Venture Finance SIG: VC Meltdowns, Turnarounds and Shutdowns





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    VC Meltdowns, Turnarounds and Shutdowns


    The economic numbers look like they are getting shaky again, seems the season for a recession and that has traditionally meant a chilly time in venture capital and pruning of portfolios (and or recaps).   What are the signs of your VC getting cold feet regarding your venture?  What are some of the financing pitfalls that you can avoid so that you are not faced with a shutdown with the VC decides to "pull the plug?"    What are the politics in dealing with investors so that you can get other investors to support you and possibly "turnaround" the deal and take the VC out?  If you do have to do a recapitalization, and restart the process, what are the steps and the pitfalls? 
    Come listen to some seasoned executives that have fought this fire and can give you the tips on how to survive the process, recognize the "smoke signals" and plan for your continued existence.
    Jonathan Abrams, founder and CEO of Socializr
    Lee Johnson, Xperex
    Sean Salloux, World Energy Labs (2)
    Tom Cervantez - Moderator, Corporate Partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

    Jonathan Abrams is the founder and CEO of Socializr, an online service for sharing event and party information with your friends. Jonathan is an award-winning serial entrepreneur who created the pioneering social networking service Friendster in 2002. Jonathan is the inventor of a United States Patent for a "System, method, and apparatus for connecting users in an online computer system based on their relationships within social networks."   Previously, Jonathan was the founder & CEO of bookmarking community HotLinks, and worked as a software engineer at companies such as Netscape and Nortel. Jonathan holds an Honors B.Sc. in Computer Science from McMaster University, which he received after flunking out of engineering school.
    SEAN SALLOUX Chief Executive Officer of World Energy Labs
    Sean has over 20 years of hands-on, international entrepreneurial and technology experience from start-ups to publicly traded companies. He became CEO of World Energy Labs in 2002, after completing a position as Director of Partnerships at Gemplus (Nasdaq: GEMP) in their North/South American Headquarters in San Francisco. Previously, he has worked in the Venture Capital arm of Gemplus in London with positions in the U.S. and Korea. Gemplus is the #1 Smart Card manufacturer in the world, and #1 supplier of SIM cards to mobile telecommunication operators worldwide. As well as studying Aeronautical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic, he graduated from Boston University with a Finance Degree and in 1999 he received an MBA from the London Business School, Prior to taking an MBA, Sean founded a consulting group focused on early Stage companies and start-ups and worked with companies in Australia, the U.K., Japan and the U.S. He has also consulted to the WWB, an offshoot of the World Bank, on micro-finance/start-ups/incubators in India and the Dominican Republic. His first start-up, Boston International, began in 1990. He grew the company to over 100 employees in three states, and sold it in 1994. Sean has lived and worked in over 10 countries.

    Lee Johnson Chief Financial Officer – Xperex Corporation


    Lee is responsible for all financial related initiatives at Xperex (a technology and services company in the place-based marketing sector) and has over nine years of operating experience with venture capital backed companies.  He previously served as CFO or vice president of several major consumer product and service organizations including Dial Corporation, Dep Corporation, and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, a multi-national law firm.  At Dial (now Henkel – Germany) he led the financial function for the consumer products group where revenue grew from $400M to over $1B.



    Tom Cervantez, Davis Wright Tremaine and Harvard Angels and Golden Gate Angels

    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 (angel investor group 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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