LAUNCH! Magazine Issue Two

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LAUNCH! Magazine Issue Two

  1. 1. SUMMER 2011 | ISSUE NO. 2 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | 1 INSIDE KIMBERLYISAAC|JAIMEPARKER& ASIFAHMED|DHAVALDOSHI MATTROMOND Are You Mark Zuckerberg, Colonel Sanders, or John DeLorean? LAUNCH!I S S U E T W O | S U M M E R 2 0 1 1 | BSCHOOL.PEPPERDINE.EDU/STUDENTBLOG
  2. 2. 2 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | ISSUE NO. 2 | SUMMER 2011 CONTENTS Are You Mark Zuckerberg, Colonel Sanders, or John DeLorean? 3 10 Tips for Choosing a Co-founder 5 ENTREPRENEURS Kimberly Isaac, MBA ‘10 6 Jaime Parker, MBA ‘99 and Asif Ahmed, MBA ‘99 8 Dhaval Doshi, MBA ‘10 10 Matt Romond, MBA ‘12 12 The Ten Commandments of Fundraising 14 LAUNCH! Magazine celebrates the creativity, dedication to responsible business practice and entrepreneurial spirit of students and alumni at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, principles fundamental to its mission and that the school and its faculty have embraced and actively ad- vanced for more than 40 years. PUBLISHED BY GRAZIADIO SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT © 2011 PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY DEAN: LINDA A. LIVINGSTONE, PH.D. PUBLISHING EDITOR: DIANNE KING EDITOR: F. DOUGLASS GORE III EDITORIAL ASSISTANCE: JAIME QUIGLEY CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHY: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM PROFILES: AMY BEIMILLER for LIGHTSTREAM ADVISOR: LARRY COX, PH.D. ON THE COVER WEBVENTUROUS: Ghansham Paliwal (Business Development Manager), Disha Mehta (Online Marketing Executive), Priya Dhanawade (Web & Graphics Designer), Munshi Soni Hakim (Office Administrator), Pratik Sangoi (Business Develop- ment Executive), Rushabh Doshi (HR & Operations Manager), Namrata Shah (Creative Head), and Dhaval Doshi , MBA ‘10 (CEO & Founder)  LAUNCH!
  3. 3. SUMMER 2011 | ISSUE NO. 2 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | 3 Are You Mark Zuckerberg, Colonel Sanders,or John DeLorean?By CHRISTOPHER GREY Top 5 Reasons Entrepreneurs Fail Nobody likes to talk about failure. It’s not fun or sexy. We live in a culture that worships success, no matter how you get there, and is disgusted by and afraid of failure, no matter what the reason. This is especially true of entrepreneurs. We live in age that believes in overnight success. The mythology of Mark Zuckerberg starting a business at nineteen, immediately succeed- ing, and becoming a billionaire by age twenty-five is now consid- ered a template for millions of young aspiring entrepreneurs. Of course it is a cruel myth for anyone to believe that kind of success can be replicated. People would actually have a greater chance of winning the lottery. Most entrepreneurs fail. Some- times they fail many times before they ultimately succeed. Only a few entrepreneurs have ever become billionaires before the age of forty, and so far only one person in history has achieved what Zuckerberg did at such an early age. That puts the odds at hundreds of billions to one. If anybody likes those odds, we have to play poker together some time.
  4. 4. 4 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | ISSUE NO. 2 | SUMMER 2011 Here are a few more real life entrepreneurial stories. Colonel Sanders didn’t start Kentucky Fried Chicken until he was sixty-two years old. If you don’t believe that, check Wikipedia. Many entrepreneurs never succeed even if they try over and over for an entire lifetime. Do you remember Jon DeLorean? His car company was sort of like the Tesla of thirty years ago. He was arrested for selling cocaine. Why? So he could raise money to save his dying company. Even the enormously successful Elon Musk had run out of cash before Tesla went public. Rupert Murdoch was out of cash in 1990. He survived because Marvin Davis loaned him money. Stories of extremely delayed success, nearly losing it all, or outright failure are not what people want to hear, but they’re important. As much fun as it is, nothing is learned from easy success. Failure and near failure is how people learn. All of this begs to the question everybody running a business or thinking about starting a business wants to understand: Why do some entrepreneurs succeed while most of them fail? Here are a few key reasons. 1 Excessive optimism Entrepreneurs have to be optimistic to succeed. However, too much optimism is also one of the most common reasons they fail. Entrepreneurs need to remember that only the paranoid survive. As much as you need to believe in your own success, at the same time you must never forget all the things that can go wrong and plan accordingly. 2 Inflexibility Entrepreneurs need to be stubborn. They are often surrounded with people, even their loved ones, who tell them to give up and go get a job rather than trying to build something. Nevertheless, the inability or refusal to change and pivot kills many entrepreneurs. 3 Lack of creativity A good entrepreneur learns from and often copies what others are doing if it’s working. As long as you aren’t stealing anything, that’s just good business. However, if you have none of your own ideas and are simply a copycat of what others are doing, you aren’t creating any value. Your business has nothing about it that is special, and your customers and others in the market will know it. A commodity business with no unique value proposition is much more likely to fail. 4 Greed A good entrepreneur should be greedy and not just for money. Entrepreneurs should have a big appetite for risk, glory, fame, misery, power, and fortune among other things. However, many entrepreneurs allow their greed to get the better of them. They allow it to blind their judgment and make bad decisions that destroy their businesses or themselves personally. The best entrepreneurs know how to balance their greed with discipline, prudence, and humility. 5 Bad luck Yes, a successful entrepreneur must be lucky. This is just a basic fact even as it may be offensive to many people who think that you have to make your own luck and everything that happens people deserve. As nice as that is to believe for some people, it isn’t true. Luck is usually the single most important factor that distinguishes the most successful entrepreneurs from those who just do ok and survive. It is extremely rare for an entrepreneur to achieve great success without luck, and there is no way for anyone to control that variable. This is why many successful entrepreneurs are superstitious. Why become an entrepreneur when success is so uncertain? The most important reasons to become an entrepreneur aren’t success, money, fame, power, or glory. The entrepreneurial life is about being your own boss, doing what you love, and creating value. Hopefully if you create enough value, the money, fame, and glory will follow. Regardless, nobody can take away from you the enjoyment you derive from what you do. If you’re just in the game for the hope of hitting it big, you shouldn’t be in the game.  Christopher Grey is CFO and Co-Founder of CapLinked. Chris was a senior executive and managing partner in private equity, finance, and banking for 15 years. He founded two companies, Crestridge Investments, a private equity firm that made debt and equity investments in micro cap and middle market companies, and Third Wave Partners, which made debt and equity investments in distressed situations, and was managing director of Emigrant Bank, the largest privately owned bank in the country. Chris is a founder of Stanford Professionals in Real Estate and a columnist for TheStreet. com. A version of this was originally posted on CapLinked’s blog.
  5. 5. SUMMER 2011 | ISSUE NO. 2 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | 5 “From Solo Founder to Co-founder” by Mike Lewis Great article which illustrates that with the right people, 1+1 = 3. “What We Look For in Founders” by Paul Graham Important article on what skills some Angels/VCs look for in founders. If you don’t have some of these characteristics, you may need to add members to your team to broaden the company skill set. “How to Pick a Co-founder” by Naval Ravikant Neat VentureHacks article that preaches the importance of creating your team. “Underbelly: What Haughty Startup Bloggers Don’t Tell You” by Jason Fried Insightful article which discusses the emotional toll starting a company can take on a solo entrepreneur. “Build Your Management Team” by Stever Robbins Good resource from Entrepreneur Magazine which discusses how to go about growing your team. “How to Assemble the Perfect Team” Another great article about how to build a great team from my friend, Jun Loayza, co-founder of RewardMe. “Finding Your Co-founders” by Seth Sternberg Another awesome article from the CEO of Meebo about how to find a co-founder. Go to a FounderDating event in your area Meet with like-minded entrepreneurs. It will help you quickly discover what types of qualities you’re looking for in a co-founder. Join an entrepreneurship association in your area Network with other bright minds such as the SVASE in Silicon Valley. “Panel Discussion: Finding a Co-founder…or Not?” YouTube video from the Stanford GSB which talks about the advantages/disadvantages of going solo or finding a team. 10 Tips for Choosing a Co-founder By JUSTIN MOORE You’ve got the next billion dollar idea. Now what? There are business plans to write, products to craft, relationships to forge. There will be no shortage of crucial tasks to complete in order to see your idea to fruition. But should you go solo or find a team? It’s a common question and I’ve found the following articles, blog posts, and other resources extremely valuable in helping make the decision.  Justin is a first-year student in the Fully Employed MBA program at Pepperdine University. He earned his undergraduate degree in computer science from UCLA. Justin is involved in many entrepreneurial endeavors and loves all things technology. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
  6. 6. 6 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | ISSUE NO. 2 | SUMMER 2011 Kimberly Isaac Company Name: Shark Bite Scuba Company URL: www.sharkbitescuba.com Location: Thousand Oaks, CA Mission: Provide the diving community the highest quality services and products the industry has to offer. Business Idea: Devise a cart that makes it easy to tote heavy scuba tanks to and from dives. Target Customer: Divers. Year Founded: 2009 Avg. Annual Revenue: Confidential Number of Employees: 2 Accountant-cum-scuba diver Kimberly Isaac (MBA ’10) is exhibiting all the signs of new parenthood: joy, excitement, pride and a penchant for talking about her “baby” any chance she can. Never mind that her progeny is a two-wheeled metal scuba tank dolly marketed under her Shark Bite Scuba company name. “It was so exciting to see the design for the Tank Dolly in cold, hard metal,” says Isaac, reminiscing about the first time she saw her invention come off the production line. “I imagine it to be like seeing your newborn child for the first time.” The result of a year’s worth of development and design, the Tank Dolly meets a universal need of scuba professionals and hobbyists: make it easier to transport heavy scuba tanks and gear from land to boat. Simple in context, the Tank Dolly is a pure example of an entrepreneur discovering a need, working to meet it and harnessing the passion and belief behind the idea to make it all work. “I would not be where I am today if not for Dr. Cox. He is the greatest professor I have ever had the pleasure of taking at any university.” Shark Bite Scuba partners Thomas Spiegle and Kimberly Issac
  7. 7. SUMMER 2011 | ISSUE NO. 2 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | 7 “The entire process has been inspiring, encouraging and so much fun. I truly enjoy every hour that I devote to growing this company,” says Isaac, who has had a life-long love of the ocean and became a certified diver in 2008. Of course every diver knows the first rule of safety is to never go it alone. Isaac applied that same principle in her dive into entrepreneur-hood. She partnered with diving buddy Thomas Spiegle, Los Angeles county sheriff’s deputy and rescue diver. In addition, she credits “idea generator” Dr. Larry Cox, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Pepperdine, as the impetus behind the scenes in launching Shark Bite Scuba. “I would not be where I am today if not for Dr. Cox. He is the greatest professor I have ever had the pleasure of taking at any university,” she says. That encouragement was instrumental when Isaac was laid off from her job half way through her MBA program. “I had just started my entrepreneurship classes so it was perfect timing. I had extra time on my hands and was no longer worried about giving up my job to start the business; the decision had been made for me,” she says. “Dr. Cox encouraged and built my confidence so much that I decided I could do it. And now I am!” That encouragement was also important during the early days of the business when the two divers were working on getting their idea from sketch to three-dimensional format. “Tom and I had to get up to speed quickly on how manufacturing works, the types of materials we would need, the cost of these materials, types of metal, different suppliers, why one is better than another and so on,” she says. “Figuring out the manufacturing process was our biggest challenge. Dr. Cox gave us the courage to keep moving forward.” With the manufacturing process ironed out, Shark Bite Scuba has been aggressively marketing the dolly at tradeshows, online and has donated dollies to the Disabled Veterans Scuba Project. The product has garnered positive attention from The Wall Street Journal as well as fromDiverwire. com, ScubaBoard.com and word-of-mouth from diver to diver. “This whole process has been euphoric,” says Isaac. “I knew that ‘someday’ I would do my own thing. Now that ‘someday’ is here, I know for sure this is where I am supposed to be.” 
  8. 8. 8 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | ISSUE NO. 2 | SUMMER 2011 Jaime Parker and Asif Ahmed Company Name: Shadys Company URL: www.shadys.com Location: Pasadena, CA Mission: To create a brand synonymous with unique, high-quality shade and sun protection products. Business Idea: Sun protection screens for golf cars and other low-speed commercial and consumer vehicles that also deliver a unique and highly-visible branding opportunity. Problem Set Out to Solve: Golf car occupants are at the mercy of the sun, and excessive sun exposure can cause severe skin damage, sunburns, premature aging, and even cancer. Target Customer: Golf courses, country clubs, resorts, golfers, golf car owners, and golf car manufacturers. Year Founded: 2010 Avg. Annual Revenue: Confidential Number of Employees: 3
  9. 9. SUMMER 2011 | ISSUE NO. 2 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | 9 For Jaime Parker (MBA, ’99), a bright future meant he had to create some shade. Avid golfers and others who spend time outside on low-speed vehicles like golf cars are glad he did. Parker’s company, Shadys, offers a variety of open-weave mesh screens that easily attach to golf cars, provide 360-degree visibility and air circulation and effectively protect the occupants from up to 90 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays. The company is now exclusively partnered with Club Car, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles including golf cars, golf and commercial utility vehicles, multi-passenger shuttle vehicles, rough-terrain and off-road utility vehicles, and street legal low-speed vehicles for commercial and consumer markets. “I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” says Parker. “Prior to Shadys, I had participated in other entrepreneurial opportunities and have always found it difficult to conform to a typical 9-to-5 work day.” That spirit has helped him navigate the challenges of the early years of enterprise, one of which is funneling enough cash into marketing efforts. “We are big believers in the importance of marketing and promotion efforts but often the funds that are allocated for marketing get funneled to pay bills and other expenses,” he says. That dearth of funding for marketing has been offset by a pleasant surprise: a low barrier to entry into the market. “It’s been easy to meet people and make key contacts in the golf and golf car industries,” he says. The ability to make the right contacts to ensure the success of the business began early in the genesis of Shadys, when Parker met his current Director of Marketing, Asif Ahmed, a fellow Graziadio School MBA-program student. “Asif and I graduated over 12 years ago, but we stayed in touch,” says Parker. When Parker put the plans together for Shadys, he looked for a partner he could trust and who had the same drive and vision. “I knew that with him on the team, we’d be successful.” Parker defines success not just by bottom-line results, but also by quality of life. “Even with all the work in getting the company up and running, entrepreneurship has allowed me to spend more time with my family because I dictate how and where my time is spent,” he says. “In addition, this has taught me to be patient, have faith, and become comfortable with having to sacrifice in order to reach my goals.” Parker recommends other would-be entrepreneurs take a no-holds-barred approach to launching a business. “Once you have been honest with yourself about the viability of the company or idea that you wish to pursue, pursue it with vengeance,” he says. “Even if it means some sleepless nights and stress from fear of the unknown, entrepreneurship is a risk / reward opportunity, so make it happen!”  “Prior to Shadys, I had participated in other entrepreneurial opportunities and have always found it difficult to conform to a typical 9-to-5 work day.”
  10. 10. 10 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | ISSUE NO. 2 | SUMMER 2011 Dhaval Doshi Company Name: Webventurous Company URL: webventurous.com Location: Mumbai, India Mission: Implement cutting-edge technologies and ideas to create superb Web strategies for our clients’ brands
  11. 11. SUMMER 2011 | ISSUE NO. 2 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | 11 Business Idea: One-stop digital agency for Web design, internet marketing and emerging media Problem Set Out to Solve: While most businesses know that a web presence is necessary, most do not understand how to wring every possible marketing opportunity from it Target Customer: Any business, anywhere Year Founded: 2010 Avg. Annual Revenue: Confidential Number of Employees: 10 Like surfing, successful entrepreneurship requires you stay ahead of the wave in order to have a successful run. It’s an adventure best undertaken with courage and a passion to be in the moment. At Webventurous, Dhaval Doshi (MBA, ’10) and his team build and implement Web architecture for an international client base in diverse sectors including film/entertainment, celebrity brand management, education, finance /banking, hospitality and event management. Their renown is that once the Web presence is established, Webventurous continues to support each client, using the power of the Web to continually market and drive brand recognition. “Our focus is not only to build our client’s Web implementation but also provide necessary support to grow their Web presence in the long run,” says Doshi. “In order to do that successfully, we have to evolve and learn every day.” Doshi both earned and learned his entrepreneur- ial fortitude. About 10 years ago he took a course in Web design, then took on a marketing position with a Web solutions company. “I learned a lot and was fascinated by the potential to use the Internet as a marketing tool,” he says. The entrepreneurship itch took hold about a year into the job. “I felt more like an expense account there. I always wanted to do something on my own, something more meaningful,” he says.“It was time to put in my notice and get started play- ing by my own rules.” He worked as a freelance consultant and then a sole proprietor for five years, and graduated from Pepperdine’s 12-month MBA program before launching Webventurous in 2010. “There’s no perfect timing for entrepreneurship,” he says. “Just be sure you have the skills to manage people. If you can’t manage people – your employees and your customers – you won’t be a success.” With plenty of people skills in his entrepreneur- ial toolkit, Doshi’s first step was to hire recent college graduates who had the same passion and vision for Internet marketing as he has. He believed that a young employee base with a knack for social media and the web would bring to the table the insights critical to the success of any web campaign. “I have loved hiring and training graduates right out of college to learn and implement awesome marketing campaigns for our clients,” he says. “I’m proud to say that they have done a commendable job and have played a critical role in the growth of the company. Being their mentor and seeing them grow is a delightful experience.” Also key to Doshi’s success is his passion for networking. “If you want to be an entrepreneur, spend more time meeting people,” he advises. “But after you meet them, follow up and see how they can help you with your business. Contacts can be mentors, financiers, or even business partners,” he says. It’s also important to carefully manage relationships and time, he says. “It’s fun being an entrepreneur but life gets busier than one can imagine.” 
  12. 12. 12 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | ISSUE NO. 2 | SUMMER 2011 Matt Romond Company Name: KM-X Youth Self Defense Company URL: kravmaga-kids.com Location: Los Angeles and Sherman Oaks, CA Mission: Train children in practical effective, dynamic real-world self-defense. Business Idea: Teach children to defend themselves with the gross motor skills they naturally demonstrate, and in realistic situations. Target Customer: Children ages 5-13 Year Founded: 2005 Avg. Annual Revenue: $490,000 Number of Employees: 10
  13. 13. SUMMER 2011 | ISSUE NO. 2 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | 13 A conflict of form over function made the entrepreneurial light bulb go off for Matt Romond (MBA ’12). As a professional realistic self-defense trainer, Romond saw first-hand how the Krav Maga system – the techniques employed by the Israeli defense forces – served adult civilians, military, and law enforcement personnel around the world. What was missing was a similar training program for children. “To truly be able to defend yourself, you need a functional skill set. Learning the form is just not enough to be effective,” he says. Romond became determined to bring realistic self-defense training to children. “Outsiders thought the idea was crazy. The asked ‘You mean you’re going to teach children the same moves you teach to soldiers?’ Our answer was ‘Why not?’” Kid-sized Krav Maga (called km-X) is based on the gross motor skills of children and their natural instinctive responses under stress. “We teach children the very basic self-defense moves and then apply stress in increments so they can safely feel what their body and mind will go through if they ever have to use the stuff in real life,” he says. For example, after a student learns how to defend against a basic choke attack, they are instructed to close their eyes until the choke hold is applied. The simple act of closing their eyes and waiting builds anticipation about the impending attack, which causes their bodies to release adrenaline – the actual physiological response that will happen if they ever experience such an attack in real life. Once they learn how to handle the adrenaline rush, other stressors are added to the training, like dim light and loud music or spinning them around in circles so they get disoriented. “When a child realizes he or she can be in these conditions and perform the techniques without hesitation, it gives them an amazing sense of accomplishment,” says Romond. With 1,500 children trained or participating in the program now, Romond receives calls almost weekly from parents of graduates and the graduates themselves, telling him the difference the training has made in their lives, from successfully standing up to a bully to becoming a true defender of those who can’t defend themselves. The program has also given Romond a sense of accomplishment as an entrepreneur. “I get to see what works and what doesn’t and have the ultimate say as to how we are going to improve and evolve, not just as a business, but more importantly as a martial art,” he says. “Over the last five years I have learned that growing a successful business, especially in the service industry, can only come about by making a bunch of small, calculated decisions over a relatively long period of time. By growing slowly, I can reflect on and learn from past mistakes or actions.” Romond also has learned and has been inspired by his professors in the Pepperdine Fully Employed MBA program. “All my professors, and especially L. Wayne Gertmenian and Max Ellzey, have been incredibly open about the lessons that they have learned along the way to success. They also all present the technical material within the context of their own experiences,” he says. Perhaps the greatest lesson about entrepreneurship is the one Romond has already applied to his business. “Contrary to popular belief, entrepreneurial skills are actually learned rather than inherited. If you don’t feel that you have enough skills to jump out on your own yet, use your current job as a springboard,” he says. “Seek out training and experience by starting something new at the company that you currently work for. It worked for me.” 
  14. 14. 14 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | ISSUE NO. 2 | SUMMER 2011 The Ten Commandments of Fundraising By GRAY DEFEVERE 1 Thou shalt focus, focus, focus thy plan. Make sure that our strategy is a rifle shot, not a shotgun blast. And always keep in mind the problem that you’re trying to solve. Proprietary, protectable, and sustainable technology is a necessity, but it’s not a sufficient condition for success. Identify the collective IP to commercialize. Carve up target markets finely and restrict yourself to two or three well-defined segments. 2 Thou shalt weave a story. Remember, all potential investors are looking for a reason to believe. Create excitement around our plan and show energy, enthusiasm, and Commitment when we present it. We detail both the mystic and the mundane. Cover our long-term vision, and then spell out short-term practicalities of its implementation.
  15. 15. SUMMER 2011 | ISSUE NO. 2 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | 15 3 Thou shalt understand thy audience. Research and understand our target audience — both for our plan and our pitch. Understand our prospective investor’s history, areas of expertise, rolodex, prior areas of investment, any obvious predictable conflicts and so Forth. Don’t forget that you’re in the selling mode, and you need to understand your Prospect’s hot buttons. Knowing as much, or more about them than they due about us is A show of respect and professionalism. 4 Thou shalt arrive via referral. Nothing turns off a prospective investor more than something coming in over the transom, regardless of the medium. An industry expert or an insider friend of the investor, a reference will instantly give you credibility, visibility, and the investor’s attention. 5 Thou shalt be crisp in thy plan. Keep your plan succinct, and remember a picture is often worth a thousand words. Although graphics can be overdone, they convey information efficiently and add impact. Your plan should be no more than 25 pages and the executive summary no more than 2 pages. 6 Thou shalt fine-tune thy presentation. Your presentation is not a fireside chat. Plan your pitch and pitch your plan, preferably a half hour but no more than an hour. Have backup for all claims, slides for common questions, and prepare a reference list in Advance. Efficiency in both plan and presentation will create a good impression that often is taken as a proxy for how you will run your business. You get one shot in front of your prospective investor. There are no dress rehearsals. 7 Thou shalt thoroughly research and evaluate current and prospective competition. All startups have competition of one sort or another. Thoroughly map out the competition, and honestly assess our relative status. Openly disclose the management team’s background strengths and weaknesses. Today, marketing and sales execution is more important than ever. 8 Thou shalt get real about financial projections. Investors understand that financials for new businesses in undefined markets are very hard to estimate, much less verify, but be realistic. Even if you believe that you can build a $500 million business in five years, understand that this kind of growth would make you one of the fastest- growing companies in American history. To the extent possible, build projections from the ground up, not the top down. There is no substitute for showing investors direct prospect/customer contacts who are willing to vouch for the product and company. 9 Thou shalt not obsess on valuation. Valuation is clearly very important, but don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish. The entrepreneur must give credit to the value-add of the angel or professional investor. By understanding this, hopefully everyone gets a piece of a much larger pie than would otherwise be the case. 10 Thou shalt understand potential exit strategies. Although the investor’s first thought is the excitement of getting into an investment, his next priority is how he’s going to get out of it. An IPO is one obvious path, but today, strategic buyers are acquiring more and more companies. Be explicit about potential buyers or licensees and the rationale for their interest in your company.  Gray Defevere started his first company 37 years ago, and thinks of himself as a ‘recovering entrepreneur’ who has had successes founding and growing businesses using profit and debt as financial accelerators. Defevere Advisory Group (DAG) focuses on the representation of emerging growth and technology companies, middle market public companies, large technology companies, investors, private equity funds, investment bankers and underwriters, and clients in the entertainment industry. Gray originally posted this on his blog at defevere.com.
  16. 16. SUMMER 2011 | ISSUE NO. 2 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | 17 6100 Center Drvie | Suite 400 | Los Angeles, CA 90045 | bschool.pepperdine.edu © PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY. All Rights Reserved. GSBM.DG.082211 2011 FAST PITCH COMPETITION Have an idea for a new business? Pitch your idea in one minute or less in the Second Annual Fast Pitch Competition for a chance to win $2,500. The Fast Pitch Competition gives start-ups the chance to get their idea in front of our panel of experts, which includes angels, VCs, and established entrepreneurs. HOW FAST PITCH WORKS: 1. Contestants must first fill out the registration form and then submit a one minute video fast pitch of their business idea by August 31, 2011. Ten semi-finalists will be selected to deliver a 1-minute pitch to the general audience at I2O: The Entrepreneurs Journey on Friday, September 23, 2011 at the Biltmore Hotel. The audience will cast an electronic vote for the top three contestants based on the strength of the business idea and the skill of the presenter. The use of props or visual effects is prohibited. 2. Three finalists will be selected to present their one minute final presentation to our panel of business experts. Each presentation will be followed by a Q&A with the judges. A winner will be chosen and announced at the end of the round after judge deliberation. IMPORTANT DATES: • Wednesday, August 31, 2011: Submit your one minute video pitch by 5 p.m. • Friday, September 9, 2011: Semi-finalists are notified. • Friday, September 23, 2011: Competition day! Contestants must arrive by noon or will be disqualified. How to Submit Your Video: 1. Record a video of your one minute business pitch 2. Upload the video to a video hosting site (i.e. YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, etc.) 3. Send an email to gsbmalum@pepperdine.edu with “Fast Pitch Submission” in the subject line. In the body of your message include your name, phone number and the link to your video You will receive a confirmation email upon receipt of your submission Fast Pitch registration does not include conference registration and is non-refundable. $50 PEPPERDINE STUDENTS/ALUMNI AND NAWBO MEMBERS $100 GENERAL REGISTRATION w w w. i 2 O 2 0 1 1 . c o m

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