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If you happen to live in North Carolina or regularly attend the CED Venture Conference (the Southeast US’s longest running early stage company financing conference), come say hello to me on April 21st. I’ll be spending the day at the conference and am speaking on a panel from 1:30pm to 2:45pm. We don’t yet appear to have a panel title, but the other participants are Dana Callow (Boston Millennia Partners), Noel Fenton (Trinity Ventures), Todd Forrest (Hummer Winblad), and Patrick Kerins (NEA). I don’t think I’ve ever been on a panel with any of them before (although I’m pretty certain I’ve fixed Dana Callow’s computer a few times back during my Feld Technologies days), so I’m looking forward to having some fun bwahahahahahahahaha.
On Thursday, March 18th (during CU Entrepreneurship Week) there is going to be a great Silicon Flatirons Conference on “The Role of Place”. Brad Bernthal, who is chairing the conference, leads with a great quote from Harvard Professor and Monitor Group co-founder Michael Porter.
"Paradoxically, the enduring competitive advantages in a global economy lie increasingly in local things – knowledge, relationships, and motivation – that distant rivals cannot match."
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this personally given all my work around the Boulder entrepreneurial community, TechStars, Foundry Group’s investments in different parts of the US, and the Startup Visa initiative.
I’ll be on the first panel titled Entrepreneurial Immigration Policy with Lance Nagel (partner in Morgan, Lewis & Bockius’ Labor and Employment Practice) and Vivek Wadhwa (Senior Research Associate, Labor & Worklife Program at Harvard Law School and an Adjunct Professor at the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering). I expect we’ll get a good chance to cover plenty of ground, including several of the incredible immigrant entrepreneur loci and projects like the Startup Visa initiative.
The second panel is Place and Iteration: Lessons From Storage and includes several folks who have been involved in the Boulder “storage ecosystem” over the past 30 years, including Jesse Aweida (founder of StorageTek) and Kyle Lefkoff (general partner of Boulder Ventures, who has invested in several Boulder storage companies over the years including McData and LeftHand Networks). Jim Linfield (partner at Cooley Godward, the founder of Cooley’s Colorado office, and counsel for a number of Colorado storage companies) will be anchoring the panel.
The third panel is Innovation and The Architecture of Geography and will explore broader lessons and insight concerning the role of place, regional architecture, and innovation.
Once again, my friends at Silicon Flatiron have put together a rich conference on a very important and timely topic. It’s taking place at the Wittemyer Courtroom, Wolf Law Building, University of Colorado on Thursday, March 18, 2010 from 2:30PM to 6:30PM. Register now and come join us.
If you are in Seattle and interested in startups, entrepreneurship, venture capital, or TechStars, I’ll be in Seattle having a party with up to around 150 people to talk about these topics. T.A. McCann of Gist and Dave Schappell of TeachStreet have pulled this together – we’ll be doing it on Wednesday February 25th from 6pm to 8:30pm at the Palace Ballroom at 2100 5th Avenue in Seattle.
I’m going to spend the evening talking about my views on entrepreneurship, especially around early stage companies in today’s environment. I’ll provide a detailed view of TechStars and how/why it’s been working, along with an explanation about how I think about early stage VC investing. The evening with be heavily Q&A oriented – I’m open to any questions about anything.
We’ll have beer (and food) at the event. There’s a $5.99 fee (admission plus one drink) which will be donated to Seattle-based Vittana, an early-stage non-profit lead by a small group of ex-Amazonians who are building an education microfinance company. The event cost is being kept to a minimum thanks to the generous support of:
- Beacon Law Advisors: Beacon works with startups — end of story. We’re a Seattle-based boutique firm of seasoned corporate, transactional, and technology attorneys who also have significant operating, in-house and entrepreneurial experience. Current clients include: MindBloom, TeachStreet, Vittana, and many more.
- The Microsoft Strategic & Emerging Business Team (SEBT) supports early stage and established software startups developing on the Microsoft platform. SEBT helps develop and grow local software economies worldwide through programs like Microsoft BizSpark, a global program for startups that provides fast, easy access to current full-featured Microsoft development tools and production licenses with no upfront costs and minimal requirements.
- Square 1 Bank specializes in providing financial services to entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. We help growing companies and their investors navigate financial obstacles by providing access to funds and expertise. Our customized product offerings and unrivaled team of venture banking specialists provide a banking experience designed exclusively for you. We are entrepreneurs serving entrepreneurs.
I’ve been a long time investor in companies in Seattle and have many friends there especially given all of my interactions with Microsoft dating back to 1990 when my first company – Feld Technologies – was a member of the inaugural Microsoft Solution Provider program. I’m currently on the board of Impinj and a personal investor in AdReady and Foundry Group is an investor in Smith & Tinker so we love to hang out in Seattle, especially when it’s sunny.
As a reader of this blog, if you are around, I’d love to see you so register and come have a beer with me and 150 of my new friends.