Incubator 2.0: Back to the Future!

Workshop
Location: Twin Peaks Level:

How are today’s angel investors, startup incubators, and VCs different from (or similar to) previous incubators & angel funds from the 90’s dot-com boom/bust? Why is perception so negative for the 1.0 version (altho Bill Gross had several wins, and Ron Conway invested in Google), and yet so positive for the new 2.0 versions like Y-Combinator & First Round? Find out what works & what doesn’t when Silicon Valley decides to play small ball.

Photo of Dave McClure

Dave McClure

500 Hats

Dave McClure has been geeking out in Silicon Valley for almost twenty years as a software developer, entrepreneur, startup advisor, angel investor, blogger, & internet marketing nerd. He is an advisor or investor for Mint, Mashery, Simply Hired, TeachStreet, Oortle, CrazyEgg, SlideShare, Eventvue, RichRelevance, HealthUnity, & Canopy Financial.

Dave is the conference chair for Startonomics.com, and runs a monthly dinner series for entrepreneurs called Startup2Startup.com. He has been a guest lecturer at Stanford University for the nation’s first-ever course on building Facebook Apps. Dave is a board member for microfinance accelerator Unitus, advisor to microfinance lender Kiva.org, and a co-founder of the Silicon Valley Microfinance Network.

From 2005 to 2006, Dave launched and ran marketing for job search engine Simply Hired, and its evil twin Simply Fired. From 2001 to 2004, Dave worked at PayPal as Director of Marketing, where he founded and ran the PayPal Developer Network program. Prior to PayPal Dave was a database consultant and programmer for several companies including Microsoft and Intel. In 1994 he founded Aslan Computing, an internet and e-commerce firm later acquired by Servinet/Panurgy in 1998.

Before coming to Silicon Valley, Dave barely graduated from the Johns Hopkins University with a BS in Mathematical Sciences Engineering and a minor in frisbee, billiards, and foosball. His interests include microfinance and economic innovation, entrepreneurship and venture capital, ultimate frisbee, cartoons and animation, and an ever-growing collection of silly hats.

For more info see Dave’s blog: Master of 500 Hats

Photo of Jeff Clavier

Jeff Clavier

Softtech VC

Based in Palo Alto, California, Jean-Francois “Jeff” Clavier is the Founder and Managing Partner of SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed stage investors in Web 2.0 startups. Since 2004, Jeff has invested in more than 70 consumer Internet companies in areas like social media, communities, search, gaming or consumer infrastructure, almost exclusively in Silicon Valley. With over 20 years of operational, entrepreneurial and venture capital experience, Jeff is able to add relevant perspective and value to his companies as they grow from inception to maturity, and hopefully, success.

In 2007, Jeff was recognized as one of the 13 Web 2.0 King Makers by (late) Business 2.0, and in 2008, BusinessWeek named him one of The 25 Most Influential People on the Web. He is often noted for his investments in categories such as “passion-centric communities” or online gaming, or for having sold five of his Web 2.0 startups to the likes of Yahoo, AOL or Hearst Interactive.

In September 2007, Jeff announced the formation of SoftTech VC II, L.P. – a $12M seed fund backed by a mix of institutional and private investors that will invest in 40 to 50 consumer Internet companies over 3 years. During its first year of activity, he fund has closed 20+ investments, most of them still operating in stealth/pre-launch mode.

A popular speaker and moderator, Jeff appears at dozens of industry events per year. Ranging from local Silicon Valley keynotes or panel discussions to international conferences, he shares his passion for building Internet startups, angel and VC investing, innovation and entrepreneurship. Jeff has produced a number of technology conferences and is a founding co-chair of the SDForum Search Special Interest Group.

Believing that you have to practice what you invest in, and vice-versa, Jeff started Software Only in 2004, one of the early venture capital blogs where he primarily covered social media, search, online communities and investing. After a few years of active posting, Jeff switched to micro-blogging, and a less time consuming production, mostly using @jeff on Twitter.

Prior to founding SoftTech VC, Jeff spent more than 16 years in the enterprise software world as an entrepreneur, senior executive and venture capitalist. Throughout his career, he was exposed to global markets leading development teams in Europe and on Wall Street, designing products sold internationally and investing in software infrastructure startups across the U.S. and Europe.

In 2000, Jeff became President of RVC Capital, the firm managing the Reuters Greenhouse Fund with $600M invested in 82 companies, including Yahoo!, Verisign, Phone.com and Infoseek. He joined the venture arm of Reuters from the company’s product development division, where he was leading a 250+ staff in Paris, London and New York, and was responsible for the Risk Management and Desktop products. Jeff joined Reuters through the acquisition of Effix Systems, a Paris-based startup company he helped develop in 1989 while still in school.

Jeff was born, raised and educated in France, earning a MS in Computer Science and a research degree in Distributed Computing. He has been happily living in Silicon Valley since 2000 with his wife Bernadette and their two children. When he is not busy working, Jeff likes to spend time with his family and friends, cook, collect wine and wander around Outland on his hunter. He also skies, hikes, dives and plays golf so poorly it is not even funny.

Photo of Ron Conway

Ron Conway

SV Angel

Ronald Conway has been an active angel investor for over 15 years. He was the Founder and Managing Partner of the Angel Investors LP funds (1998-2005) whose investments included: Google, Ask Jeeves, Paypal, Good Technology, Opsware, and Brightmail. He was recently awarded Best Angel at The 2009 TechCrunch Crunchies Awards. He was was named #6 in Forbes Magazine Midas list of top “deal-makers” in 2008 and is actively involved in numerous philanthropic endeavors. Ron was with National Semiconductor Corporation in marketing positions (1973-1979), Altos Computer Systems as a co-founder, President and CEO (1979-1990) and took Altos public on Nasdaq in 1982 and served as CEO of Personal Training Systems (PTS) (1991-1995). PTS was acquired by SmartForce/SkillSoft (Nasdaq SKIL). Ron has served/serves on Boards/Advisory Boards including: Twitter, Digg.com, Bright Mail, Ask Jeeves, Rupture (acquired by EA), Associated Content, Facebook, RockYou, ScanScout, Zappos, Trulia, StumbleUpon, Plaxo (acquired by Comcast), Photobucket (acquired by Fox), and Anchor Intelligence (co-founder).

Philanthropically, Ron is Vice Chairman of the UCSF Medical Foundation in SF, Board Member of The Tiger Woods Foundation, and SF Homeless Connect, and on the Benefit Committee of Ronald McDonald House, College Track, and the Blacked Eyed Peas-PeaPod Academy Foundation.

Photo of Josh Kopelman

Josh Kopelman

First Round Capital

Josh has been an active entrepreneur and investor in the Internet industry since its commercialization. He currently is Managing Partner of First Round Capital, a seed-stage venture fund focused on technology investments.

In 1992, while he was a student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Josh co-founded Infonautics Corporation – an Internet information company. In 1996, Infonautics went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

Josh founded Half.com in July of 1999, and led it to become one of the largest sellers of used books, movies and music in the world. Half.com was acquired by eBay in July 2000 — and Josh remained with eBay for three years, running the Half.com business unit and growing eBay’s Media marketplace to almost half a billion dollars in annual gross merchandise sales.

In late 2003 Josh helped to found TurnTide, an anti-spam company that created the world’s first anti-spam router. TurnTide was acquired by Symantec just six months later.

Josh is an inventor on five U.S. Patents for his work in Internet technology. In June 2000, he was awarded Ernst and Young’s prestigious “Entrepreneur of the Year” award for the Greater Philadelphia region. Josh has also been recognized as one of the “10 Most Influential People in Philadelphia Technology” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the “76 Smartest Philadelphians” by Philadelphia Magazine and as one of forty individuals under the age of forty who have made the biggest impact on the Philadelphia region by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Josh is often quoted in industry trade journals and national newspapers, has appeared on numerous national television shows, and is a frequent speaker at industry-wide conferences on entrepreneurship, Internet marketing and the future of Internet services.

In 2001 Josh and his wife created the Kopelman Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on angel philanthropy to provide “start-up” grants to social entrepreneurs. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Main Line Health, suburban Philadelphia’s most comprehensive healthcare resource, operating four of the region’s most-respected hospitals. He also serves on as a member of the advisory boards for Wharton Entrepreneurial Center and the Weiss Tech House at the University of Pennsylvania.

Josh earned a Bachelor of Science degree cum laude in Entrepreneurial Management and Marketing from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Photo of Paul Graham

Paul Graham

Paul Graham is the author of On Lisp, Ansi Common Lisp, and Hackers & Painters; was co-founder of Viaweb (now Yahoo Store); discovered a simple Bayesian spam filter that inspired many present filters; and is one of the partners in Y Combinator. He has a PhD in computer science from Harvard and studied painting at RISD and the Accademia in Florence.

Co-produced By:

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  • Adobe Systems, Inc.
  • Enterprise Ireland
  • IBM
  • IDA Ireland
  • Juniper Networks
  • Microsoft
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Yahoo! Inc.
  • Accenture
  • CareerBuilder.com
  • iQuestions.com
  • Searchme
  • Socialtext
  • SourceForge.net
  • Microsoft
  • MySpace.com
  • Mohr Davidow Ventures
  • New Enterprise Associates
  • Omidyar Network
  • Panorama Capital
  • Silicon Alley Insider
  • Topix
  • Wired

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