Venture Startup & Financing Evening Program: A Night with Keritsu Forum



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    Venture Startup and Financing SIG: 

    Venture Startup and Financing Evening Program:  A Night with Keritsu Forum

    Presentation and Pitch Session:

    Come listen and pitch to the Keritsu Forum. Keiretsu Forum is the world’s largest angel investor network with 850 accredited investor members throughout twenty-one chapters on three continents. Since Keiretsu Forum’s founding in 2000, its members have invested over $260m in companies in technology, consumer products, healthcare/life sciences, real estate and other segments with high growth potential. Forum members collaborate in the due diligence, but make individual investment decisions, with rounds in the range of $250k-$2m.

    Learn about the Keritsu Forum’s perspective as to what is they are interesting in, what they are investing in and how they operate. The panel will also talk about their approach to working with companies, how they get their members involved and how they are different that other angel groups. They will share with us some of the common traits of those companies selected to present to their group meetings and those which ultimately were funded. 

    We will select 6 ventures to do 3-minute pitches followed by 3 minutes of feedback from the panel.

    Note:  If you are interested in presenting, please send your executive summary (no more than 2 pages) to Jon Baer, Co-Chair of the Venture Startup and Financing SIG, at [email protected]  no later than Tuesday, April 19th.



    David Dembitz

    David is a senior executive with extensive experience in sales, marketing and operations.  In his 30+ years of experience he has consistently accelerated revenue growth, secured key major accounts, built successful sales and marketing teams, established brand identity, obtained market validation for new products/services, and developed and implemented strategic business plans.

    Currently, David consults with entrepreneurial businesses and established companies and has  helped numerous organizations obtain funding, bring new products to market, and increase sales. Concurrently, he serves on the Board of Advisors to the innovative Silicon Valley start-up Veechi Inc. He also founded and currently runs the Keiretsu Forum Entrepreneur Academy, an educational institution focused on teaching business planning skills to young entrepreneurs. The Academy’s top-notch faculty includes senior executives, lawyers and accountants from many well-known organizations, each with expertise in developing successful business plans and attracting investors. David holds an MBA and BS in Economics and Management from the University of Utah.

    Max Shapiro

    Max Shapiro is the founder and CEO of PeopleConnect, bringing remarkable energy, a rare blend of experience, a sense of creativity, and a never-give-up tenaciousness that has made it possible for many startups and established companies to add key talent to their teams. A lifelong entrepreneur, and a consummate networker and business strategist, Max understands the minds and passions of startups and companies focused on growth.

    Max has always been an expert in finding talent; he was the youngest talent scout in the history of the NBA, serving as Chief Scout for the Phoenix Suns. He owned and operated a company that produced sports camps for children, and baseball and basketball fantasy camps for adults, where he partnered with some of the biggest names in sports, including Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Pat Riley, Magic Johnson, John Wooden and Billy Casper.

    Max founded PeopleConnect Staffing in 1999, where he currently focuses on business development and client relations. He is an active member of several angel investment groups, and his passion for finding talent extends to introducing PeopleConnect clients to the professional resources they need to bring their company to the next level.

    Phil Solk
    Phil Solk has over 30 years of experience in sales, consulting and support of IT systems for corporate clients. He has held executive and founder roles at a four successful start-ups: Seer Technology, Netigy, MidEdge and Vitria. Phil founded the consulting services group for Symantec, and created the first international consulting group for Business Objects. Phil has had sales quota responsibility for his entire career, and is currently helping companies drive significant revenue improvement through increased sales effectiveness. Additionally, Phil is working with start-ups on strategy, business plans, and fund raising. As co-chair of Keiretsu Forum’s Software Group, Phil participates in the evaluation evaluating of over a hundred companies each year, with dozens of start-ups receiving Series “A” funding.
    Phil serves on the boards of Informifi, an cutting edge internet start-up focused on Search Engine Optimization with automated news aggregation, and Compli, a SaaS software company. Phil has a Bachelors degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.


    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 sold to AG 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.

    Silicon Valley Bank
    2400 Hanover Street
    Palo Alto, CA 94304

    $35 for non-SDForum members
    $20.00 for SDForum members

    Note: There is an additional $10.00 charge at the door - if not pre-registered.

    Seating is limited! It is very important to pre-register for this event. It does sell-out and we may need to turn people away. Please note: Because of Paypal's new policies, we can no longer accept American Express cards at the door.

    Venture Startup and Financing SIG


    6:30 - 7:00 pm  Registration and Networking

    7:00 - 8:30 pm Presentation