Tech Venture Investing & Deal Flow

The dynamics of venture investing have changed in the last 5 years. Angels have played an increasing role as web 2.0 and the Internet more broadly have created great wealth and iconic companies. We’ve also seen a shift from Boston to New York as the “second city” for venture capital in America with the San Francisco Bay area retaining status as the 800 pound gorilla. There’s an increasing rift between the haves and have nots – with some companies raising funds at eye-popping valuations while others, despite performance, can’t gain fundraising traction. The panelists will discuss how they generate deal flow and how deals are (or aren’t) getting syndicated, why some companies are on fire while others become surprising have nots, how acqui-hires have become a default exit for venture-backed companies that can’t continue to raise capital, as well as other issues pertaining to the dynamics in the venture market.

 

MODERATOR

Edward M. Zimmerman

Partner, Lowenstein Sandler LLP and Chair, Tech Group

Ed - @EdGrapeNutZimm - is a venture lawyer. He represents start-ups and growth companies in raising money, selling the company or cashing out the founders, and depending on market conditions, public offerings. He has angel invested in roughly 40 companies and invested as an LP in several venture funds. Ed has taught VC at Columbia Business School for 7 years, writes for the Accelerators page of the WSJ and he founded a bunch of stuff including: www.FirstGrowthVN.com (an accelerator for start-ups which doesn’t charge or take equity), the Tech Group at Lowenstein Sandler, www.AngelVineVC.com (which, to be honest, struggled with its identity but now has found product market fit and kicks serious butt), www.HoopAPaluza.org (a charity for kids that Ed & his wife co-founded, which has given away a ton of cash and which enables parents to team up with their own kids to do hands-on charity work), and www.GrapeArborVC.com (through which he makes his angel investments – some on the positive and others on the negative side of his personal balance sheet). He has lectured at Harvard Business School, Wharton, and Paris-based Sciences Po.

 

Panelists

Stacey Bishop '98

Partner, Scale Venture Partners

Stacey focuses on Software as a Service (SaaS) and Digital Marketing. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Demandbase, HubSpot, NComputing, and previously at Vitrue, prior to its acquisition by Oracle. In addition to sourcing Omniture and ExactTarget, Stacey advises many of ScaleVP’s other portfolio companies, including: Box and DocuSign.

Prior to joining ScaleVP in 1999, Stacey specialized in M&A within Bank of America’s Corporate Development Group. Stacey worked in equity research at Morgan Stanley and began her career as an account manager at Syntel, an IT services firm.

Stacey holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and a B.A. from University of Michigan.

 

Hilary Gosher

Managing Director, Insight Venture Partners

Hilary manages Insight Onsite, the firm’s team of operations and growth experts who work alongside Insight’s portfolio companies.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors of OverDrive, Shunra, Planview and Virtacore and works with DataSift, Drillinginfo and Mimecast – all SaaS based solutions.  Prior to their IPOs , Hilary worked closely with Cvent, Medidata Solutions and Shutterstock, and with Primavera prior to its acquisition by Oracle.

During her spare time, Hilary is an Adjunct Professor at NYU's Stern School of Business teaching entrepreneurship and actively mentoring technology start-ups.  Before joining Insight, Hilary worked in consulting at Monitor Company and held finance positions at Reuters UK, and Sea Containers in London.

She has an MBA from INSEAD in France but is better at drinking burgundy than speaking French.

 

Mood Rowghani

Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Mood Rowghani joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 2011. He focuses on investments in the firm’s digital practice, targeting high-growth Internet companies that have achieved strong adoption and scale. Before joining KPCB, Mood worked for five years at Summit Partners, where he led the firm’s Internet and digital media practice in North America. Mood was actively involved across Summit’s Internet portfolio, including serving as a director at Announce Media, where he helped lead the take-private acquisition of Answers Corp. (Nasdaq: ANSW). Earlier in his career, Mood was with Highland Capital Partners, where he was actively involved with Vistaprint (Nasdaq: VPRT) and Coremetrics (acquired by IBM). He also spent two years at McKinsey & Co., where he served Global 1000 clients in the high-tech industry.

Mood has a B.A. degree from the University of Texas and an M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

 

Ian Sigalow '06

Co-founder and Partner, Greycroft Partners

Ian has been a venture capitalist since 2001, and has spent his entire career working with early stage technology companies. Over the last few years he has had a particular interest in the intersection of advertising, software, and mobility. Ian currently oversees a number of Greycroft investments, including industry leaders such as Buddy Media, Collective, Extreme Reach, and NimbleTV. Prior to joining Greycroft, Ian founded StrongData Corporation, a pioneer in digital encryption, and spent several years as a venture capitalist with Boston Millennia Partners, where he focused on the Software, Wireless, and Internet sectors. 
 
Ian’s past experience also includes investment banking in the technology group at Donaldson, Lufkin, and Jenrette and strategy consulting with the Arnold Business Strategy Group.
 
Ian holds a BS in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
 
 

Eric Wiesen '08

General Partner, RRE Ventures

Eric Wiesen is a General Partner at RRE Ventures. Eric is currently focused on three areas: marketing/advertising, financial services and next-generation consumer products & manufacturing. Current investments include bitly, eRecyclingcorps, Imgix, Pontiflex, Sailthru, Yieldbot and Yipit. Successful prior investments include Braintree (acquired by Payal), Flipswap (acquired by eRecyclingCorps), Hyperpublic (acquired by Groupon), Makerbot (acquired by Stratasys), SinglePlatform (acquired by Constant Contact) and Venmo (acquired by Braintree) and was previously involved with RRE's investments in drop.io and Hot Potato (both acquired by Facebook) and Enpirion (acquired by Altera).
 
Prior to RRE, Eric worked for Updata Partners where he focused on growth-stage software investments. Earlier, Eric was an attorney in the corporate group at Fenwick & West, a leading Silicon Valley law firm. As an attorney, he represented both startup companies and venture capital funds on a range of issues. He also represented more mature technology companies in M&A and securities transactions.
 
Eric holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, a JD from the University of Michigan and a BA from the University of California at Berkeley.