The decision of taking your startup from early-stage to venture-backed will change the dynamics of pretty much everything in your company. How do you decide when you’re ready to seek investment? How do you make the most of your time with prospective investors? What can you start preparing for the transition? How can you work most effectively with the new board members joining your startup? When is the time to start thinking about an exit?
These are all difficult questions that only seasoned investors and entrepreneurs who have seen the day-to-day reality of life in a venture-backed startup can help you start thinking about. This Masterclass brings together practical advice on what you should be considering every step of the way and provide you with case studies of venture-backed startups which have been particularly successful.
This Masterclass is aimed at startup founders and to-be founders who are considering approaching investors as well as those who are already venture-backed and looking for real-life insights into growing their startup towards high valuation.
6:00pm Doors open
6:15pm Alan Wallace, Octopus Ventures
“Winning the Hearts and Minds of Venture Capitalists”
Alan will explain what makes a startup special to a VC and what makes their current portfolio companies so compelling. He’ll also tell you what some of those terms VCs are famous for saying *actually* mean.
7:00pm Andrey Kessel
“Case study: getting to a $1bn startup”
Andrey will present the story of Solexa, a DNA sequencing company that achieved huge success as a business and raised significant amounts of cash in the process. Andrey will tell the “behind the scenes” story of how this tremendous company came to achieve a valuation of over $1bn.
7:45pm Mark Davis, Kohort
“10 Things You Need to Know About Fundraising”
Mark has been on both sides of the table as a VC and a startup CEO. He’ll be running through things a textbook will never teach you: the mindset you need to adopt to be a successful fundraiser and sharing tips on how to do venture maths, decide between debt or equity, and how to play the game to gain maximum interest from investors. Mark will join us via video-link from New York.
8:10pm Ryan Kiskis, BaseKit
“You’ve got seed funding… now what?”
Drawing upon a wealth of experience, Ryan will take you through what A/B investors will be looking for, what you should consider when raising later rounds of funding and how the extra investment will affect you and your team.
8:30pm Networking & drinks
About the speakers
Alan Wallace, Investment Director, Octopus Ventures
Alan focuses on sourcing deal flow, evaluating and assessing potential investee companies and portfolio management. He has represented Octopus on the boards of True Knowledge, LoveFilm, Zoopla, Steribottle, and PrismaStar.
Prior to joining Octopus, he held senior marketing and general management positions at Sara Lee UK Ltd, Rank Hovis McDougall, and Cambridge Nutrition Holdings Ltd. He was also managing director of Dairy Crest and Premier Brands (Hillsdown) and Market Planning Director for GUS. He has over fifteen years’ general management experience.
Alan has a PhD in Management Science from Manchester University and graduated with a BA in Economics from Liverpool University.
Andrey Kessel, Entrepreneur and Investor
Andrey’s experience is a combination of investing into and working in startups. He is currently spending his time working with early stage companies, venture funds, incubators or interesting venture opportunities. Previously, during his time with Amadeus Capital Partners, one of blue-chip venture funds, Andrey has worked as an investor and Board member with a number of investments, mergers, exits, company development, etc. Prior to Amadeus, Andrey gained substantial operational experience in technology start-ups, which covered most aspects of establishing and running a business, business development, managing offices, teams or projects.
Andrey co-founded several startups and is a shareholder and/or advisor of several companies and investment funds.
Mark Davis, CEO & Co-FOunder, Kohort
Mark is the CEO and Co-Founder of Kohort. He is also a Venture Partner at High Peaks Venture Partners. He blogs (mpd.me) about starting companies and financing them & his posts have been syndicated on Inc, WSJ, PEHub, Mashable, Business Insider and more. He has also started numerous communities for entrepreneurs including the Columbia Venture Community and the New York Venture Community. You can read more about him at about.mpd.me. Follow him on Twitter @mpd
Ryan Kiskis, VP Product, BaseKit
Ryan joined BaseKit in 2010, where he has helped create the product management team and guide BaseKit through its rapid commercialisation. He has helped BaseKit raise 2 rounds of funding from leading investors Eden Ventures, Nauta Capital, NESTA and Seedcamp.
As technology entrepreneur, his career has been focused on helping growing companies with product management, business development, strategy definition and operational management in Silicon Valley. Prior to BaseKit, he was founder and CEO of Martini Media, now the leading network targeting the exclusive audience of affluent enthusiasts online. He built the team and led the company through Seed and Series A funding from 2007 to 2009. Martini was founded out of his time as an EIR at Venrock Associates while doing research and due diligence in the digital media space. Prior to Venrock, he led product management for Xfire, the largest community of online PC gamers, from shortly after launch through multiple funding rounds and its eventual acquisition by MTV Networks in 2006. Ryan began his career with BearingPoint in product & customer lifecycle consulting.
Ryan has an MBA from Stanford University with a focus on Global Management, and a BSE from Princeton University in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering.
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