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Society News Update, 10 Nov. 2016

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Kauffman FoundationVenture capital markets in the last several years have been rapidly changing. Networks have connected entrepreneurs and investors more efficiently and quickly, improved and easier-to-use communication has allowed VCs to deploy capital in new ways, and transaction costs are down sharply, leading to new types of funding such as online platforms, angel groups, crowdfunding, and so on. In its ongoing efforts to enhance the success of entrepreneurs, the Kauffman Foundation released a report last week, Changing Capital: Emerging Trends in Venture Capital. In this report, the foundation examines these recent developments to draw out some broad trends, and expands on how these might impact entrepreneurs. Topics under discussion include shifting geographies, the changing VC landscape at the top and bottom ends of the market, the impact of women as decision-makers, the shift of funding to online platforms, and more. Download the full report (PDF).


Convergence VenturesCongratulations to Adrian Li (Class 21) and Convergence Ventures, who closed their $30M fund this week, exceeding their original target; it is the largest early-stage fund to be focused on companies doing business in Indonesia. The firm plans to make 30 investments in the coming 3 years in the digital media disruption, e-commerce, aggregator, and enabling-technologies sectors.

TechCrunchAdrian was part of a panel this week at the TechCrunch Beijing conference and was featured in the TechCrunch article, “How Southeast Asia’s VC Scene Stacks Up to China’s VC Scene.” Adrian said, “If you draw that very basic comparison between Indonesia [now] and China in 2008, it looks like there are comparable opportunities.” The panelists noted that while some larger Chinese companies have expanded to Southeast Asia, few have gone the other way, noting that each market has its own niche rules and landscape. Adrian also noted, “I think it’s also important to distinguish the size of the deals in China and in Southeast Asia. In Indonesia, Series A are between $1.5 million to $3 million. You get seed deals at a few hundred thousand dollars.” [Full story]


StartX FundSuzanne Fletcher (Class 21) was interviewed in the Silicon Valley Business Journal yesterday: “TechFlash Q&A: Why Stanford Offers to Invest in Every StartX Accelerator Company.” Suzanne manages the Stanford StartX Fund, which has Stanford University, Stanford Health Care, and StartX as LPs. Any StartX accelerator company with a Stanford-affiliated founder can opt-in to the StartX Fund, which will contribute 10% to rounds over $500K. At the founders’ option, they can include the StartX Fund in all Series levels, not just seed-stage. Additionally, the fund can provide founders access to its network of contacts and mentors as requested. The fund is about 14 months old and has made 200 investments so far, totalling $100M. [Full story]


PortfoliaPortfolia has announced two new funds: the Portfolia Consumer Fund and the Portfolia Enterprise/Tech Fund. Portfolia, founded by Kauffman Fellows founding CEO Trish Costello, creates investment funds customized for women. Accredited investors start with a $10K+ commitment that is invested across 6-10 companies per year, and they can be as involved as they choose—signing up for “deal teams,” hearing pitches, joining AMA sessions, and getting to know experienced Lead investors in the fund. There are two informational webinars remaining for those interested in the new funds; sign up now for tomorrow’s event (November 11, 9:30am PST), or next Tuesday’s (November 15, 9:30am PST).


ABC7 NewsErnestine Fu (Class 17) was featured in an ABC-7 segment: “Silicon Valley’s Youngest Venture Capitalist Now Teaching Class at Stanford.” She’s teaching engineers how to build companies; her over-subscribed class has 95 students and includes top-tier VC and entrepreneur guest speakers. Congratulations, Ernestine! Watch the story.


Fellows on the Move:

  • Sacha Mann (Class 12) is now CEO and Director of Biosys UK. She was previously with Inventages, and became Interim CEO of Biosys, one of Inventages’ portfolio companies, in 2015. Biosys is working on a novel oral polyclonal antibody for C.difficile infection that reduces overuse of antibiotics and promotes a healthy gut microbiome.
  • Amy Belt Raimundo (Class 12) has moved to Kaiser Permanente Ventures, the venture capital arm of the Kaiser Permanente health system, located in Oakland, CA. KP Ventures has over $400M of committed capital.
  • After 4 years in several U.S. federal agencies in Washington, DC, Anh Nguyen (Class 17) is now Director of Clinical Development at Baxter Healthcare in Chicago. His work will focus on clinical development and corporate strategy.
  • Wale Ayeni (Class 18) is a Senior Investment Officer at IFC Venture Capital, part of the World Bank. Wale leads venture investments in Africa in on behalf of IFC (International Finance Corporation), which is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries.
  • In January, Karim Elsahy (Class 18) founded Elves, “Your Personal Little Helper.” Elves is an app that connects you to a personal concierge who can help find, book, buy, and deliver things.
  • Dan Abelon (Class 19) is now an Investor at Two Sigma Ventures, where he has been an Entrepreneur-in-Residence since 2015. Dan’s focus is on startups using advanced tech, including data science, AI, machine learning, and predictive analytics.

This week we have three blog posts to share.

  • On Wednesday, Guy Turner (Class 17) wrote a timely post, “Time to Heal, Learn, Unify” on his vcwithme blog that was republished today on the Chicago Tribune website.
  • Ezra Galston (Class 18) analyzed 24 months of Chicago Ventures investment data for his latest post, “First Time Founder Discount.” Ezra found that first-time founders face a steep discount when raising capital as compared to serial entrepreneurs.
  • In his latest post,“#LongLA – LA Venture Is Underrated,” Samir Kaji (Class 20) compares the New York and Los Angeles startup ecosystems in terms of their exits, valuations, and pipelines. Samir makes the case for LA standing on its own—apart from Silicon Valley—as a startup hub that is broader than just the media industry.

Job Opportunities

Several job opportunities have been sent in by Fellows; see below for details. Jobs are removed from this list after 4 weeks. Browse back-issues of Society News if you’re looking for an older job post. If you are a Fellow or Mentor and would like to re-post your job, please email us.

  • Shell Technology Ventures, Shell’s corporate venture capital arm is hiring a Senior Venture Principal (a role equivalent to Partner at a mainstream VC firm) in its new San Francisco office. In addition to deal-flow activities, this person will mentor colleagues, position the firm as a go-to investor for energy and mobility startups, and act as an ambassador to the Silicon Valley ecosystem. 10+ years of venture experience is required, with a focus on software, energy, transportation, or cleantech, as well as experience with all aspects of venture capital from due diligence to deal structuring, negotiations, and post-close deal management. Read the full job description. Questions? Contact Bennett Cohen (Class 20).
  • Tribal.vc, Matter, and 500 Startups portfolio company NewsWhip is hiring a Chief Revenue Officer in New York. NewsWhip is a market-leading content intelligence company powering a suite of SaaS applications for media corporations, publishers, global brands, and agencies. The CRO will head up a team of 17 sales and marketing professionals with alumni from Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, Comscore, ScribbleLive, Critical Mention, StubHub, and others, and grow it to more than 50 over the next 2 years. This person will oversee and structure sales, customer success (account management), and marketing, and will have previously led rapid revenue growth in a SaaS or media technology business, from $5m to $20m ARR or beyond. Full job description. For more information, Contact Conor Stanley (Class 17).
  • Silas Capital portfolio company Lifefactory is looking for a Senior VP of Operations. Based in Sausalito, CA, Lifefactory is “the pioneer and leader in glass hydration,” best known for their iconic glass water bottles, now sold in over 30 countries. The VP of Operations is responsible for day-to-day oversight, execution, and coordination of U.S. and international components suppliers, manufacturing schedule, quality control, and logistics. Minimum 10 years of work experience, with at least 4 as an executive in the wholesale consumer products sector, is required. View the full job description and how to apply on LinkedIn.
  • Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the largest and most active early-stage technology venture investor in Canada, is seeking an experienced investment professional to lead the fund-of-funds and co-investment activities. Candidates must have at least 10 years of fund and co-investing experience in the PE/VC asset classes, and experience in a managerial capacity with an institution undertaking indirect investments. Ability to communicate in both English and French is an asset. This Vice President position is also responsible for seeding and growing emerging top-tier general partners as well as supporting existing top-quartile Canadian GPs. Read the full job description. Questions? Contact Ela Borenstein (Class 17).
  • The Draper Venture Network is looking for a tech-savvy Analyst to help develop and enhance internal tools for investment, marketing, community engagement, and collaboration. The Draper Venture Network team, based in San Mateo, serves as a hub for an alliance of 10 venture firms and their 350+ portfolio companies across four continents. The ideal candidate has some venture or startup experience, enjoys a fast-paced environment, and can code or is otherwise nimble with various technology tools. The role can start as a part-time internship to test fit, with the potential to become full-time. Contact Sid Mofya (Class 19) for more information.
  • Streamlined Ventures is hiring a Principal. This is a partner-track opportunity. Streamlined is an early-stage fund now raising Fund II and under the management of Ullas Naik. They made news with their recent exit of AppLovin (acquired $1.4B). Claire Tomkins (Class 15) writes, “Ullas is a fantastic individual.” Email Claire for an intro.

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