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A group of Silicon Valley geeks, entrepreneurs, & investors dedicated to educating and helping the next generation of internet startups.

November 8th: The Private Company Stock Market

Who needs the public markets? IPOs are so last century. The secondary market for stock in private companies has created an opportunity for shareholders to get liquidity once again, and investors are jumping in head first. But how can companies benefit from the secondary market? How do you sell your shares on a secondary market? How are shares valued, and what are the mechanics behind the secondary market? Or perhaps you’d just like to know how you can buy some of these elusive shares? For good measure we’ll be selling shares of the top five start-ups in Silicon Valley to all attendees! I bet that got your attention, didn’t it? Well, we might not be selling start-ups shares at the event, but Barry Silbert, founder of SecondMarket, will be educating all of us on how we can buy and sell start-up shares of some of the hottest companies by talking about a world he invented six years ago.

Barry Silbert is the Founder and CEO of SecondMarket, the world’s largest marketplace for buying and selling illiquid financial assets, including private company stock. Founded in 2004, SecondMarket has conducted billions of dollars in transactions across nine different asset classes. Since 2009, more than $350 million in private company stock traded over SecondMarket in numerous venture-backed companies, including Facebook, Zynga, Twitter and LinkedIn. SecondMarket’s customized liquidity programs provide private companies with an effective way to organize and control secondary activity in their shares.

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July 29th: The Art of M&A

Please join us for a special evening event at the estate of Woodside Capital partner Kelly Porter. Our newest sponsor, Michael Marquez from CODE Advisors, has assembled six giants of corporate development on one stage: Cisco, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo!

Our discussion will center on the new world of acquisitions. Our esteemed panel will share what each of their companies are looking for, what has and hasn’t worked in the past, and where they see the acquisition landscape going in the future.

Now more than ever we are seeing acquisitions for talent, where teams are purchased and products end of life’d. We are also seeing far more acquisitions where products are rebuilt from scratch inside the new company. As new industries form around mobile and social, companies are transforming themselves by acquiring the focus and momentum of those brave enough to risk tackling new markets. You will likely never see a line up like this again, so RSVP early to reserve your spot in the grand ballroom.

Derek Idemoto, Cisco
Derek Idemoto is the Director of Corporate Development at Cisco Systems, and is responsible for driving Cisco’s strategy, acquisitions and investments across the consumer and digital media markets. Prior to joining Cisco, Derek was Managing Director of Venture Investment for ITOCHU Technology, the Silicon Valley-based technology venture capital investment and business development arm of ITOCHU Corporation. Prior to joining ITOCHU Technology, Derek was Vice President of Corporate Development at Overture Services, the pioneer of commercial search services on the Internet. Derek received a B.S. in finance and marketing from U.C. Berkeley an M.B.A. from The Anderson School at UCLA where he was a Venture Fellow.

Michael Brown, Facebook
Michael Brown is Manager of Corporate Development at Facebook. Mike’s primary responsibilities at Facebook include acquisitions and corporate strategy. Prior to joining Facebook, Mike was a Principal at Foundation Capital, a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley where he led numerous investments in the consumer Internet sector. Mike started his career at McKinsey & Company in the Firm’s San Francisco office. Mike is an investor in and/or active advisor to a number of Silicon Valley companies including Counsyl, RockYou, Structural Wealth Management, Satisfaction Inc., Tapulous, and Brilliant Earth. Mike attended Yale University and Stanford Business School.

Amin Zoufonoun, Google
Amin Zoufonoun joined Google in 2003, and is a senior member of its Corporate Development team, which is responsible for evaluating, negotiating and executing Google’s mergers, acquisitions and investments. He has led several of Google’s key strategic acquisitions and investments both in the U.S. and internationally, including Google’s first acquisition of a publicly traded company (On2). Previous to Google, Amin was a practicing attorney, both in-house and at a number of Silicon Valley law firms. Amin holds bachelors degree in electrical engineering as well as a Juris Doctor (law) degree.

Fritz Lanman, Microsoft
Fritz Lanman is Senior Director in Corporate Strategy and Acquisitions at Microsoft, where his responsibility spans strategy development across Microsoft divisions, advisory to the CFO, CEO and Board of Directors as well as Corporate Development for Board level deals. He especially focuses on Microsoft’s emerging businesses in Search, Advertising, Mobile and Entertainment and he has worked on several large deals for Microsoft including Facebook and Yahoo.

Jessica Verrilli, Twitter
Jessica works on Corporate Development, New Business Development, and Special Projects at Twitter. She has played an influential role in the company’s search partnerships, Series E financing, and acquisitions. She is currently working on new commercial programs and ongoing M&A. Jessica joined Twitter from Venrock, a venture capital firm, where she focused on technology and healthcare investment opportunities. Jessica is a graduate of Stanford University where she was a Division I lacrosse player and a Mayfield Fellow.

Taylor Barada, Yahoo!
In his current role, Taylor works with the Americas and Global Product orgs at Yahoo! leading strategic analysis/execution of acquisitions, divestitures, investments and other strategic relationships. Recent transactions include the sale of Zimbra to VMware and the acquisition of Citizen Sports. Prior to Yahoo! he worked as an investor, consultant, and operator at Rosewood Capital, Bain & Company, and Peregrine Systems. Taylor started his career as a professional soccer player and was a three time National Champion at the University of Virginia while completing his B.A. in History and Foreign Affairs.

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June 24th S2S: The New Venture

The venture capital industry in the midst of a dramatic transition as prominent firms have shut down and new ones have risen. What’s going to happen? Does it change how entrepreneurs should work with Angels and VCs? Does it change how they should choose firms?

We’ve asked three great–and outspoken–investors to give help us figure out what it all means. John Malloy (BlueRun), David Lee (SV Angels) and Steve Harrick (IVP) have invested in startups like PayPal, MySQL, Twitter, Spiceworks, Hunch and Slide. They’ll give a candid inside view into what the landscape looks like now for VCs and what has changed–and what has not changed–in the way that startups should raise money and find partners.

Join us for a lively panel and discussion on the new VC at our first dinner of the summer.

Steve Harrick

Steve Harrick joined Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) in October 2001 and has over twelve years of venture capital experience. He focuses on investing in later-stage technology companies with exceptional growth potential. Steve was recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the top 100 venture capitalists in the world by his inclusion in the 2009 Forbes Midas List. He was also recognized by AlwaysOn as one of the top 100 venture capitalists by his inclusion in the AlwaysOn 2009 VC 100 List.

Steve led IVP’s investments in Aster Data Systems, Business.com (acquired by R.H. Donnelley Corp.), CafePress.com, eHealth (EHTH), MarkMonitor, Motion Computing, MySQL (acquired by Sun Microsystems, Inc.), RGB Networks, Spiceworks, Teros (acquired by Citrix Systems, Inc.), Tripwire, Varolii and WebEx (WEBX). He was actively involved in IVP’s investments in ArcSight (ARST), Danger (acquired by Microsoft Corp.) and Yext. Steve currently serves on the Board of Directors of MarkMonitor and Spiceworks and is a Board Observer for Aster Data Systems, Tripwire and Varolii.

David Lee

David Lee is General Partner of SV Angel, an angel fund that focuses on investments in the consumer Internet, mobile, video and other IT industries. Some current investments include Twitter, Hunch.com, StackOverflow, NowMov and DailyBooth. Prior to SV Angel, he was a partner at Baseline Ventures, a leading seed-stage investment firm with investments in companies like TrialPay, Aardvark (acquired by Google), Heroku and Weebly. He also had business development leadership positions at StumbleUpon and Google, and was an attorney at Morrison and Foerster representing high-tech companies in commercial transactions. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins, NYU (JD) and Stanford (MSEE), where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate fellow.

John Malloy

John is a General Partner and co-founder of BlueRun Ventures, formed in 1998. John’s commitment to entrepreneurs and their market vision is reflected by his thoughtful, passionate and consistent efforts to help founding teams reach the full potential of their endeavors.

John brings global operations and marketing experience into such investment areas as internet services, digital media and mobile broadband services. He has more than 20 years’ experience as an executive, entrepreneur, investor, and director of venture-backed start-ups, and has served on the boards of more than 20 companies. Most notably, he was the first venture investor and board member in Paypal, for which he was named on Forbes’ Midas List of Top Venture Capitalists.

Some of John’s current investments and boards include Chomp, Slide, Topsy, Varolii and FusionOne.

Prior to founding BRV, John served in management and executive roles with Nokia, Go Communications and MCI. He holds a J.D. from George Mason University and B.A. from Boston College.

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Feb. 25: Try this for Lean Startup! With Mark Fletcher

Want to know how Mark Fletcher got 10x more people to help him start his new company at 1/10th the cost of his last one? For our January dinner, we have invited Mark, founder of ONEList (now Yahoo! Groups) and Bloglines, to walk through the choices he made with each startup including the stealth project he is working on right now. From databases to design, hiring to financing, Mark will share his own personal stories of what worked and what didn’t. Most importantly, he’ll share his latest secrets for getting a product up and running on almost nothing.

In 2003, Mark Fletcher started Bloglines, a free web-based news aggregation service. Using Bloglines, users can search, subscribe to, share and publish blogs and RSS feeds. Bloglines was named one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Web Sites for 2004, and was named the Best Blog/Feed Search Engine by the Search Engine Watch Awards in 2005. In February, 2005, Bloglines was acquired by Ask Jeeves, where Mark served as VP & General Manager of Bloglines until May, 2006.

In 1997, Mark started ONElist, a free Internet email list service. To that point, email lists had been difficult to set up and administer. Through ONElist, Mark set out to make email lists available to even novice users. As CEO, Mark raised money from CMGI and Bertelsmann Ventures in 1998. The service was the category leader from the beginning and in November 1999, ONElist acquired eGroups, its main competition. Yahoo acquired the resulting company, renamed eGroups, in June 2000 and the service is now called Yahoo Groups. At acquisition, eGroups served twenty million active users, one million email lists, and sent out over two billion email messages a month, making it one of the largest services on the Internet. Mark served as CEO of ONElist from inception until October 1999 and was CTO until the acquisition by Yahoo.

Prior to ONElist, Mark was a Senior Software Engineer for Sun Microsystems, where he worked on web enabled set top boxes. He came to Sun through the acquisition of Diba, a Menlo Park, CA startup working to develop an embedded web surfing software and hardware system. At Diba, Mark developed key embedded web browser technologies.

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Sylar on Entrepreneurship (or Startup “Heroes” 101)

Beyond its entertainment value, the TV Show “Heroes” provides tremendous lessons in the field of entrepreneurship. Three characters in particular emulate the virtues of startup leaders: Sylar (the killer who steals people’s special powers), the Cheerleader (who heals instantly), and Noah Bennet (the ordinary man who hunts “specials”).

Sylar
Let’s overlook the fact that Sylar cuts people’s heads open to take their powers. The son of a watchmaker, Sylar has an insatiable curiosity to understand how things work. I believe one of the reasons so many great startups are founded by engineers has to do with this trait. Engineers, by the nature of their job, need to understand what makes a product tick. What is possible with this technology? How can I use this to my advantage? Once they absorb a skill, they apply it to new problems in new areas. But whether you are an engineer or a business guy, you must drill into every detail of a product to understand what is possible. Read Joel Spolsky’s My First BillG Review for a great example of this characteristic, as practiced by Bill Gates. Scott Cook was also notorious at Intuit for drilling into the details of unsuspecting product managers and developers. Luckily, we don’t have to tear someone’s skull open to gain their knowledge. But if you aren’t asking every question you can about how everything works, you are handicapping yourself.

The Cheerleader
This one is a simple lesson, albeit a sad one. In a startup you will get knocked down almost every day. People will tell you why your ideas won’t work. Your product will rarely explode into a blockbuster the day you release it. Sometimes team members will leave you. Sometimes competitors will surround you. It sucks. So take a lesson from the Cheerleader, and regenerate as quickly as possible after every injury. If you are still developing new ideas days after old ideas failed, you will likely succeed at one of them. James Hong is well known for Hot or Not, the weekend project that became an overnight sensation. But James worked on at least a dozen startup ideas prior to that. Thankfully he kept at it, or there would be a lot more single people in the world.

Noah Bennet
Bennet is the most impressive of them all. “What?” you say, “He doesn’t even have a special power.” Exactly. Bennet holds his own against people born with amazing natural abilities because his character works harder than every other character on the show. You do not have to be that genius who gets straight A’s with no effort, you just have to out work that guy. Want proof? Just ask Dave McClure, the country bumpkin from West Virginia who is still online at 5am out running all of you. If people telling you something can’t be done makes you want to fight even harder to prove them wrong, you’re on your way.

Let’s summarize Entrepreneurship 101 as taught by our “Heroes”: Slice open products and understand them, with each startup attempt heal quickly, and out work those “specials”.

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Jan 21: Matt Blumberg Shares the Story of Return Path and Best Practices in Email Deliverability

For our January Startup2Startup, we have invited Matt Blumberg, Cofounder, CEO, and Chairman of Return Path to speak. Matt will share the Return Path story, startup lessons learned, and best practices in email deliverability.

Email is a critical component of how companies communicate with their customers and prospective customers, whether for marketing purposes or as part of the product’s user experience. While writing good copy helps achieve email success, the best copy in the world is worthless if the email doesn’t reach its recipient. Despite its importance, email deliverability remains a black box for most entrepreneurs. Come hear Matt Blumberg demystify email deliverability and share best practices he’s learned building Return Path’s leading email solution.

Matt Blumberg

Matt Blumberg founded Return Path in 1999 because he believed the world needed email to work better. Matt is passionate about enhancing the online relationship between email subscribers and marketers so that both sides of the equation benefit. It is with great pride that he has watched this initial creation grow to a company of 150 employees with the market leading brand, innovative products, and the email industry’s most renowned experts.

Before Return Path, Matt ran marketing, product management, and the internet group for MovieFone, Inc. (later acquired by AOL). Prior to that he served as an associate with private equity firm General Atlantic Partners and was a consultant with Mercer Management Consulting. He holds a B.A. from Princeton University.

You can learn more about Matt by reading his email marketing and entrepreneurship blog Only Once – one of the first CEO blogs on the Internet.

If you want to brush up before Matt’s talk, review the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s definitions of email campaign performance metrics.

Startup2Startup is a group of Silicon Valley geeks, entrepreneurs, and investors dedicated to educating and helping the next generation of internet startups. We meet monthly over dinner to discuss relevant topics in technology and entrepreneurship, connect with new people and companies, and share our knowledge and experience.

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December 2: The *Real-Time* Holiday Roast of Robert Scoble (aka The 2009 Startup2Startup Holiday Party)

Except for a minor financial crisis, 2009 was a great year. Now it’s time to celebrate.

In 2009, Startup2Startup hosted the following amazing speakers: Amy Jo Kim, Jeff Veen, Tony Hsieh, Steve Blank, Eric Ries, Randi Zuckerberg, Steve Grove, Chris Sacca, Mark Pincus, Geoff Ralston, Jason Calacanis, Guy Kawasaki, Jack Herrick, Gil Penchina, David Weekly, Jeff Hammerbacher & Roger Magoulas.

And now we bring you: The Real-Time Holiday Roast of Robert Scoble… Robert is the undisputed Crown Prince of Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook, Online Video, and most every other bleeding edge technology you haven’t quite heard of yet. Join us for some good-natured fun at Robert’s expense, along with several surprise roasters who will put him on the hot seat. We’ll also announce a few choice predictions and crystal-ball gazing for 2010. We hope you’ll enjoy our holiday celebration

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Nov 10: Jeff Hammerbacher from Cloudera, Roger Magoulas from O’Reilly on Big Data

Our topic for November is Big Data. Big and small companies have always tried to figure out how to store, organize and manage the data that they create and capture. Now that there are massive, ever growing new data sources from internal clickstreams to external twitter feeds, companies are overwhelmed with data. But some startups, unsaddled by old architectures and preconceived notions, are taking advantage of the combination of enormous new data sources, cheap storage and new analysis tools and techniques in order to change their product, their customers and their businesses. For this month’s dinner and the final regular meeting of the year, we’ve invited Jeff Hammerbacher, Chief Scientist at Cloudera and the founder of Facebook’s Data team, and Roger Magoulas, director of market research at O’Reilly, to talk about Big Data.

Jeff Hammerbacher
Jeff Hammerbacher is Chief Scientist and VP of Products at Cloudera. He was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Accel Partners immediately prior to joining Cloudera. Before Accel, he conceived, built, and led the Data team at Facebook. The Data team was responsible for driving many of the applications of statistics and machine learning at Facebook, as well as building out the infrastructure to support these tasks for massive data sets. The team produced two open source projects: Hive, a system for offline analysis built above Hadoop, and Cassandra, a structured storage system on a P2P network. Before joining Facebook, Jeff was a quantitative analyst on Wall Street. Jeff earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Harvard University.

Roger Magoulas
Roger Magoulas is Research Director at O’Reilly Media. Magoulas runs a team that is building an open source analysis infrastucture and provides analysis services, including technology trend analysis, to business decision-makers at O’Reilly and beyond. In previous incarnations, Magoulas designed and implemented data warehouse projects for organizations ranging from the San Francisco Opera to the Alberta Motor Club.

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