I’m honored to have recently been elected to the national Board of this terrific 30-year-old nonprofit organization, which is focused on fostering high school completion, college access and college completion for underprivileged children. The Foundation’s 30th Anniversary ‘Spirit of the Dream’ Gala is Tuesday evening, June 14, 2011. Click here for more information. This year’s Honorees include former NJ Governor Tom Kean, Shmuel Meitar (founder of Time To Know) and Stuart Udell (CEO of Catapult Learning and Chair of the National Dropout Prevention Center). We expect to have over 500 guests including leaders in the educational reform movement.
If you’ll be in or around the NYC area in mid-June, please consider attending the Gala. If you’d like to learn more about the Foundation in general, please feel free to contact me.
Jeff Fromm’s Panel Featured in April 8th News Segment about the US/Israel Venture Summit (The Jewish Channel)
I’m pleased to report that my panel was featured in a news segment about the The US/Israel Venture Summit, in an April 8th broadcast of The Jewish Channel. A link to the section of a YouTube video covering the panel is below. Fast forward to the 8:31 minute mark in the video.
I’m pleased to announce that Dorsey & Whitney is the Diamond Sponsor of the US/Israel Venture Summit, now in its 5th year, which is being held at Digital Sandbox in downtown NYC on Wednesday, March 30th. This conference will bring together over 50 venture capital firms and over 300 attendees including entrepreneurs, investment bankers and professional advisors, all interested in the activities of cutting-edge Israeli companies in the United States. This year’s conference will include companies from three major tracks that correspond nicely with Dorsey’s areas of expertise:
- Technology – see Dorsey’s Technology, Internet and e-Commerce Industry Group
- Life Sciences – see Dorsey’s Life Sciences Industry Group
- Cleantech – see Dorsey’s Cleantech Industry Group
I will be moderating the 9:00am panel, The Changing Venture World: How Does It Affect Israeli Startups?, which will feature VCs from Lux Capital, iNovia Capital, Canaan Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Clarian Health Ventures, DFJ Gotham Ventures, and Robert Bosch Venture Capital.
Mike Moyer will moderate the 3:00pm panel, Solid Clean-Tech Deals Investors Will Fund, which will feature VCs from Sail Venture Partners, Greenhouse Capital Partners, Good Energies, WAVE Equity Partners, Signal Lake, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers.
Steve Khadavi will moderate the 4:30pm panel, The Venture Roadmap: What Israeli Startups Need to Know To Attract US Capital, which will feature VCs from Mass Medical Angels, LaunchCapital, Rock Spring Ventures, Bridge Investment Fund, BD Technologies, Chart Venture Partners, and Highland Capital Partners.
Five members of Dorsey’s Israel Practice Group are planning to be at the US/Israel Venture Summit:
- Gary Abelev, Intellectual Property Group (Patent Strategy, Prosecution and Enforcement)
- Jeff Fromm, Corporate Group (Venture Capital, M&A and Emerging Companies – particularly technology companies)
- Mark Kaster, Regulatory Affairs Group (Risk Management, Health and Safety, Business Transactions)
- Steve Khadavi, Corporate Group (M&A, Capital Markets and Public Companies)
- Mike Moyer, Corporate Group (Venture Capital, M&A and Emerging Companies – particularly cleantech companies)
If you would like to discuss this conference or learn more about our capabilities with respect to cross-border business with Israeli companie and investors, please feel free to contact any of us.
Reprinted from Matt Bartus’s blog, A View From The Valley. Posted there on October 12, 2010.
Today the Palo Alto office of Dorsey & Whitney released the results of a survey we conducted of startup founders and CEOs about the criteria they use to select investors. The full survey can be downloaded here and a press release about the survey’s key findings was released today here.
Many people have asked us why we conducted the survey. First and foremost, we wanted to get a snapshot of the early stage financing market to determine if the trends we are seeing in our own practice of representing startup companies and investors matches up with broader trends in the market (and it did).
Second, a lot of the talk in blogs and popular press about the different types of investors and the purported competition of Angels vs. Super Angels vs. VCs has focused on how investors define themselves. We wanted to give entrepreneurs a voice to express what is important to them and how they view investors. We think the results speak loud and clear.
First, some information about the survey:
- The survey was conducted online over a 4-week period. We had 363 respondents that completed the survey. Participants were automatically registered to win an iPad, which went to Hiten Shah of KISSmetrics (congratulations Hiten!).
- 42% of survey respondents were based in the San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley region, with 20% international and the rest distributed throughout the U.S. All respondents had either raised funds over the past 12 months and/or were planning to raise funds within the next 12 months.
- Respondents represented a range of sectors, spanning IT infrastructure, software, gaming, life sciences/biotech, and green tech/energy. However the majority of startups participating in the survey were in the consumer Internet, cloud computing/SaaS or mobile sectors, 34%, 17% and 13%, respectively.
While CEOs still find traditional deal terms like valuation, dilution, liquidation preferences and board control as very important elements in completing a deal, the survey illustrated the importance of other criteria. Following are some of the findings:
- 91% ranked the speed at which the deal can get done as “somewhat important” to “very important.” >tweet this stat<
- 92% ranked whether the investor understands the startup’s funding requirements and encourages them to not take more or less than what the business requires as “somewhat important” to “very important.” >tweet this stat<
- While valuation rated important, a full 32% of CEOs said that this factor was only “somewhat important” to “not important.” >tweet this stat<
- 64% of the respondents are seeking $1 million or less in funding, underscoring the new funding requirements of today’s tech startups. >tweet this stat<
- 48% of respondents ranked prior relationships with an investor as “not important.” >tweet this stat<
- The perception of the investor’s brand does not appear to carry the same prestige and value with today’s entrepreneurs. Approximately 75% thought that a tier-one “brand name” VC was only “somewhat important” to “not important.” >tweet this stat<
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We hope that people find the survey results informative. It’s an interesting time to be working with early-stage startups and the technology industry in general. We think the survey provided a helpful overview of what early-stage startups founders and CEOs are looking for from investors and where those needs are being met.
We welcome any feedback or input people have so please drop us a line or note.
– Matt Bartus & Ted Hollifield
I wanted to memorialize the passing of Gail Koff, a long-time client and friend, on August 31st. Gail quietly fought a type of Leukemia for more than 10 years, yet due to her strength and love of life the people around her never thought her final day could be so soon.
Gail was one of the founding partners of Jacoby & Meyers, which started more than 35 years ago as a law firm for the average citizen. Gail had many ups and downs at her firm during that period, but never dropped her focus on trying to improve the world through her legal services. She also spent a great deal of time and energy on the boards of non-profit organizations and educational institutions such as Bank Street College and The Calhoun School.
The New York Times wrote an obituary here. The Wall Street Journal wrote a remembrance piece about Gail here. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog covered her passing here. Death notices in the New York Times are here.
On a personal note, this is the first time I had a client who became a friend pass away and I find myself very saddened by it. Gail was truly an inspiration with her strength, vision, perseverance, commitment to social causes, and love of family, friends and life. I consider myself very fortunate to have known her and will truly miss her.
Rest in peace, Gail.