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We know: your company is a labor of love. But let’s be serious. It’s also a labor of capitalism. And at some point you’re going to want to turn that labor into wealth. Dividends? Sale? IPO? Henry Blodget and our expert panel will reveal the secrets to cashing out.
As in many areas of life, timing is key: cash out too soon, and you’ll leave pots of money on the table. Cash out too late, and you could end up with nothing (don’t delude yourself—it’s happened before).
And then there’s the way you cash out. A sale? For cash or stock? Flat price or earn-out? Do you stay with the company or hit the road? Do you go public—and wait the required 180 days? Then what? The panel will get to the bottom of this.
Henry Blodget is the CEO of Silicon Alley Insider, Inc., an online business media company based in New York. Prior to founding SAI in May, 2007, Henry was CEO of Cherry Hill Research, an Internet research and consulting firm.
From 1994-2001, Henry was an investment banker at Prudential Securities and an equity analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. and Merrill Lynch. As a Managing Director at Merrill, he ran the firm’s global Internet research practice and was the top-ranked Internet analyst on Wall Street.
Blodget’s first book, The Wall Street Self-Defense Manual: A Consumer’s Guide to Intelligent Investing, was published in January 2007.
Kevin P. Ryan, one of Silicon Alley’s most well known Internet entrepreneurs, has started six New York-based businesses – Alley Insider, Gilt Groupe, Music Nation, Panther Express, ShopWiki and 10gen – in the past three years. He presently serves as chairman and CEO of AlleyCorp, which oversees each of the six companies.
Prior to AlleyCorp, Kevin was first president then later became CEO of DoubleClick. There, he was instrumental in building the company from a 20-person startup to a global leader with over 1500 employees. Silicon Alley Reporter voted DoubleClick “New York Company of the Year” and Kevin was named one of the “50 Most Influential Business People” by Crain’s New York Business.
Aside from his professional responsibilities, Kevin serves on the boards of Human Rights Watch and the NYC Investment Fund and is a member of the Insead International Council, the Yale International Council and the Council on Foreign Relations. He was the first investor in TheLadders.com and previously served on the boards of the Direct Marketing Association, The Ad Council and Hotjobs, and the advisory board of Doctors Without Borders.
Michael is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded four successful internet-based media companies. He has a passion for creating, managing and growing companies from the ground up.
Michael’s first foray into entrepreneurship came with the founding of University Wire, an Associated Press-like network of more than 700 student-run newspapers that is now owned by CBS Corp. U-Wire provides the most in-depth coverage of campus news and student issues and is distributed widely through almost every major college newspaper and most of the major Internet portals. Michael sold U-Wire to Student Advantage, the nation’s leading student membership organization linking 1.5 million students through one affinity card program, in May 1997. As a member of the Student Advantage management team, Michael helped grow Student Advantage from a handful of employees into the premier media and marketing company in the college market with more than 300 employees and $80 million in annual revenue.
Building on his growing experience in the online space, Michael next founded GOLF.com, which was purchased by Time Warner’s Time Inc. division in January 2006. Michael led GOLF.com from a start-up to a multi-million dollar profitable golf media company. Michael successfully funded GOLF.com by raising equity financing from private investors, leading venture capital firms and media companies, including NBC Sports and the New York Times Co. And with a wide network of contacts in the internet and general business community, Michael negotiated and executed successful partnerships on behalf of GOLF.com with Time Warner, NBC Sports, MSNBC.com, Yahoo!, AOL, FoxSports.com, Microsoft, New York Times Co., the PGA Tour, USA TODAY, Knight Ridder, Chicago Tribune, GOLF MAGAZINE, NTT Communications and more than 200 other companies. As part of the acquisition by Time Inc., Michael agreed to join Time Inc.’s GOLF MAGAZINE division for one year as General Manager of GOLF.com and GOLFONLINE.com. In addition to overseeing all of the company’s golf internet properties, Michael sat on a 5-person management team that managed the leading golf publication.
Michael left GOLF.com in February 2007 to start Lazerow Consulting, which helps finance, launch, manage and grow internet-based media businesses. Michael’s client list included CSTV, a CBS Corporation company. At CBS, Michael helped launch two new businesses in the sports community and student media spaces.
Michael lives in New York City with his wife, Kass, two sons, Myles and Cole, and daughter Vivian. In addition to investing in private companies and real estate, he enjoys live music, golf, tennis, poker, fly-fishing, reading, writing and video editing.
Michael graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. with a B.S. and M.S. in Journalism in 1996. His byline has appeared in more than a dozen newspapers, including Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, the Miami Herald, the Delaware State-News, The Capital Times in Madison, Wis., and the Montgomery Journal.
Michael is currently the chairman and CEO of Buddy Media, Inc., a New York-based company that is a leading developer of applications for social media sites, including Facebook and MySpace.
Lorien is a lawyer and entrepreneur who has successfully started and exited from two Internet technology companies. In 1994, at the age of 24, Lorien abandoned a career in law to join his brother Matt at Interlog Internet Services Inc. Interlog never required outside VC investment as cash flow from operations completely financed the company. The company was later acquired in an all cash transaction.
After taking time off, Lorien then spent a year as the first employee and General Manager of Micron Electronics’ web hosting division. Through a series of acquisitions he built the company’s managed hosting services businesses into one of the largest players in the market. Then in April 2000, with venture capital backing from Micron, Lorien co-founded with Matt BOAW Networks Inc, one of the first Canadian companies to capitalize on the shift from co-location to managed hosting services. In 2001, AT&T Canada, looking to enter the managed hosting market, acquired the company, again in an all cash transaction.
In 2003, Lorien moved to New York and joined UK based MessageLabs Inc., a rapidly expanding email security provider, as Global VP of Business Development. Over the next two years Lorien established MessageLabs presence in the US and built out the company’s indirect sales channel. In 2005 Lorien left MessageLabs to establish his next technology venture, pingg which he co-founded with his brother Matt in 2006.
Lorien has also served on the boards of a number of organizations and private companies including the Royal Bank of Canada’s VC Tech Fund and Fusion Capital. Lorien has a LLB from Toronto’s Osgoode Hall Law School and is a member in good standing with the Ontario Bar.