Network Updates, 20 June 2017
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Log into TENx for complete details and RSVP information for all KF events, unless noted.
- June 23: New York Regional Chapter event
8-10am: Chapter breakfast, including Class 22 Fellows
10am – noon: LP/GP Fund Showcase + Roundtable
See TENx for full details
- July 15: Fellows Picnic / Family Day
- September 14: KF Women’s Group breakfast. Hosted by Miriam Rivera (Class 15) at her private residence.
- September 22: NY Regional Chapter breakfast
- December 8: NY Regional Chapter breakfast
- International Summit, April 22-27, 2018: Tel Aviv & Jerusalem, ISRAEL
- Welcome Class 22, including the first Kauffman Foundation Scholarship recipients from the heartland
- John Kim (Class 20) explains why founders should think global from the start
- Graham Gardner (Class 12) cites Moneyball as inspiration for his HealthTech startup Kyruus
- Marlon Nichols (Class 18) to receive award for cultural contribution through technology
- On the move & special mention: Ken Elefant (Class 5) has joined Rob Rueckert (Class 12) to form Sorenson Ventures; Ken named one of the most well-connected investors in tech
- Speakers: Bedy Yang (Class 17) presents webinar on investment thesis basics • Dave McClure’s (Mentor Classes 17, 18, 22) eMerge Americas talk available on CNBC
- This week’s blog selections: Blog frenzy! Danny Cohen’s (Class 11) first thoughts on Amazon–Whole Foods • Victor Gutwein (Class 22) starts series on Micro-VC strategy • Samir Kaji (Class 20) talks about micro-VC portfolio construction • Dilek Dayinlarli (Class 18) interviews Magdalena Green of ScaleX Ventures [Turkish] • Joe Floyd (Class 18) posts new Emergence Playbook episode with interview host Brian Jacobs (Mentor Class 11)
- Job opportunities: (CONTINUING) Nexamp seeks assistant general counsel • StartX Accelerator applications open through July 2 • Alchemist Accelerator startups with multiple positions open • Matter Ventures looking for 2 Program Coordinators
Kauffman Fellows Welcomes Class 22
Kauffman Fellows is proud to introduce Class 22! This year’s group of 51 Fellows represents the largest class to date, and also the most experienced, with over 60% of the class holding positions of partner, managing director, or CEO. The class is comprised of 35% women and 8% traditionally underserved minorities. Kauffman Fellows Jeff Harbach (Class 16) says, “I’m thrilled to welcome this incoming class of Kauffman Fellows; their combined experience and diversity is unparalleled in our industry.” [Press release]
The Kauffman Foundation has chosen the first set of recipients for its three-year scholarship initiative, announced last fall, that will send four Midwest investors to the Kauffman Fellows Program each year. Lisa Feria, CEO at Stray Dog Capital, and Thad Langford, partner at Flyover Capital—both Kansas City-based—join Scott Bernstein, principal at St. Louis-based Lewis & Clark Ventures, and Victor Gutwein, founder of Chicago-based M25, as part of Class 22. “Building the venture investor capacity in this region is one of the uncommon solutions we are supporting to clear the path for the makers, the doers, and the dreamers wanting to start and grow successful businesses,” says Kauffman Foundation CEO Wendy Guillies.
John Kim (Class 20) Explains Why Founders Should Think Global from the Start
In a video interview with Entrepreneur, John Kim (Class 20), Managing Partner at Amasia, explains “Why Many Founders Should Think Global From the Start.” The key, John says, is to realize that geography is far from the only characteristic that divides markets. Going global is now inevitable for any ambitious company that continues to grow, so it’s important to be prepared for opportunities in other countries by identifying what one is looking for early on.
Graham Gardner (Class 12) Cites Moneyball as Inspiration for His HealthTech Startup Kyruus
Graham Gardner (Class 12), co-founder and CEO of health IT startup Kyruus, was interviewed for the article “Startup Insider: 4 Questions with Kyruus CEO Dr. Graham Gardner.” Graham relates that the inspiration for Kyruus, creator of Big Data-based software that helps health systems match patients with the right provider, came from watching the movie Moneyball, which tells the story of how statistical analysis of player performance revolutionized baseball. He realized that using data to match physicians “with the kinds of patients, cases, and opportunities where they excelled” could address the “Patient Access Paradox,” in which around a third of appointment slots are available, yet patients must wait weeks or months to see a provider.
The healthcare industry contains some unique challenges for tech startups. Every patient, physician, and health system is different, and care delivery decisions require buy-in from as many as several dozen stakeholders. Furthermore, to tackle the problem of matching patients with providers, Kyruus had to overcome the lack of standardized information about the providers themselves. The firm is currently focused on preparing to scale and measuring the clinical impact of its product.
Marlon Nichols (Class 18) to Receive Award for Cultural Contribution Through Technology
Marlon Nichols (Class 18), co-founder and Managing Partner at Cross Culture Ventures, will be honored with an award from Culture Creators at the 2nd annual BET Awards in Los Angeles this weekend. The Culture Creators Awards Brunch, launched at last year’s BET Awards as a partnership between Culture Creators and VIBE, recognizes the “achievements of leaders, influencers, and positive forces throughout the African American community.” The goal is to “highlight leaders whose influence ushers the culture forward.” This year’s awards categories were music, film and TV, image and set design, media—and tech, where Marlon’s contributions were recognized. [Press release]
On the move & special mention:
Ken Elefant (Class 5) has joined Rob Rueckert (Class 12) to form Sorenson Ventures, sponsored by Sorenson Capital. The $100M fund is focused on early-stage software and security startups; the fund has had its first close and is about to do its first investment. Ken will be based in Palo Alto, CA, and Rob will continue to be based in Salt Lake City, UT.
Ken was recognized this month in MarketWatch as one of the most well-connected people in the tech industry. The analytics firm Relationship Science created the ranking, using a combination of the number of boards a person sits on or is directly linked to, her/his relationship to other investors, and her/his access to money and connection to firms with large assets, among other elements.
- Bedy Yang (Class 17) presented a webinar, “Investment Thesis Fundamentals,” sharing secrets that 500 Startups has learned about building an investment thesis from launching funds around the globe.
- Dave McClure’s (Mentor Class 17, 18, 22) talk from the eMerge Americas conference in Miami is featured on CNBC. Dave talks about the roles that passion and planning play in competing with Silicon Valley.
This week’s blog selections:
- Danny Cohen (Class 11) shares his initial thoughts about “The Impact of the $13.7B Amazon–Whole Foods Deal on the Current M&A World.” The deal illustrates the growing dominance of FAMGA (Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon), whose M&A teams “are focused on deals that move the needle.” Despite this online–offline acquisition, the trend has been tech acquisitions by large offline companies.
- Victor Gutwein (Class 22) kicks off a blog series to explain how micro-VC firms can enjoy the higher gross return and IRR typical of earlier, smaller investing, while managing the correspondingly higher risk. In particular, Victor sets out to counter the tendency among small funds to borrow the risk management approaches used by large funds.
- As a follow-up to his May 7 post about the importance for micro-VC funds of being in the top 10% of performers, Samir Kaji (Class 20) wrote “Is there ideal portfolio construction for seed funds?” He examines the importance of choosing the right portfolio model—a combination of distribution, concentration, and risk—arguing that the decision should be “a function of a thoughtful analysis of firm strengths/weaknesses, investment philosophy, and market realities.”
- Referring to a populous district in Istanbul, Dilek Dayinlarli (Class 18) wrote “From Kadıköy to the most important female entrepreneur and investor of Silicon Valley” [Turkish], an interview with Magdalena Green, Chairman of the investment committee at their firm, ScaleX Ventures, who has been an ongoing inspiration for Dilek.
- Joe Floyd (Class 18) posted the latest video in Emergence Capital’s “Emergence Playbook” YouTube series: “René Lacerte, CEO/Founder of Bill.com on How Bill.com Hires Great Talent and Builds a Healthy Culture.” The interview, conducted by Brian Jacobs (Mentor Class 11), covers topics such as hiring tips and the role of fitness and health in company culture.
If you are a Fellow or Mentor and would like to post a job at your firm or portfolio company, please email us. Jobs are shown here for 4 weeks unless otherwise requested.
- Zaid Ashai (Class 13) announced on LinkedIn that his firm, commercial solar developer Nexamp, is looking to hire an assistant general counsel. See the Nexamp website for details.
- Suzanne Fletcher (Class 21), Fund Manager of StartX, has announced that applications are open now through July 2 for the next StartX accelerator class.
- Ravi Belani (Class 11) posted on LinkedIn that seed-stage companies at his Alchemist Accelerator are looking for talent. See the Alchemist Job Board for details.
- Corey Ford (Class 17) writes on Medium that his firm, Matter Ventures, is hiring 2 full-time Program Coordinators for its accelerator program: one in New York and one in San Francisco. Read the job description and how to apply in Corey’s post.
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