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If you’re getting ready to start a Web 2.0 business, or you’re looking for seed capital, this workshop is for you. Learn what early stage investors are looking for, how to assess and present your business for funding, and what to expect from the process. Workshop topics will include financing, marketing, team, revenue models, and managing all the other hats every startup entrepreneur needs to wear.
Rob joined First Round Capital in 2006. Rob came to First Round Capital from Omidyar Network where he was their first venture investor. He led most of Omidyar Network’s initial venture capital deals and later built and ran the technology investing group.
Prior to joining Omidyar Network in 2004, Rob was at Palm where he started up their corporate venture fund. While in that role he also managed the strategy effort around Palm OS that led to the spinout of PalmSource. Rob started at Palm as product manager for the initial device-independent releases of Palm OS. During this time, Rob was responsible for the versions of Palm OS on dozens of devices including the initial Treo products.
Rob previously spearheaded complex, system-level product development efforts at companies such as Geoworks and Go Corp where he focused on building products for the Japanese market. He began his career with the Japan External Trade Organization, studying international trade issues and building relationships between US and Japanese businesses, at a time when trade friction between the two countries was at its peak.
Rob has an MBA from Columbia University and a B.A. in Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley.
Based in Palo Alto, California, Jean-Francois “Jeff” Clavier is the Founder and Managing Partner of SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed stage investors in Web 2.0 startups. Since 2004, Jeff has invested in more than 20 consumer Internet companies developing new concepts (such as social media) or revisiting “old” ideas with a new set of economics and technologies. In 2007, Jeff was recognized as one of the 13 “Web 2.0 King Makers” by Business 2.0, and is often noted for his investments in categories such as “passion-centric communities,” or for having already sold five of his companies in the past two years through successful M&As. Jeff’s 19 years of operational, entrepreneurial and venture capital experience enable him to add relevant perspective and value to the companies in which he invests.
Jeff’s initial investments were in the search, social media, online communities and application infrastructure sectors. Most recently, he added gaming and monetization to his investment focus, and he has been dabbling in Enterprise 2.0, system infrastructure and a few other emerging categories. Jeff invests primarily, but not exclusively, in Silicon Valley-based startups. A popular speaker and moderator, Jeff participates in dozens of industry events throughout the year. These events range from local Silicon Valley panel discussions to international conferences, where he shares his passion for building Internet startups, angel and VC investing, innovation and entrepreneurship. Jeff has also produced a number of technology conferences and is a founding co-chair of the SDForum Search Special Interest Group. Jeff’s blog, Software Only, was one of the early venture capital blogs, started in 2004, where he primarily covered social media, search, online communities and investing. After a few years of active posting, Jeff switched to micro-blogging, and a less time consuming production, using Twitter and Pownce.
Prior to founding SoftTech VC, Jeff spent more than 16 years in the enterprise software world as an entrepreneur, senior executive and venture capitalist. Throughout his career, he was exposed to global markets leading development teams in Europe and on Wall Street, designing products sold internationally and investing in software infrastructure startups across the U.S. and Europe.
In 2000, Jeff became President of RVC Capital, the firm managing the Reuters Greenhouse Fund with $600M invested in 82 companies, including Yahoo!, Verisign, Phone.com and Infoseek. He joined the venture arm of Reuters from the company’s product development division, where he was leading a 250+ staff in Paris, London and New York, and was responsible for the Risk Management and Desktop products. Jeff joined Reuters through the acquisition of Effix Systems, a Paris-based startup company he helped develop in 1989 while still in school.
Jeff was born, raised and educated in France, earning a MS in Computer Science and a research degree in Distributed Computing. He has been happily living in Silicon Valley since 2000 with his wife Bernadette and their two children. When he is not busy working, Jeff likes to spend time with his family and friends, cook, collect wine and wander around Outland on his hunter. He also skies, hikes, dives and plays golf so poorly it is not even funny.
Rheingold has been building web apps since 1996 and has spent the last 5 years figuring out how to actually make a business out of doing it. In 2001 he started the web services company OneMatchFire.com and in 2004 started Dogster.com and Catster.com which have become the definitive online communities for pet lovers. What once started as night and weekend projects have turned into a 3 year old, 14 person, profitable mini-network of passion-centric communities. Since then Rheingold has spoken about DIY web development, nurturing community, and making big things happen on micro-budgets.
Thor is CTO & co-founder of Get Satisfaction, a Web-based platform that powers over 35,000 customer communities. With its motto “Love Your Customers,” Get Satisfaction is a leader in empowering organizations to support and engage their customers on the social Web. As a serial entrepreneur he is the co-founder of Rubyred Labs, a web development firm specializing in social networks, and Trapezo, a venture-backed startup that made Web software for syndicating content, acquired by Perfect Commerce in 2002. Previously, he founded a pioneering Web development boutique, Prophet Communications, later acquired by Frog Design where he served as VP Digital Media.