Cerveza + Chess = Success!

May 6th, 2008 2 comments

Fun was had by all at the Cinco de Mayo celebration, “Cerveza and Chess-The Silicon Valley Chess Tournament.”  Thirty-five people showed up to compete in double elimination games of chess.  A few others showed up for the food and beer, to cheer on their friends and to play Beer Pong.  

Muchas gracias to Erik Allebest and Jay Severson, founders of Chess.com for keeping the tournament in ‘check’ and to AOL for hosting and feeding us.  YUM!

Congrats to:

Anish Das Sarma, Stanford Chess Club-First Place, “Bobby Fischer is my BFF” bracket

Dmitry Karshtedt, Berkeley alum-Second Place, “Bobby Fischer is my BFF” bracket

Ken Ryu, GetQuik, Inc.-First Place, “Which one is the Rook?” bracket

Bharadwaj Baddy, Stanford-Second Place, “Which one is the Rook?” bracket

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All Things Media: A Venture Capital Forum

March 11th, 2008 No comments

by Jonathan Schwartz
CEO & President, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
[Read Jonathan’s blog]

Thursday, March 20, 2008; 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Sun Microsystems
Executive Briefing Center [map]
15 Network Circle, Menlo Park, CA

RSVP to Special Events at 212.621.6697
or specialeventsATM@paleycenter.org

Business Attire

SHEMADEIT and Springboard Enterprises are joining forces to produce a venture capital forum like no other…ALLTHINGSMEDIA.

ALLTHINGSMEDIA will provide the opportunity for top women entrepreneurs who lead emerging media companies to present their business opportunities to angel, venture, and corporate investors.

ALLTHINGSMEDIA is the first-ever venture capital forum exclusively for women entrepreneurs in all sectors of media—including television, radio, print, digital media, mobile, video games, search, social networking,e-commerce, online advertising, outdoor, animation, software, and others.

Over the next eight months, we will build a network of experts to recruit, screen, and coach entrepreneurs for their presentations at theALLTHINGSMEDIA Venture Capital Forum in October 2008.

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March 10th, 2008 No comments

Deadline April 1, 2008
More details at: http://pitch.women2.org

Got ideas? The Women 2.0 Business Plan Competition gives passionate entrepreneurs an opportunity to test out their ventures. Teams with at least 50% female ownership are invited to submit their business ideas on a 7×7 inch paper napkin along with a business plan. The business ideas will be reviewed by a stellar set of Silicon Valley Investors and Entrepreneurs, and all submissions receive written feedback from our judges!

*) Submissions must be in concept or beta-stage.
*) Submissions accepted worldwide.

Winners will receive a 1-on-1 meeting with Esther Dyson an angel investor considered to be one of the best advisers a startup can have. They also get business package including PR services, legal advice and free advertising! Finalists will receiving training on how to give their pitch, and are invited to attend and present at the 2008 Women 2.0 Conference and Pitch Night on May 10.

Apply today at http://pitch.women2.org

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TiEcon San Francisco Mixer

March 5th, 2008 No comments

If you have been thinking about starting your own company, looking for funding for your company, looking to find the next opportunity, want to meet some of the successful and up & coming entrepreneurs in your backyard, or connect with other young professionals like yourselves, look no further!

Come join us at the TiEcon San Francisco Mixer, on March 11th between 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM and explore all the possibilities. As an added bonus the event will be in the heart of San Francisco!

Attendees at the event will include:

Manish Chandra, Founder and CEO, Kaboodle (www.kaboodle.com/zm/team)

Ajay Chopra, Founder Pinnacle Systems (www.pinnaclesys.com) & currently Venture Partner, Trinity Ventures (www.trinityventures.com/team-ajay_chopra.php)

Niranjan Nagar, Founder of Singshot (sold to EA) and now VP at Electronic Arts (www.ea.com)

Amra Tareen, CÉO, All Voices (www.allvoices.com/team)

Maneesh Jain, co-founder CafePress (http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/about/team.aspx)


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

6:00pm – 8:00pm


Thirsty Bear Brewing Company

661 Howard St.

San Francisco, California 94105

**Hosted bar and tapas provided

Click here to sign up (www.123signup.com/register?id=ttzkv)

Capacity is limited, so please sign up soon!

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Bottlenotes Little Black Dress Wine Club

October 1st, 2007 No comments

Entrepreneur27 sponsor/loyalist/fan Alyssa Rapp is the CEO of Bottelnotes and wanted to invite your peeps to the San Francisco launch of our newest wine club, the Little Black Dress Wine Club, is taking place on October 10th at the Rotunda at Neiman Marcus at 6pm. Not for gals only! Suggested attire is black dresses (naturally) for women, and business casual for guys. Come by for some fabulous wine and general fun times. Proceeds to Benefit Breast Cancer Action since it’s breast cancer awareness month after all. www.bottlenotes.com/lbdlaunch

Use Entrepreneur27 as the promo code at checkout for $15 off.

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Community Next Platform is Here!

August 20th, 2007 No comments

The premier event on social network Platforms and APIs is here. Over 300 entrepreneurs, developers, and marketers unite for a 2-day deep dive featuring dozens of speakers and developers. Special guests include developers of top 100 Facebook applications we are flying in from all over the country. October 5-6th is sure to be revolutionary!

Register Now

What are the topics?

– Nuts to bolts guidelines for developing successful apps
– 0 to 60 case studies from the top developers
– Drive viral growth through design, metrics, and strategy
– Make money from ad networks, affiliates, and other strategies
– Create real-world community through maps and local features
– Scalability, integration, and other technology best practices

What: Community Next Platforms
When: Oct 5-6th 2007
Where: TBD in the Bay Area
Why: Developer day includes a $10,000 iron code challenge. Learn about the hottest platforms, how to build on them, market them, case studies and other fun things.
Who: Entrepreneurs, developers, investors, advertisers and students.

Join us

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Chat with Ben Casnocha, Author of My Startup Life

June 11th, 2007 No comments

What Ben Casnocha has done since he was 12, many of us won’t have experienced in a life time.

He is now a first time author of My Startup Life where he chronicles his experience of starting a company at age 12.

Lucky us he will be online to chat with everyone Tuesday June 12th, 2007 from 11:30am-12pm PST. Chat here

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Interview with Otis Chandler of Goodreads

June 11th, 2007 No comments

Goodreads is a social network focused around reading. You can see what your friends are reading, get great recommendations, and connect with other readers.

Otis is a software engineer and entrepreneur with an B.S. from Stanford. Before he founded Goodreads, he was the Product Manager of LoveHappens.com, which is subsidiary of Tickle.com. I’m passionate about building great products and reading books.

How long did it take you to get the Goodreads concept out of your head and into the world? How did you find the rest of your team?

It took a year from the time I decided to build it until we got the beta out. It took several months of planning, and a lot coding. It started as a weekend project too, so I had to deal with my ‘day job’. My partner at Goodreads happens to be my fiance, but she’s a good balance, she has a literary background–she’s a full time journalist and a former English major from Stanford. Our designer, advisers, and copy editor are all people we’ve worked with before.

Who else is out there doing this kind of thing and how do you differentiate your service?

There are a few competitors, but I truly believe that our product stands head and shoulders above the rest. Goodreads is more focused on being a social community around reading. We have a clean looking site that is easy use. Another differentiator is our focus on product. We do our own customer service, and try to build what our users want. Its all about the product.

How did you negotiate partnerships with the major online book retailers?

They all have affiliate programs.

Bonus: What is your favorite opening line from a book?

Its not quite the opening line, but I like this one:

“Welcome to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the most wholly remarkable book in all of the known universe! ”

I like to joke that Goodreads is the most wholly remarkable website in all of the known universe.

Copyright © 2007 by Sonia Aggarwal

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Interview with Tara Russell of Three Month Visa

June 7th, 2007 No comments

Three Month Visa is a professional Life and Career Coaching practice with a passion for the Life Sabbatical / Long-term Travel niche. I love working with people who dream of living, working or volunteering abroad and my mission is to empower my clients to change their lives (and ultimately the world at large,) through meaningful international travel.

Tara Russell is a professional Life Coach based out of San Francisco. A graduate of the prestigious Coaches Training Institute and a National Finalist for the 2007 eWomen Network Emerging Leader of the Year Award, she coaches clients from around the world and will be traveling to Asia in June of 2007 to lead personal empowerment workshops for teenagers in Seoul, South Korea.

What does the typical coaching session consist of? What goes in to getting someone mentally and physically prepared to commit and take that much needed break?

One of the things that I absolutely love about coaching is that no session is “typical”. Each time I coach, I get to work with exactly what my clients bring to the table and that keeps my job fresh, engaging and interesting. That being said, my methodology can be summed up through my motto: “Get Inspired, Get Focused, Get Going!”

When I start working with clients, the very first step is to get them inspired about what they want to do with their travel sabbatical. This involves getting clear on what they need from their “time off” even before looking at where to get it. For some people, they want adventure – river rafting and sky diving, for example. For others, ten weeks spent in a hammock with nothing but a pile of books to occupy their time fits the bill.

After helping my clients get clarity on what they want during their time off, we move on to “Get Focused”…this involves figuring out what their ideal itinerary might look like and then taking care of all the logistics that go into making a travel sabbatical possible; visas, immunizations, plane tickets, financial planning, etc. For many clients the long “to-do” list can be overwhelming and reason enough to quit planning, so coaching helps keep them on track, taking it one step at a time until everything is taken care of and they are ready to get on the plane.

“Get Going” is about finally being able to hit the road and realize the trip of a lifetime. I coach my clients to truly own the experience they have earned for themselves and to acknowledge what an immense accomplishment they have achieved.

Have you found that the majority of people you have coached have returned from their sabbaticals to go on to accomplish what it is they want out of life?

Absolutely…and more. Travel provides us with time and space to examine who we are and what we truly want out of life. It expands our horizons, pushes us to challenge ourselves and feeds an appreciation of our own unique strengths and abilities. Taking time off can be an immensely empowering experience and my clients return home rested; filled with fresh perspectives and a renewed sense of drive and purpose. Travel strips away the artifice of our daily habits and routine and gives us a clear picture of how truly capable we are…that type of self-realization lasts a lifetime.

Travel writer Pico Iyer once said, “To travel is to believe anew in many of the deeper qualities that get mislaid on the office desk.” However, our office desks are no longer stationary items that we can leave behind after 5pm. With the introduction of cell phones and PDAs, many of us are forever wired and always accessible from the moment we wake up in the morning to the time we go to bed at night. In an age when we are hearing more and more about work / life balance, it seems increasingly difficult to truly “unplug.” Perhaps now more so than ever, travel is essential to maintaining our balance and perspective in life.

What have been some of the challenges you have faced in launching Three Month Visa? What has been the most rewarding aspect of launching it?

One of the greatest challenges I have faced in launching Three Month Visa has been the fact that I am the only Life Coach currently working in my niche. As a result, people don’t necessarily know to look for me the way they might know to look for an executive coach or a personal coach. Many of those people out there sitting in their cubicles wishing they were living their travel dreams in Brazil, Tibet, Fiji or Italy don’t realize that there is now a coach who can help them make it happen! On the other hand, it has been amazing to spearhead a new niche in the coaching industry and I love the visionary aspect of bringing “Travel Coaching” to the world.

One other challenge I have faced is making sure not to “over-niche” myself, as I love traditional Life Coaching, too. I remain very open to working with clients who are not necessarily interested in long-term travel or living abroad but who do want to work with a dynamic, effective coach who will empower them to meet ambitious goals for personal and professional growth.

By far, the most rewarding aspect of starting my coaching practice has been the privilege of working with so many amazing clients who have each inspired me with their unique dreams, vision and drive.

BONUS: What has been the most interesting story you have heard for someone wanting to start a sabbatical, long-term travel or volunteer experience?

One of my favorite stories is of working with a client who wanted very much to take time off from her career to travel and volunteer abroad. However, despite being gainfully employed, she was convinced that she could never afford to save for the trip she dreamed of. After coaching her to track her daily spending closely for two weeks, we discovered several areas where she was spending money without even realizing it…small amounts that added up very quickly. After doing the math, I was able to show her that her daily latte and scone alone had her spending over $1,200 per year on fancy coffee. (The cost of a round-the-world plane ticket!) By making small changes, savings became effortless. Taking time off to travel is all about setting priorities and being honest with yourself…do you want to have a lifestyle or do you want to have a life? It’s about realizing that when you’re halfway around the world watching the sunset over the beaches of Rio de Janiero, you won’t miss that grande extra-hot half-caff soy latte one bit.

Copyright © 2007 by Will Kern

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Interview with Aaron Levie of Box

June 5th, 2007 No comments

Box is a way that individuals and small businesses can easily access and share their files online. Box is also a platform that other applications and services can use to power their own storage and sharing needs.

Aaron grew up in Seattle and have always been interested and involved (in a variety of capacities) in technology. Aaron studied business at USC for a couple of years, but am now on leave to run Box.

What was the inspiration behind starting Box? Did you all identify a gap in the online storage space that you felt Box could provide a solution for?

The idea was very simple to start – we wanted people to have a place they could easily access and share files from. We weren’t satisfied with thumbdrives, and the web services that existed at the time weren’t cutting it. Over time, we also began to realize the power of having a flexible platform – this led us to our API, RSS file sharing, the Box widget, and more.

What was the decision making process like in deciding to relocate from Seattle to the bay area?

There’s nothing like the Bay Area if you’re in technology. Seattle gets close, but the Valley’s community, talent, ideas, and culture play a strong supporting role in building a web-based company. We’re no exception.

Being young entrepreneurs, have you run into any hesitations from potential investors when pitching them for funds?

I would say that investors are very open and willing to hear about ideas or businesses from the younger folks. Being younger dosn’t mean you lack great ideas, it just means you likely have less experience in building a team, scaling a service, etc. What’s important is to have advisors and a team that can fill in some of those gaps.

What it is like having Draper Fisher Jurvetson as an investor?

DFJ has been an amazing investor. They’re extremely supportive of our decisions, and have provided excellent guidance to us as young entrepreneurs.

BONUS: What is a typical day in the life of like at the Box headquarters? Is it difficult to live and work in the same space?

Good question. We’re actually on our way to not living in the HQ anymore. As we’ve built up the team, its important to keep a sane office environment 🙂

Copyright © 2007 by Will Kern

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