Join us for the Founders Space San Francisco Roundtable, where founders gather to share knowledge and work together to solve problems. Roundtables are geared to founders and C-level executives of growth-oriented companies for exploring critical issues and business opportunities with peers and subject matter experts.
Each Roundtable tackles a specific subject, such as negotiating a term sheet, creating a marketing plan, filing patents, raising venture capital, etc. The session begins with industry experts, who provide an overview of the topic and detailed business advice. Then we break up into smaller groups, where participants can ask questions and receive advice and feedback from the panelists, advisors, and other founders.
Topic: The Black Art of Learning from the Competition.
Presenters: Ryan Spoon of Polaris Venture Partners, Carol Sands of The Angels' Forum, and Curtis Mo of DLA Piper.
Ryan Spoon of Polaris Venture Partners, Carol Sands of The Angels' Forum, and Curtis Mo of DLA Piper answer your questions.
Ryan Spoon is a principal in San Francisco at Polaris’ Dog Patch Lab. He focuses on investments in internet, technology, and digital media. Ryan blogs at www.ryanspoon.com. Prior to joining Polaris, Ryan worked at Widgetbox as VP of Marketing & Business Development. Ryan spent 2003-2007 at eBay Inc. As part of the internet marketing team, Ryan focused on user acquisition, search engine optimization and social content properties like eBay MyWorld and Reviews & Guides. Most recently, Ryan launched and managed the Kijiji.com business. In 2000, as a collegiate swimmer for Duke university, Ryan founded beRecruited, a sports recruiting platform for high school athletes and college coaches. beRecruited was acquired by RVS Ventures in 2007 and Ryan currently serves on the board of directors. He is also the founder and president of sfEntrepreneurs, an organization of Bay Area investors and operators, which first launched InGameNow.com. Ryan holds a B.A. from Duke University.
Carol Sands is the Founder and the Managing Member of The Angels' Forum and The Halo Funds. Carol's career started as a bank officer with First Bank Systems. She has also held marketing or sales positions with Motorola and Xerox Computer Services and executive positions at Arthur Young (now Ernst & Young) and Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers). She later founded Sands MarketingPlus, an international sales management and marketing consulting firm with advertising and PR agencies. In 1997, she incorporated The Angels' Forum Management Company, the parent company of The Angel's Forum, a revolutionary company in angel investing that organizes individual investors with previous entrepreneurial experience to invest as a single entity using a venture capital model for due diligence, mentoring, and board management. Starting in 2000, Carol co-founded a series of four venture funds to invest in early-stage Silicon Valley start-ups. Carol received her BA in Business Administration from The University of Iowa.
Curtis Mo is a partner in DLA Piper's Corporate and Securities group, based in Silicon Valley. He comes to DLA Piper from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, where he was partner-in-charge of that firm's Palo Alto office. He is recognized as a leading corporate and securities lawyer in Silicon Valley. He has represented emerging growth companies, major public companies, investment banks, venture capital funds and private equity funds in hundreds of public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, buyouts, venture capital financings and other complex transactions. He has extensive experience in corporate governance matters and regularly acts as general outside counsel to public and private companies at all stages of development, particularly in the technology, life sciences, clean energy technology and consumer sectors.
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