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Launch Silicon Valley: 30 Startups Debut Tomorrow

Somewhat late notice, but there’s an exciting startup debut event in Mountain View tomorrow: Launch: Silicon Valley, co-presented by SVASE, Garage Technology Ventures and Microsoft, provides the next generation of emerging technology companies with the opportunity to pitch their products to, and network with, an audience of Silicon Valley’s top VCs, Angels, corporate business development executives, prospective customers and partners, bloggers and media.

The event is in it’s fifth year now (Happy Birthday!) and as usual, will feature 30 startups selected from hundreds of applicants in information technology, mobility, digital media, next generation internet, life sciences and clean energy.


Selected demonstrating companies for Launch: Silicon Valley 2010 include:

Company

Application

Web Site

Appbackr

App marketplace

www.appbackr.com

BCCThis

Sticky notes for email

www.bccthis.com

BioVantage Water reclamation www.biovantageresources.com
Breakthrough On line mental health counceling www.breakthrough.com

Jungle Cents

Auction

www.junglecents.com

Convergence CT

Healthcare data

[email protected]

Digital Sun

Water Management

www.digitalsun.com

Electradrive

Electric Drivetrain

www.electradrive.net

Evolver

3D characters

www.darwindimensions.com

GreenPlatform

Data center storage

www.greenplatformcorp.com

Highflex

Flexible photovoltaics

www.highflexsolar.com

jMango

build once, deploy all, app platform

www.jmango.net

Laster

Augmented reality glasses

www.laster.fr

Linqto Many to many collaberation www.linqto.com
Micello Indoor maps www.micello.com
NMBI Painless Injections
Optic Lanes Active traffic management www.opticlanes.com

Pilus Energy

bacteria energy cell

www.pilusenergy.com

RiverMuse

It management platform

www.rivermuse.com

ScanAvert

Food ingredient detection

www.scanavert.com

SDK BioTech

Cell platform

SocialAmp

see what friends are buying

www.socialamp.com

STI-Medical

medical imaging

www.sti-hawaii.com

Taggstr

Location tagging – Make your Mark

www.taggstr.com

TenCube

cell phone security

www.tencube.com

TrueDomain

Anti Phishing

www.truedomain.net

Vizibility

Presearch

www.vizibility.com

Youi Labs

Reduced cost phones

www.youilabs.com

Zikon

Electronic Ink

www.zikon.com


The event starts tomorrow morning at Microsoft’s Mountain View campus.  Here’s the Agenda and registration link.

There’s a pre-event party in Palo Alto tonight at 6pm – you’ll get details upon registration.

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve)

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How to NOT Become an Entrepreneur

bae logo I get a lot of junk email that I normally ignore, but this one ticked me off enough to write about:

Major Changes for Bay Area Entrepreneurs Workshop

Changes?  To what?  I’ve never heard about this program before.

Lowering the price of the Workshop by $500 to $1,000

Ouch!  Lowering?  And then it’s still $1,000?  Now I really have to check it out…

The Bay Area Workshop is a series of weekly, 3-hour long presentations, 8 in total for a “discount” price of $1,000, or $175 per individual session.  The “Team” consists of the CEO.  The Agenda focuses on Business Plan building, culminating in an investor presentation, and the presenters are “named” illustrious experts like “Start-up consultant”, “Go-to-market consultant”, “Marketing consultant”, “Angel investor”.

agenda

Most impressive, isn’t it?  Wait, here’s a preview: you can watch a 46-minute embedded webinar here.  No, your video did not freeze, you really are staring at one single slide (long live Powerpoint!) for close to two minutes. Never mind that you can’t read the small print and full-screen toggle does not work…. I’m sure there’s value in there … somewhere 🙂

Oh, boy. If I wanted to be cynical, I’d say this program is a tired, half-cooked attempt at delivering recycled presentations by a retired executive at a premium price. But I don’t want to be cynical, so I’m not calling it a rip-off… All I am saying is: I’m not sold, and buyer beware.

OK, here’s what I really think:

If you are in a corporate job thinking of becoming an Entrepreneur – save the money, these courses will not “make you” an entrepreneur. You should probably keep your job.

If you already are talking to potential partners, are busy building an early stage product, then you already are an Entrepreneur.  You have the drive, you did not “get it” from a bunch of expensive classes.  You may or may not get funded one day, and sure, there’s a lot to learn, but you can pick it up along the way.  There’s probably no better place to start than reading Mark Suster’s series.  Sage advice from an Entrepreneur-turned-VC.  By all means, network: go to events like SF Beta,  the New Tech Meetups in SF or the Valley, Meet real VC’s at events hosted by SVASE – wherever you start, one event will lead to another, and you will make real-life connections.

Most events will cost you $20-40, some a little more expensive, but whenever you see a 3-digit price-tag, run the other way!  And don’t even think of spending a thousand bucks just to hear from unknown instructors how you should put a business plan together.

As for The Bay Area Workshop, I saved the best for the last.  If you really have a thousand bucks to throw away, would you expect to just sign up and attend?  No, you have to apply and “qualify”:

To apply for all eight session of BAE Workshop, send your business summary to [email protected]. We will evaluate the submissions and notify those accepted into the program.

I’m so out of here…

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve )

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Startups, Present @ Launch: Silicon Valley 2009. Few Days to Deadline.

Startup Entrepreneurs who did not make it to the recent  Under the Radar event, here’s your second chance: join us at Launch: Silicon Valley 2009, co-presented by SVASE, Garage Technology Ventures and Microsoft.

In fact it will be more than a second chance: while the UtR event focused specifically on Cloud Computing, Launch 2009 is designed to uncover and showcase products and services from the most exciting of the newest startups in information technology, mobility, security, digital media next generation internet, life sciences and clean energy. The inaugural Launch event was in 2006, combined with Guy Kawasaki’s Art of the Start conference.

Are these events worth attending? It’s your call … all I can say is since 2006 presenting startups received a combined $80+ million in venture funding.

So if you are building the Next Great Business in the areas mentioned above, are (almost) ready for launch, meaning that by June 9th, 2009 you will have a product or service available, but have not been out in the marketplace for more than a few months, then by all means send an Executive Summary of no more than 2 pages to [email protected]. Submission deadline: May 8th, 2009 – yes, just a few days left. (Garage Technology offers a useful Writing a Compelling Executive Summary guide.)

Last year over 300 companies from all around the country and even overseas applied, so clearly the presentation spots are in high demand. Based on the submissions up to 30 companies will be invited to present at the Launch: Silicon Valley 2009 event on June 9th at the Microsoft Campus in Mountain View, California. Presentations slots are 10 minutes, running in 6 sessions of 5 companies each. Each presenting team will also be assigned a cocktail table in the Networking Room where they can meet with interested audience members one-on-one to answer questions and explore possibilities.

The evening before, on June 8th the presenting companies, registered audience and selected bloggers and media will be invited to a Pre-Event Party at a prestigious location in Palo Alto, providing a further opportunity for networking with Silicon Valley’s movers and shakers.

So if you are a qualifying startup Founder, remember the deadline: May 8th.  For additional details and later for updates check http://www.launchsiliconvalley.org/ and you may also want to follow the event (actually the President of SVASE) on Twitter.

Guy Kawasaki called Launch: Silicon Valley “the poor man’s Demo”. SVASE proudly wears that badge, since this is an event with a price tag that won’t keep any startups away. It’s your turn now: send in the Executive Summary and launch with SVASE in June.

(Cross-posted from CloudAve. To stay abreast of news, analysis and just plain opinion on Cloud Computing, SaaS, Business grab the CloudAve Feed here.)

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SVASE VC Breakfast with Hummer Winblad in San Francisco – Focus on Software as a Service

We’re in a deep recession, VC investments dried up, startups are shutting down and the World is coming to an end…  or not?

I’m just back from a very lively Under the Radar conference where 32 startups presented and the audience was full of VCs looking for the next investment opportunity.  Those who missed the UtR deadline, or just did not fit this event’s profile (Cloud Computing) will soon get another change at Launch Silicon Valley, co-presented by SVASE, Garage Technology Ventures and Microsoft.

In between these conferences there re are several smaller, more intimate events, like the SVASE VC Breakfast Club series.  After a long time I’ll be back moderating the next breakfast meeting this Thursday, April 30st  in San Francisco.  As usual, this will be an informal round-table where up to 10 entrepreneurs get to deliver a pitch, then answer questions and get critiqued by a VC Partner. We’ve had VC’s from Draper Fisher,  Kleiner Perkins, Mayfield, Mohr Davidow, Emergence Capital …etc.  This Thursday’s VC is Lars Leckie, representing the first exclusively software-focused venture firm, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.

These breakfast meetings are a valuable opportunity for Entrepreneurs, some of whom would likely have a hard time getting through the door to VC Partners. Since I’ve been through quite a few of these sessions, both as Entrepreneur and Moderator, let me share a few thoughts:

  • It’s a pressure-free environment, with no PowerPoint presentations, live demos, Business Plans…etc, just casual conversation; but it does not mean you should come unprepared!
  • Follow a structure, don’t just roam about what you would like to do, or even worse, spend all your time describing a problem, without addressing what your solution is.
  • Don’t forget “small things” like the Team, Product, Market..etc.
  • It would not hurt to mention how much you are looking for, and how you would use the funds…
  • Write down and practice your pitch, and prepare to deliver a compelling story in 2-3 minutes. You will have about 8-10 minutes, the first half of which is your pitch,  but believe me, whatever your practice time was, when you are on the spot, you will likely take twice as long to deliver your story. The second half of your time-slot is Q&A with the VC.
  • Bring an Executive Summary; some VC’s like it, others don’t.
  • Last, but not least, please be on time! I am not kidding… some of you know why I even have to bring this up. Arriving an hour late to a one-and-a-half-hour meeting is NOT acceptable, but we’ve had too many such incidents, so here’s a new rule:  if you’re late by more than 20 minutes, you will not be allowed to join the session.

Here’s the event info page, and remember to register – the previous event with Hummer Winblad sold out in advance.

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SVASE VC Breakfast with Hambrecht Geneva Ventures in San Francisco

Fincancial crisis or not, VC investments did not entirely disappear, it’s just getting increasingly difficult to get funded.  But VCs are still on the lookout, and as proof I’ll be moderating another SVASE VC Breakfast Club meeting this Thursday, October 2nd in San Francisco.

As usual, it’s an informal round-table where up to 10 entrepreneurs get to deliver a pitch, then answer questions and get critiqued by a VC Partner. We’ve had VC’s from Draper Fisher,  Kleiner Perkins, Mayfield, Mohr Davidow, Emergence Capital …etc.  This time we’ll welcome Peter Morrissey, Managing Director, Hambrecht Geneva Ventures.

These breakfast meetings are a valuable opportunity for Entrepreneurs, most of whom would probably have a hard time getting through the door to VC Partners. Since I’ve been through quite a few of these sessions, both as Entrepreneur and Moderator, let me share a few thoughts:

  • It’s a pressure-free environment, with no PowerPoint presentations, live demos, Business Plans…etc, just casual conversation; but it does not mean you should come unprepared!
  • Follow a structure, don’t just roam about what you would like to do, or even worse, spend all your time describing the problem, without addressing what your solution is.
  • Don’t forget “small things” like the Team, Product, Market..etc.
  • It would not hurt to mention how much you are looking for, and how you would use the funds…
  • Write down and practice your pitch, and prepare to deliver a compelling story in 2-3 minutes. You will have about 8-10 minutes, the first half of which is your pitch,  but believe me, whatever your practice time was, when you are on the spot, you will likely take twice as long to deliver your story. The second half of your time-slot is Q&A with the VC.
  • Bring an Executive Summary; some VC’s like it, others don’t.
  • Last, but not least, please be on time! I am not kidding… some of you know why I even have to bring this up. Arriving an hour late to a one-and-a-half-hour meeting is NOT acceptable, but we’ve had too many such incidents, so here’s a new rule:  if you’re late by more than 20 minutes, you will not be allowed to join the session.

Here’s the event info page, and please remember to register the next three Entrepreneurs get in free, contact me here.

See you in San Francisco!

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SVASE Green VC Panel in the East Bay

Venture capitalists have been pouring money into “clean technology” companies – $2.2 billion in 2007, an increase of 46% over 2006. Why are VCs making so many long-term, capital-intensive bets? Which technologies will be world-changing, and which will be duds?

In living proof that there is life outside the Palo Alto / Menlo Park proximity, SVASE will host a VC Panel on investing in Green Tech tomorrow at the Crow Canyon Country Club, in Danville, CA.  (A very green venue for a Green Eventsmile_wink).

The panelists are:

  • Marianne Wu, Partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures
  • J. Christopher Moran, Vice President, General Manager, Applied Ventures
  • Paul Chau, Partner, WI Harper
  • Peter Henig, Managing Partner, Greenhouse Capital Partners
  • Mark Harris, Relationship Manager, Silicon Valley Bank

Agenda:
6-6:30 pm: Networking and Hors D’oeuvres
6:30-8 pm: Panel discussion and Q/A

For details see the SVASE site, or head straight to registration.

See you there!

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House Burns While I Attend Launch: Silicon Valley

Yesterday was supposed to be a relaxing day of networking and watching startup pitches at Launch: Silicon Valley 2008, a joint event of SVASE and Garage Technology Ventures. The event started smoothly, with 400 or so participants when I received disturbing news: my next-door neighbor’s house was one fire. These side-view photos were taken from my window:

Here’s a video courtesy of the Pleasanton Weekly:

It was a bit of a nerve-wrecking day. “Luckily” enough the neighbor’s son and daughter both live in town, so they had a place to temporarily move to, until the house becomes habitable again.

Update (6/12):  Apparently reconstruction will take several months, just as bad (or worse) than building a new home.  The problem with old houses is that you have to bring everything up to current code.  My neighbors, a nice elderly couple are now looking for a house to rent until they can move back.

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One Day Left for Early Bird Rate to Launch: Silicon Valley 2008

I’ve pretty much said everything there is to say about Launch: Silicon Valley 2008, a joint event of SVASE and Garage Technology Ventures.

The presenting startup applications are in, being evaluated, and thirty of them will debut on June 10th @ the Microsoft Mountain View Campus.

There is another important deadline now: Monday is the last day you can register at the Early Bird rate, which represents a $50 discount.

See you there in June! smile_shades

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DemoCrunch 2008

This year’s TechCrunch 50 Conference is planned to coincide with DemoFall, the (other) premium startup Launch event.

VentureBeat attempts to (well, sort of) explain it with scheduling, but make no mistake, this is a fairly open move against DemoFall, to establish TechCrunch50 as the premier startup launch event. There’s no question that TechCrunch can pull in just about the entire VC community – in fact given the audience pricing, $2000 early bird, and $3000 regular, it’s hard to believe anyone but VCs can afford to attend. Well, VCs and students, as those with a student ID can get in for $149.

The presenting companies will not be charged – that’s a huge differentiate vs. Demo. As I said before, you almost have to be already funded to be able to afford Demo’s fees. I leave it to you to decide which one is more startup-friendly.smile_wink

Of course they want a real launch show, so the one hard condition is that your product /service will have to be new (unseen) at the Conference. Several commenters are already complaining that they are launching before September, which automatically disqualifies them.

I have a solution for you “early birds”: come join us at Launch: Silicon Valley 2008 jointly presented by SVASE and Garage Technology Ventures. Five of last year’s 29 presenters received venture funding, in aggregate of $30M. That’s not $140M, but not too shabby, eithersmile_regular.

How to participate? If by June 10th, 2008 (the day of the event) you will have a product or service available, but have not been out in the marketplace for more than a few months, then send an Executive Summary of no more than 2 pages to [email protected]. Submission deadline: May 9th, 2008. (Garage Technology offers a useful Writing a Compelling Executive Summary guide.) Last year’s 30 (actually, 29) presenting startups were selected from 170 submissions. For details – and attendee registration – check out http://www.launchsiliconvalley.org/.

See you there!

Related posts: bub.blicio.us, Valleywag, Jason Calacanis, SheGeeks, ValleyWag, News.com, Silicon Alley Insider, : WinExtra, CenterNetworks, mathewingram.com/work, BoomTown, The Drama 2.0 Show, Geek Gestalt, /Message

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SVASE VC Breakfast with Ann Winblad of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners

After a long break I’ll be moderating another SVASE VC Breakfast Club meeting next Thursday, April 3rd  in San Francisco.  As usual, it’s an informal round-table where 10 entrepreneurs get to deliver a pitch, then answer questions and get critiqued by a VC Partner. We’ve had VC’s from Draper Fisher,  Kleiner Perkins, Mayfield, Mohr Davidow, Emergence Capital …etc.  This time we”ll have the honor of welcoming Ann Winblad, Partner, co-Founder of the first exclusively software-focused venture firm, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.

These breakfast meetings are a valuable opportunity for Entrepreneurs, most of whom would probably have a hard time getting through the door to VC Partners. Since I’ve been through quite a few of these sessions, both as Entrepreneur and Moderator, let me share a few thoughts:

  • It’s a pressure-free environment, with no PowerPoint presentations, live demos, Business Plans…etc, just casual conversation; but it does not mean you should come unprepared!
  • Follow a structure, don’t just roam about what you would like to do, or even worse, spend all your time describing the problem, without addressing what your solution is.
  • Don’t forget “small things” like the Team, Product, Market..etc.
  • It would not hurt to mention how much you are looking for, and how you would use the funds…
  • Write down and practice your pitch, and prepare to deliver a compelling story in 2-3 minutes. You will have about 8-10 minutes, the first half of which is your pitch,  but believe me, whatever your practice time was, when you are on the spot, you will likely take twice as long to deliver your story. The second half of your time-slot is Q&A with the VC.
  • Bring an Executive Summary; some VC’s like it, others don’t.
  • Last, but not least, please be on time! I am not kidding… some of you know why I even have to bring this up. Arriving an hour late to a one-and-a-half-hour meeting is NOT acceptable, but we’ve had too many such incidents, so here’s a new rule:  if you’re late by more than 20 minutes, you will not be allowed to join the session.

Here’s the event info page, and remember to register – the previous event with Hummer Winblad sold out in advance. 

See you in San Francisco!