VCTips: An Inside Look at the VC Landscape and Fundraising Strategy

Landscape & Strategy, Workshop
Location: 1A21 Level:
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)

Whether you’re just starting a business, looking for capital, or working to outlast the market drought, this workshop is for you. Learn what goes on inside the minds of investors, how to present and defend your business, and how to land your first customers. Workshop topics will include the venture fund landscape, financing strategies, and revenue models. Specific discussions will include:

  • Inside the Black Box: What goes on behind the magic curtain inside a venture fund? How do venture capital funds “work”, and what drives their decision-making? What are the implications for me out of the current VC landscape?
  • Pitch Lab I: How to present your company to investors, how to manage investor dialogues, and what to expect from the fundraising process. Expect a lively audience Q&A free-for-all.
  • Market Q&A: There’s a lot of shifting ground in today’s market. Share the lessons learned by someone who has successfully closed funding in a challenging environment.
  • Pitch Lab II: Can you bootstrap from revenues instead of raising VC dollars? How to acquire your first users, and how to pitch to and close on paying customers.
  • Food for Thought: 10 questions every VC will ask you, and what they really mean.
Photo of Christine Herron

Christine Herron

Intel Capital

Christine Herron has spent her career finding new and innovative information technologies. She is currently a Principal with First Round Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm. Previously, Christine was a director at Omidyar Network, where she developed the Media practice strategy and drove $15 million in early-stage placements.

Prior to joining Omidyar Network in 2005, Christine was the VP of Marketing for Mission Research, which develops small business CRM solutions. While there, she led marketing from initial business plan authoring through paying customer and distribution partner acquisition. Earlier, Christine was the founder and CEO of Mercury2, a software-as-a-service developer of international trade logistics systems. She has also managed developer tools at NetObjects, and played for the Internet Server Team at Microsoft.

Christine started as an investor with Geocapital Partners, where she focused on early Internet infrastructure and network management software. Her investments there included Netcom Online Communications, AXON Networks, D-Vision Systems, ViaGrafix, and FocusVision. In each case, Geocapital was the initial professional investor and helped to bring the company to a dominant market position.

She currently serves on the advisory boards for Web 2.0 Expo, iWidgets, Mission Research, Nickel Tour Productions, and Typepad, and co-manages STIRR Pitch Lab. Christine has previously served on the Nonprofit Technology Conference (N-TEN) Advisory Board and Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet Board of Directors, and was ranked one of the Top 20 Women in Technology for 2000 by AltaVista. She has spoken at numerous industry events including DEMO, FOO Camp, mesh, MIT/Stanford Venture Lab, NetSquared, TechCoire, and Web 2.0 Summit.

Christine earned her MBA at Stanford University, and her BA in English at Columbia University, Columbia College.

Photo of Bryce Roberts

Bryce Roberts

O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures

Bryce co-founded O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV) in 2005. At OATV he focuses on consumer and enterprise software and services investments.

Prior to OATV, Bryce sourced and lead a number of successful early stage investments at Wasatch Venture Fund, a Draper Fisher Jurvetson affiliate. In 2004, Bryce co-founded the Open Source Business Conference (sold to IDG) in order to spark a conversation around commercializing the highly disruptive technologies and services emerging from the open source community. Prior to Wasatch, Bryce was a member of a small team at vertical search pioneer Whizbang! Labs. While at WhizBang!, he defined and launched the division (sold to Monster Worldwide). He began his career in technology doing large enterprise software deployments, saving his employer from the dreaded Y2K Bug.

His investments at OATV include GameLayers, Get Satisfaction, OpenCandy, OpenX, Parakey (acquired by Facebook), Path Intelligence and Wesabe. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Brigham Young University.

Amish Jani

FirstMark Capital

Oren Netzer


Photo of Avner Ronen

Avner Ronen


Named one of Rolling Stone’s “Agents of Change” for 2009, prior to boxee Ronen was the Head of Corporate Development and M&A for Comverse, Inc. a leading provider of software and service to Telecom service providers. Ronen was responsible for acquisitions valued at$450M, which were key to the company’s evolution from a Voicemail company to a Billing and VAS provider.

Ronen joined Comverse in2002 when they acquired Odigo, a company he co-founded in 1998. Odigo was one of the early Instant Messaging services on the web serving over8M users worldwide, and earned Ronen the 2002 honor of being a member of Crain’s 40 under 40.

Prior to Odigo Ronen served for 4.5 years in the Israeli Defense Force in the special computer unit, MAMRAM.

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Picture of Mark J. Levitt
Mark J. Levitt
11/20/2009 11:21am EST

Thanks, Christine; it’s here now too!

Picture of Christine Herron
Christine Herron
11/20/2009 6:08am EST

Session slides are available for viewing/download over at . (They are still not showing up here, though I did upload them…) Thanks again to everyone who participated!

  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • Awareness
  • Blue Kiwi Software
  • Ericsson Labs
  • Jive Software
  • Layered Technologies, Inc.
  • Neustar, Inc.
  • OpenText
  • Opera Software
  • Overtone
  • Qtask
  • Rackspace Hosting
  • Sony Ericsson

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