17th level Hacker

Art of the Start 3

Jeff Adams, Dave Anderson, Alan Jepsen, Betty Taylor, Mark Weeks.

Panel on creating an ecosystem.

Q - what is the current atmosphere?

Mark - not expecting another bubble, but the startup environment is great, there are lots of exciting ideas and people around these days. Become crisp and to the point.

Betty - Resembles 1998, there is a lot of progress based on where things were 2 years ago. Lots more seasoned management, and they’ve defined goals well. Google brought in good management, others are doing similar.

Alan - no bubble shortly. Entrapreneurs see problems out there still, but don’t have money to go after it. Frusterating. Thinks the bubble will never return (not in his lifetime)

Dave - people are using les to do more. Value for the dollar. Look at cedentials of services firms to make sure you”re getting what you need.

Jeff - This is a great time, opportunity for people to open their wallets is getting better. Lots of tallent to draw from. Great pool to form a company. IPO market is healthy, so that means a better liquidity path. Minimum configuration for a startup; something that people can be pasionate about, good size, profitable for year, seasoned management, financial controls (big emphasis on that))

Mark says we should differentiate the early stage startup from later stage. The early startup doesn’t need experience, they need passion. At the early stage you really need to find soulmates. (people make spreadsheets about billion dollar markets, but when you drill down can’t justify it), find people from other areas to help out.

Q - How does an entrapreneur pick a professional w/ your background?

Betty - when you select a PR firm look at their track record, and find out exactly who you are going to be working with. Get some references and then check them, to make sure their contacts are valid. What the firm brings to the table is access.

Alan - picking a bank, find a bank which is interested in emerging companies, one that can make connections for you.

Dave - need a relationship that will grow with the company. Partnerships can really help there. Sarbanes Oxley probably does not apply to the garage startup, but once you have a board you need to start worrying.

Jeff - finding an investment bank, just execute on your vision and Wall Street will find you.