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Jason Mendelson - CUNVC Crash Course Series January 13 2010
Jason Mendelson - CUNVC Crash Course Series January 13 2010
Jason Mendelson - CUNVC Crash Course Series January 13 2010
Jason Mendelson - CUNVC Crash Course Series January 13 2010
Jason Mendelson - CUNVC Crash Course Series January 13 2010
Jason Mendelson - CUNVC Crash Course Series January 13 2010
Jason Mendelson - CUNVC Crash Course Series January 13 2010
Jason Mendelson - CUNVC Crash Course Series January 13 2010
Jason Mendelson - CUNVC Crash Course Series January 13 2010
Jason Mendelson - CUNVC Crash Course Series January 13 2010
Jason Mendelson - CUNVC Crash Course Series January 13 2010
Jason Mendelson - CUNVC Crash Course Series January 13 2010
Jason Mendelson - CUNVC Crash Course Series January 13 2010
Jason Mendelson - CUNVC Crash Course Series January 13 2010
Jason Mendelson - CUNVC Crash Course Series January 13 2010
Jason Mendelson - CUNVC Crash Course Series January 13 2010
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Jason Mendelson - CUNVC Crash Course Series January 13 2010

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Jason Mendelson on "Building a Business". Through a series of workshops, crash courses, and mentorship opportunities, the CU NVC experience supports the development of new ventures and culminates …

Jason Mendelson on "Building a Business". Through a series of workshops, crash courses, and mentorship opportunities, the CU NVC experience supports the development of new ventures and culminates with a March 2010 competition. The CU NVC is presented by entrepreneurship centers and programs across campus, including the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship, Silicon Flatirons Center, eShip, ATLAS, Technology Transfer Office, and the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program.

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  • 1. 0<br />How to Build a Company<br />January 13, 2010<br />University of Colorado’s New Venture Challenge<br />Jason Mendelson, Co-Founder and Managing Director<br />Foundry Group; Chair, Silicon Flatirons Entrepreneurship Initiative<br />©2009, Foundry Group LLC, Proprietary and Confidential<br />
  • 2. Agenda<br /> The idea of this presentation is to give you an all-purpose summary on company building. The workshop presentations later this semester will dive into all of these subjects and more in depth<br />How to come up with the right idea for you to pursue<br />Building a team<br />Setting up the business<br />Getting financed<br />Growing a business<br />Operating a business<br />Common mistakes people make<br />PLEASE INTERRUPT ME. Chances are that you are less boring than I am<br />1<br />©2009, Foundry Group LLC, Proprietary and Confidential<br />
  • 3. How To Do It<br />©2009, Foundry Group LLC, Proprietary and Confidential<br />2<br />
  • 4. The Idea<br />Pick something that you are passionate about. I mean REALLY passionate<br />Building a company is tough. If you aren’t in love with your idea going in, you are hosed<br />If you aren’t scratching your own itch, you probably don’t have a great idea<br />Make sure that you are “market,” though<br />Consider the competition. Most people skip this step<br />“We are different”<br />Are you really? Assume adjacent companies move toward each other. <br />Well funded “non-competitors” usually are<br />3<br />©2009, Foundry Group LLC, Proprietary and Confidential<br />
  • 5. The Idea<br />Is a “non-competitor” really a competitor?<br />Facebook – generic social network. You decide to create one targeted to musicians / soccer moms, etc.<br />Competition might not be Facebook, but the time allocated to social networks by your customers. They only have so much. Plus, FB can quickly move to compete, if need be<br />Can you make money from it? (and the answer isn’t “advertising”)<br />When you talk to your friends, do they get excited about it? (If you don’t have any friends, then you have other issues that I can’t help you with)<br />Make sure you don’t have “technology in search of a problem”<br />Seriously vet your idea. Remember, people’s incentives are to say “go for it” – it’s not their time and money being wasted<br />4<br />©2009, Foundry Group LLC, Proprietary and Confidential<br />
  • 6. Building a Team<br />Find a partner (if you can’t, there might be a larger problem)<br />Find mentors/advisors (Boulder is great)<br />Don’t get taken advantage of<br />Be self aware. It’s much more attractive than confidence<br />Learn to keep people engaged<br />5<br />©2009, Foundry Group LLC, Proprietary and Confidential<br />
  • 7. Setting up the Business<br />Incorporate? LLC versus C-corp<br />Get your Intellectual Property in order<br />Get your employment situation in order<br />Watch out for oral promises (yes, you can have an oral contract)<br />You get what you pay for with lawyers, but there are tons of resources in Boulder<br />Use resources like BDNT, BOCC, ELC, Crash Courses, the Bunker to learn more. Knowledge is power<br />6<br />©2009, Foundry Group LLC, Proprietary and Confidential<br />
  • 8. Financing<br />Don’t assume that you are going to raise funds<br />Do you need financing?<br />The earlier you finance the more of the company you will give up<br />Be greedy!<br />Angel versus VC<br />Executive Summaries versus Business Plans. What makes good ones?<br />Your exec summary is critical<br />Business plans are for you<br />7<br />©2009, Foundry Group LLC, Proprietary and Confidential<br />
  • 9. Growing and Operating a Business<br />Constantly check your assumptions. Is your idea still compelling? <br />Make sure what you are building will scale<br />Be customer focused. Be insane about customer experience<br />Don’t be afraid to get help. You don’t know everything<br />Find smart tech guys / work in the cloud<br />Always think about how you will make money. Even Twitter had a plan….<br />Try to leverage others’ platforms / networks if you can<br />Be really stingy in hiring non-tech people<br />8<br />©2009, Foundry Group LLC, Proprietary and Confidential<br />
  • 10. Some Common Mistakes<br />Not taking the set up process seriously enough<br />Employment<br />IP<br />Contractors versus employees<br />Not picking the right team. Your first 4-6 hires will determine your fate<br />Getting ahead on expenses – hiring ahead of revenue<br />Keep the team lean and expect some pain. This is good pain<br />Cash is massively valuable. Treat it as such<br />Being a crappy fundraiser<br />9<br />©2009, Foundry Group LLC, Proprietary and Confidential<br />
  • 11. Some Common Mistakes<br />Not knowing when to quit. Failure isn’t always failure<br />Screwing up your one chance at good press<br />Overpromising and under delivering<br />Getting “Tech Crunched”<br />Not having proper alignment with the management team<br />Get away / offsites<br />Vesting<br />Thinking marketing and advertising will save you<br />10<br />©2009, Foundry Group LLC, Proprietary and Confidential<br />
  • 12. Summary<br />Seriously, it’s really that simple<br />So have fun. ☺<br />11<br />©2009, Foundry Group LLC, Proprietary and Confidential<br />
  • 13. Questions and Answers<br />Q&A<br />12<br />©2009, Foundry Group LLC, Proprietary and Confidential<br />
  • 14. CU NVC: why participate? <br />Entrepreneurial Launch Pad: nothing like doing it; support through workshops and Crash Courses <br />Mentors: connect to area’s entrepreneurs <br />Interdisciplinary experience<br />“Intent to Compete” forms are due January 20 (necessary for mentor assignment)<br />13<br />
  • 15. Upcoming Events<br />Workshop-Your Business Concept: Product and Service Offering, Page Moreau <br />Wednesday, January 20, 2010 – ATLAS 100, 6pm<br />Workshop-Your Market: Connecting with your Customers, Tom Keller <br />Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - ATLAS Building, Room 100, 6:00PM <br />Crash Course: Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs <br />Wednesday, February 3, 2010 - Wolf Law Building, 6:00PM <br />Workshop-Selling your Product: Reaching Your Customers, Erick Mueller <br />Wednesday, February 10, 2010 - ATLAS Building, Room 100, 6:00PM <br />Workshop-Making Money: Finding Economic Sustainability, Frank Moyes <br />Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - ATLAS Building, Room 100, 6:00PM <br />Workshop-Pitching and Selling Your Business Plan, George Deriso <br />Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - ATLAS Building, Room 100, 6:00PM <br />Business Plans DUE Monday, March 11, 2010 <br />Finalists and Wild Card Selected Friday, March 5, 2010 <br />14<br />
  • 16. Networking Upstairs<br />Meet companies looking for interns<br />15<br /><ul><li>Essential10 (not on flier)
  • 17. Goldstone Partners
  • 18. Gravity Cycles (not on flier)
  • 19. LogRhythm
  • 20. myUsearch.com
  • 21. Rebit
  • 22. RecordNexus
  • 23. TravelFli
  • 24. Zayo Group
  • 25. Form a team to compete in the CU NVC!</li>

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