2008 Entrepreneurship Conference: Details of Sessions

Click on the links for video files. Further video files will be added when available.

Photo of Gil PenchinaKeynote Speaker: Gil Penchina, CEO, Wikia

Accompanying news article: Startups Learn to Roll With the Punches


Session 1:

Search Funds (Panel)
Moderator: Jim Ellis, Lecturer, Stanford GSB. Panelists: Lew Davies, Cambria Group; Christian Lawrence; Michael Meaney; Rick Taketa, SCRMA.
Search funds are a mechanism whereby an aspiring entrepreneur raises a sum of money to fund them while they look for a company to buy. The investors in this original fund have a pro-rata first right of refusal to invest in the acquisition. Hear some 'search funders' and investors talk about their experience with this unique entrepreneurial model spawned at the GSB.

Choose a founding partner or do it alone (Panel)
Moderator: Chuck Holloway, Stanford GSB. Panelists: Amanda Reed, Palomar Ventures; Carl Showalter, Opus Capital; Jorge Fernandes, Mobibucks; Tony Levitan, Lexy.
You frequently hear strong opinions on either side of the fence that one definitely should or definitely should not have a business partner when starting a business. Hear from entrepreneurs who have had both success and struggles with partnerships and investors who invest in them.

Early Stage Sales (Panel)
Moderator: Jim Lattin,Stanford GSB. Panelists: Mark Selcow, Merced Systems; Brad Stroh, Freedom Financial Network & Bills.com; Andy Laats, Nixon Watches; Elizabeth Carducci, Medallia.
You had an idea, you get it to a product stage, and you are ready for customers. How do you make that first sale when you are a 'no name' on the market? How do you leverage those early sales into a strong sales curve?

Culture (Presentation)
Speaker: Joel Peterson, Stanford GSB
When starting a new venture it’s easy to get consumed with the tasks ahead of you in making this a reality. But if you don’t give careful thought to how you interact with those around, particularly those on your team, you may be setting a culture without knowing it. What can you do to positively impact the culture for the long term in these very early days, and what should you be careful not to do, to negatively impact the culture? Hear one of the most popular professors at Stanford Business School lead a discussion on these issues based on his experience as the Managing Partner of Trammell Crow as well as investor and board member of many newly formed and growing companies, including JetBlue.

Legal Issues Part 1 (Presentation)
Speaker: Allison Leopold Tilley, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
Entrepreneurs are most passionate and excited about their idea and bringing it to market. But not to be ignored are the legal issues in making this happen. Topics discussed in this session are:

* Leaving your current company clean
* What form of incorporation is best for your company, or should you be a sole proprietor
* How should you structure employee stock options

Session 2:

Funding Strategies (Panel)
Moderator: Garth Saloner, Stanford GSB. Panelists: Shanda Bahles, El Dorado Ventures; Mike Maples, Maples Investments;
John Gengarella, Voxify; Chuck Siegel, Charles Chocolates.

Living in Silicon Valley, we tend to develop a bias that the only way to entrepreneurial success is through venture capital investing. But how do you get the VC money? What are the other options to VC funds? How should your objectives drive the source of funding you seek?

Business Plans (Presentation)
Speaker: Jim Goetz, Sequoia Capital
You have an idea and you want to get going. But you hear that a business plan is a critical part of the next step. What are the components of a business plan that you need to develop? How much detail do you need to go into? How do you distribute it?

Monetizing Web 2.0 (Panel)
Moderator: Mark Zawacki, Milestone Group. Panelists: Kelly Cutler, Marcel Media; James Slavet, Greylock Partners; Ted Burns, 4Info.
Rumor has it that it is now much easier to go from idea to product, particularly as it relates to software and internet products. How does one benefit from this presumed acceleration through outsourcing?

Top 10 Mistakes that Entrepreneurs Make
Speaker: Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stanford GSB.
So what things typically trip up an entrepreneur in starting and running a company? Is it getting the right business partner? Is it having the killer technology? You may be surprised, but come learn how you can (maybe) avoid these mistakes. Jeff Pfeffer, Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Business School, and one of our most popular faculty compiled this presentation after conducting systematic research as well as collecting observations as a board member and company advisor.
Not available on video.

Legal Issues Part 2 (Presentation).
This session was cancelled. Link here for further legal resources.