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Society News Update, 3 Nov. 2016

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Steve Case Names Industries Ripe for Entrepreneurship at Kauffman Fellows Reunion Summit

EntrepeneurIn this Entrepreneur article, Jeff Harbach (Class 16) recaps a personal interview with Steve Case as well as Steve and Phil Wickham’s (Charter Class) discussion at the recent Kauffman Fellows Reunion Summit in Kansas City. Steve sees the “third wave” of Internet development involving moving “complex and heavily regulated businesses online,” and predicts it will “be a heavier lift than we’ve seen in recent years.” While the barriers to entry for building apps and services are quite low, the barriers for the third wave will be more challenging, requiring an understanding of policy and regulations—an environment in which partnerships will be more important to success. Read the full story for Steve’s predictions on the 4 industries he thinks have the biggest opportunity for entrepreneurs.

Watch the recorded livestream of Steve’s talk at the Summit last week in Kansas City.


Daniel Kraft (Class 13) Focus of Manchester Guardian and MedCity News Articles

The GuardianDaniel Kraft (Class 13) was interviewed in a lengthy article in the Manchester Guardian entitled “The Future of Healthcare: AI, Augmented Reality and Drug-Delivering Drones.” Looking to the future of health care, Daniel sees Big Pharma as first in line for a shake-up. On one hand, research is now showing that common diseases have hundreds of subtypes; what if genome sequencing can show that a blockbuster drug will likely not work for a patient? On the other hand, “the prospect of people being able to take part in clinical trials on their smartphones promises to drastically speed up the time drugs can get to market.” Daniel sees the exponential shifts in medicine happening when technologies intermingle where they have not before. Read the full story.

MedCity NewsDaniel was also the focus of a MedCity News story, “Daniel Kraft: Tech Tsunami in Healthcare Coming, But Are There Right Platforms to Catch Wave?” The cost of gathering medical data is dropping rapidly—information that used to be collected in the ICU can now be done at home with a smartphone app. But how that data is handled will determine whether it helps or hinders health care in the future.  Daniel asks, “We have terabytes of data. But what are we going to do with all of it?” Read the full story.

Daniel’s concluding thoughts: “The future is coming faster than you might think.”


Watch Daniel Cohen’s (Class 11) Roundtable Discussion on Israel Investing for One Million by One Million

Daniel Cohen (Class 11), of Carmel Ventures, was the guest speaker at the One Million by One Million roundtable for entrepreneurs to discuss investing in Israel, and how Israeli venture capital and startup environment is changing. One Million by One Million is a global virtual accelerator whose goal is to help one million entrepreneurs reach one million dollars in revenue.


Avid Larizadeh (Class 11) Profiled in Fortune

Fortune logo Avid Larizadeh (Class 11), of GV, was profiled in a Fortune article titled “Meet the Only Female General Partner at Alphabet’s VC Arm.” Speaking about gender diversity in venture, Avid says, “As a woman in this industry you are often in the minority, there is no hiding that. It is important to note though that it is getting more balanced. I also believe that there are cultures and teams who celebrate gender diversity and don’t overemphasize gender differences. GV is one of those places.” In the interview, Avid also discusses her journey from investor to founder and back to investor, and the London startup scene. [Full story]


Mamoon Hamid (Class 11) on The 20-Minute VC

Mamoon Hamid (Class 11) was this week’s guest on “The 20-Minute VC,” discussing the founding of his firm, Social Capital; its values and rising success; and his views on large tech companies’ market capitalizations and inflection points.


Jake Saper (Class 20) Wrote in Forbes for Generalists Wanting to Break into Tech

Forbes logoJake Saper (Class 20) authored an article in Forbes this week: “No Technical Training? Here’s How To Break Into (And Kill It In) The Tech Startup World.” Jake, himself a liberal-arts major who at one time was looking at the world of tech jobs from the outside, offers some background and a roadmap for non-specialists looking to join a young technology company and secure a meaningful ownership position. The first piece of advice: don’t look too young. Series A startups are in a phase where they need employees who can make things and who can sell things, and don’t have a lot of places for generalists. Series B and C companies are the better place to start. Where to go from there? Read the full story.


Recent Portfolio and Funding Activity

  • Creandum (Staffan Helgesson [Class 10], Fredrik Cassel [Class 12], Daniel Blomquist [Class 16], and Carl Fritjofsson [Class 21]) recently led the $10M Series A funding round for KNL Networks, whose aim it is to provide Internet service everywhere on the planet that is fast, secure, and reasonably priced. At present, extremely remote locations (such as cargo ships in the middle of the ocean, or undeveloped parts of the world) must use satellite links for internet communication; KNL’s technology uses a patented radio technology capable of transmitting data over thousands of kilometers. As opposed to most data networks, KNL’s use of peer-to-peer technology means that when more people are connected to the network, it becomes faster, not slower. Read Creandum’s blog post for details.
  • Genomics Medicine Ireland, cofounded by Dan Crowley (Class 16) and Paul Thurk (Class 6) of ARCH Venture Partners, recently secured a €36M Series A round, which it plans to use over the next 3 years to create a genomic R&D center in Dublin and hire 150 new staff. The firm’s goal is to identify genes that contribute to diseases such as heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and cancer; its current efforts focus on developing treatments for Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. Dan, acting CEO, said, “The size and characteristics of the Irish population can powerfully advance scientific discovery as researchers are able to pinpoint variations in DNA relevant to disease and useful for improving medicine.” Read the full story.
    Genomics Medicine Ireland founders with Irish Premier
    On left: Daniel Crowley and Paul Thurk. On right: Irish premier Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photo: Conor Healy Photography
  • Marlon Nichols (Class 18) will join the board of ShotTracker, the maker of wearable tech for basketball. “ShotTracker is different because it delivers sophisticated analytics that are affordable at every level of play,” said Marlon. The firm’s latest product, ShotTracker TEAM, captures real-time practice and game stats for an entire team using sensors that communicate with each other to capture player and ball movement as well as court location. [Press release]
  • Kevin Spain (Class 11) and Emergence Capital Partners led the recent $8M Series A round in virtual reality company IrisVR; Kevin will join the board of directors. IrisVR creates “a suite of enterprise products to help building and design professionals visualize, create, and share 3D models.” Kevin says, “Virtual reality … is poised to be a game­-changing platform for architects, engineers, and construction professionals. We believe IrisVR’s approach to making virtual reality easy to adopt will propel it to becoming a must­-have design and collaboration solution in these industries.” [Press release]

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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