Bootcamp seminar, Feb 28-29 SEA

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From: Rohit Khare (
Date: Wed Feb 23 2000 - 23:44:37 PST

[$299 for .edu registrations; $1.100 at the door. I'm going.]

Attention. Join's two-day Bootcamp for Startups. Learn the
fundamentals of taking your company from startup to IPO. Hear from
the high tech industry's top investors, experts, and entrepreneurs.
Gain invaluable information about raising capital, building a buzz,
hiring top talent, and launching your product.

For this year's Bootcamp for Startups series, has
recruited many acclaimed and dynamic industry speakers. In addition, will host various moderated panel discussions covering
vital startup topics ranging from pitching business ideas to
potential investors to building a solid management team.

Conference Agenda for February 28 (Day 1)
(Agenda and speakers subject to change.)

Registration and Continental Breakfast 6:30-7:35
Arrive early to get your conference badge and materials as well as
your pick of the best seats in the house!

Basic Training 7:45-8:45
How to turn a good idea into a great company. In this session, industry pros who help create new companies every day explain how to start a company, pick key investors, and start off on the right foot.

Greg Bailes
technology partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Doug Brown
partner, Paladin Partners

Bill Ericson
partner, Venture Law Group

Jason Hancock
partner, Heidrick and Struggles

Art Hiemstra
executive vice president, Silicon Valley Bank

Guy Kawasaki
moderator, CEO,

Infomediaries 8:45-9:30
          John Hagel
partner, McKinsey and Company

Break 9:30-10:00

Business Development 101 10:00-11:00
Learn how to find the right partners and how to create alliances and biz dev deals that rock. Our panelists will share their experiences with you.

Stephen Babson
partner, Stoel Rives

Steve Baloff
general partner, Advanced Technology Ventures

David Boker
director, venture business development,
KPMG Consulting

Wyatt Starnes
CEO, Tripwire, Inc

Guy Kawasaki
moderator, CEO,

Life's a Pitch 11:00-12:00
Hear from a world-class panel of venture capitalists about the
process of raising money. This panel reveals how to get your plan
read, what VCs are looking for, and how to pass due diligence. Peter
Netbatsu development officer, Softbank Ventures

Zack Herlick
partner, Maveron

Warren Packard
partner, Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Mike Stanek
VP Entrepreneur Development,

Dennis Weston
senior managing director, Fluke Capital

Guy Kawasaki
moderator, CEO,

Lunch 12:00-1:15

Perfecting Your Pitch 1:15-2:00
Learn how to craft the best possible pitch in the shortest possible time. This session will take you through the process of creating a compelling elevator pitch, executive summary, and company overview presentation.

Bill Joos
vice president business development,

On the Firing Line 2:00-3:00
Find out what it's like to start a company right now. This panel of in-process entrepreneurs talk about raising capital, building alliances, signing up customers, and recruiting employees in today's marketplace.

Frank Barbieri
director of business development,

Mike Fridgen

Anne Gordon
CEO, eSociety

Laurie Kretchmar
vice president programming and editor in chief,

Mike O'Donnell

Guy Kawasaki
moderator, CEO,

Break 3:00-3:30

Human Capital:
The War for Talent 3:30-4:00
The good news is that you got funded. The bad news is that you can't find good people to hire.'s "human capitalist" (a.k.a., executive headhunter) explains the ins and outs of hiring people in an employee's market.

Amy Vernetti
human capitalist,

The Gorilla Game 4:00-4:45
          Geoffrey Moore
venture partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures

Reception 4:45-7:00
Drinks, treats and networking

Conference Agenda for February 29 (Day 2)

Continental Breakfast 7:30-8:20
Such a Deal! 8:30-9:00
Don't know the difference between a cap table and a craps table? Then get the straight scoop about capital structure, valuation, dilution, options, classes of stock, bridge loans, and due diligence.

Bill Reichert

Success Stories 9:00-10:00
Why re-invent the wheel when successful entrepreneurs can tell you what they did along the road to success? Instead, tap into the wisdom of executives from Microsoft, Apple, Sun, and CitySearch in this panel.

Carmen Bal
former vice president product management, CitySearch

Paul Brainerd
president, The Brainerd Foundation and founder of Aldus Corporation

Joe Graziano
former CFO of Apple and Sun Microsystems

Mike Murray
former vice president HR and Administration, Microsoft

Guy Kawasaki
moderator, CEO,

Break 10:00-10:30

The Next Big Thing 10:30-11:00
Learn about the trends that will shape the Internet and capital markets from one of Wall Street's preeminent analysts.

Michael Parekh
managing director, Internet Group, Goldman Sachs

Touched by an Angel 11:00-12:00
Studies show that angel investors invest twice as much money every year as do venture capitalists. Learn how to get to and close today's new breed of angel investors.

Kevin Cable
founder and principal, Cascadia Capital

Julie Constantin
co-founder, Constantin Partners

Tom Hughes
partner, Cedar Grove Investments

Jon Staenberg
managing partner, Staenberg Private Capital

Mary Ann Cusenza
moderator, CFO,

Lunch 12:00-1:15

A Modern Jock Should Not Itch 1:15-1:45

Tinker Hatfield
vice president design, Nike

Let's Do Launch 1:45-2:45
Learn from the pros how to break out of the pack and generate buzz for your startup. This session covers working with the press, analysts, and PR firms to launch your company and your product.

Paul Andrews
technology columnist, Seattle Times

Donna Gibbs
senior vice president, The Weber Group

Joan Hamilton
columnist, BusinessWeek

Roberta Jacobs
president, CobaltCard

Guy Kawasaki
moderator, CEO,

Break 2:45-3:15

The Clear Field 3:15-4:00

Joe Costello
chairman and CEO, think3, former CEO, Cadence Design Systems

 From the Garage to the Penthouse 4:00-4:30
You've gotten capital, and now you're off to the races. But how do you handle areas like finance, HR, and operations? Learn how to progress from the garage to the penthouse in this session.

Mary Ann Cusenza

Rules for Revolutionaries 4:30-5:15
A complete and pragmatic guide to the creation and marketing of revolutions. Learn the rules that make products and services successful in the New Economy.

Guy Kawasaki

Wrap Up 5:15-5:30
Guy Kawasaki


Tales from Startup Boot Camp
Inside Upside
September 14, 1999
You're sitting around in your cubicle, frustrated as hell. Your boss
is clueless, you're already working at your third startup, and now
you're ready to be the Big Cheese. You know you could create a great
company, if only you could figure out what the Next Big Thing will be.

I've got it! Forget electronic commerce. Everyone's been there and
done that. The real opportunity is the electronic garage.

Think about it. The biggest business opportunity today has got to be
company incubation. There are more entrepreneurs out there than
hairdressers. They're looking for funding, but it's hard to meet with
VCs without having proper connections. The VCs have a ton of cash,
but they have trouble finding the best entrepreneurs. Each VC firm
goes through thousands of business plans a year and funds about 12 of
them. Voila! Faster than you can say "market maker" you can smell the
next growth business--connecting VCs to entrepreneurs.

But there's one problem. Someone has beat you to it. Several someones, in fact.
One of the better known of such companies,, is holding its
"Bootcamp for Startups" through Tuesday in South San Francisco, where
the conference facilities are relatively cheap, but still close
enough to Silicon Valley and San Francisco to pretend it has cachet.
I decided to check it out Monday. They charge $700--cheap enough for
prefunded entrepreneurs to come in and listen to advice about
launching a company.

Earlier this year, the first boot camp drew about 500 entrepreneurs,
a terrific showing for a first-time conference. Monday's show drew
about 1,000 people. And this in an industry where there are so many
conferences you probably see George Gilder more than you see your own
kids. has already raised $72 million in financing for 21
companies since January. The biggest deal--$12 million--went to itself. The company used Monday's forum to announce that
it had raised its own investment round from E-Trade, Advanced
Technology Partners, Mayfield Fund and Credit Suisse First Boston. At
least this shoemaker's kids aren't going barefoot.

I have to admit that, at first, I was skeptical about's
business plan. The basic idea was to get people to send in business
plans, weed out the worst ones (mostly those involving alien
visitations or e-commerce strategies), then post them on a private
Web site where VCs can browse around for new ideas or even new
companies to fund. That seems like a sketchy benefit to an industry
that is mostly centered on connections.

But I could see where the motivation came from.
co-founders Guy Kawasaki and Rich Karlgaard (the publisher of Forbes
magazine) started with a completely different model. They wanted to
start a site called, which would focus on individual
cities around the globe and give people advice about how to do
business in them. One aspect of the business was advising people how
to find funding to start a company in that city.

They took the idea to a friend, Craig Johnson, founder of Venture Law
Group, for feedback. He didn't like it. But as someone who reads
through a lot of business plans himself, referring potential clients
to VCs, he focused on that funding aspect of the plan and suggested
they redirect their efforts to create a business that would help VCs
do that screening for a fee.

Now seems to be taking off. The main reason? Just as the
founders were able to take Johnson's advice and redirect the company
from the start, they are also refining their business model as time
goes on.
Kawasaki now admits that most of what the company does is exploit its
connections to introduce people and to help entrepreneurs whip their
business plans into shape. It is not an automated, electronic meeting
place, but a good, old-fashioned consulting business. The one
electronic advantage Kawasaki claims is that the business plans come
into the Web site in a standard, electronic form, so it's easy to
screen a lot of them.'s connections have solidified with the new group of
investors, who have plenty of incentive. Credit Suisse is probably
looking for companies it can help take public, and E-Trade is
probably searching for ones it can try to woo for the first day of
trading, perhaps handing out friends and family stock to some of its
electronic traders.

And now, of course, also has the conference business to
pull in the ever-growing number of entrepreneurs. It manages to draw
a crowd by exploiting its connections to bring in some interesting
speakers. George Gilder wasn't there, however.

Well, as someone who writes for a free Web site, I'll do my part and
give you some of the highlights of the conference and save you the
700 bucks.

During a basic training session, Craig Johnson gave a really sound
piece of advice: Sequence! There are a million things you need to do
to start a company. You should not only figure out what those things
are, but in what order to do them. If you miss a critical step or two
along the way, instead of building a better toaster, you're toast.
That's one of the things these lawyers, bankers, VCs and market
makers should be able to help you with. Sometimes, it's just
difficult to get your priorities right.

Several of the venture capitalists at the conference also gave the
first coherent answer to the ever-present entrepreneur's question,
"How do I get in to see you if I don't have connections?" The obvious
answer, of course, is that you don't. But don't underestimate your
own connections. It's a 6 degrees of separation thing. Talk to former
employers, business acquaintances, your MBA professor, anyone who may
be able to vouch for your credibility. Find out who they know. Maybe
they can introduce you to a lawyer who knows Craig Johnson.

What's the biggest mistake entrepreneurs tend to make? I liked the
answer from Jim Atwell from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, a man with a
sense of humor so dry I'd like to recruit him as CEO for my new
company: "Hiring wimps for managers." You need people who can make
the tough decisions. The worst mistake is a CFO who's afraid to say
no to the CEO.

How do you determine what your revenues will be for the first four
years? Most entrepreneurs come in with the same far-fetched
projection: $2 million, $12 million, $20 million and $65 million.
Magdalena Yesil at U.S. Venture Partners suggests you don't use that

The real highlight of the morning, however, was Geoffrey Moore,
author of Crossing the Chasm and Inside the Tornado, and now a
venture capitalist at Mohr, Davidow Ventures. He outlined two basic
value propositions for a startup, the "Competitive Advantage Gap,"
which he refers to as the GAP, and the "Competitive Advantage
Period," which he calls the CAP. The GAP measures how far ahead of
your competition you are and indicates a good short-term advantage.
The CAP indicates how long you can keep that advantage--things like
barriers to entry and customer loyalty. The combination of these two
factors indicates the value of your company.
Netscape Communications, for example, had first-to-market advantage.
That's a good GAP. But it had no unique technology advantage to keep
it ahead, and Microsoft took over--a lousy CAP. Thus, Netscape had an
incredibly high initial valuation but lost value over time.

Moore went on to list different factors a business might have and
rated whether they had high or low GAP and CAP. A portal play, for
example, scores medium in both categories. Establishing a de facto
standard on the Web gets high marks on both counts. Everyone around
me was diligently copying down the table he projected on the screen,
probably measuring how well their own companies stack up.

His best line, though, was noting that the Internet is clearly a
tornado, and nobody wants to sit it out. So the most popular
entrepreneurial strategy seems to be "Tornado diving." Figuratively,
it's jumping off a tall building and hoping the tornado will catch
you. Says Moore: "If it works, the results are impressive. If it
doesn't work, the results are also impressive."

Now those are words to live by. Look at it this way: If you hit the
pavement, you can always set yourself up as a consultant advising
other entrepreneurs how not to do it.

Experience and connections are everything.

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