:30 p.m. Panel discussion and Pitch Session (starts promptly at 7:00pm)

    $20 SDForum members
    $30 Non-SDForum members

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