Tag Archives: Allison Leopold Tilley of Pillsbury Winthrop

Nov. 6, 2012 SVForum PWC

On November 6, 2012, in Palo Alto at Pillsbury Winthrop, SVForum with PWC presented a Quarterly Venture Breakfast on”Gaming.” Allison Leopold Tilley of Pillsbury Winthrop moderated panelists Kathleen Borie of PwC, Patricia Nakache of Trinity Ventures and Eric Tilenius of Scale Venture Partners. They discussed the dramatic growth of gaming and social media in the mobile sector and the potential for investors.

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Feb. 7, 2012 SVForum PWC

On Tuesday February 7, 2012 in Palo Alto at Pillsbury Winthrop, SVForum presented the SVForum Quarterly Venture Breakfast with Pillsbury Winthrop and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The topic was “2011 The Year In Review.” Allison Leopold Tilley of Pillsbury Winthrop moderated panelists Steve Bengston of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Casper de Clercq of Norwest Venture Partners, Steve Goldberg of Venrock and Ann Winblad of Hummer Winblad. They discussed the past year and prospects for the next.

Venture capital investments went up from $23 billion in 2010 to $26 billion in 2011. Fundraising went up from $10 billion in 2010 to $12 billion in 2011. This growth is seen as unsustainable when the top sectors of cleantech, biotech, and medical devices are vulnerable to scaling and regulatory issues. Despite the IPOs of LinkedIn and Pandora, the trend toward VC backed companies going public declined from 75 in 2010 to 50 in 2011. This does not help the unemployed if over ninety percent of job creation occurs after a company has an IPO. The Facebook IPO may generate more Silicon Valley angel investing, but such investment has not generated well paying jobs in the US.

According to the US Dept of Commerce and Wall Street Journal, multinationals over the past decade have cut 2.9 million jobs in the US and moved 2.4 overseas. One result is that over 80 percent of internet growth is overseas where more than 90 percent of the children under 15 live in emerging markets. One place the population may not be growing is in China, where the workforce will peak in 2015 and become the world’s largest economy by 2017 but be surpassed in population by India in 2020. Growth in Europe is unlikely considering their continuing instability as seen in Greece.

Despite more money going in, there are fewer exits. The current situation is unsustainable.

 

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

 

Oct. 18, 2011 SVForum PWC

On Tuesday October 18, 2011 in Palo Alto at Pillsbury Winthrop, SVForum presented the SVForum Quarterly Venture Breakfast with Pillsbury Winthrop and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The topic was “The Investment Landscape in Smart Grid.” Allison Leopold Tilley of Pillsbury Winthrop moderated panelists Matt Garratt of Battery Ventures, Nick Mignano of Crosslink Capital, Angela Sanford of PricewaterhouseCoopers and Paul Straub of Claremont Creek Ventures.

While money is going into the smart grid, there have been problems getting it out. Smart meters meet increasing opposition despite their goal to recognize and reduce peak demand for utilities. Shifting government policies make it difficult for startups to carry out a consistent long-term strategy. Domestic growth seems to be in a smart gridlock while global competitors roll out new projects in developing countries and offer government-subsidized products to consumers. It seems that to succeed in the smart grid, a startup must get a utility CEO to sign a big check for a long term deal.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Feb. 1, 2011 SDF PWC

On Tuesday, February 1, 2011 in Palo Alto at Pillsbury Winthrop, SDForum presented a Quarterly Venture Breakfast with Pillsbury Winthrop and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Allison Leopold-Tilley of Pillsbury Winthrop moderated panelists Steve Bengston of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Tim Chang of Norwest Venture Partners, Mark Gorenberg of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Todd MacLean of Accel Partners and Jon Sakoda of NEA.

Where 2009 was a tough year, 2010 was a mixed year. Venture capitalists invested ten billion dollars more than they raised. Something has got to give and it will probably be the weaker VCs. Most of it went to cleantech, biotech, and medical devices facing infrastructure and regulatory obstacles. Meanwhile the mobile space grew with the demand for smart phones and the services they use.

With the economy down for so long, there is a thirst for growth. Companies with lots of cash are looking for new opportunities. The problem is the symbiotic relationship between M&A and IPOs does not work well in environment with Sarbanes Oxley and investors burned by too many bubbles. Few startups want to have an IPO and therefore have less leverage in negotiating M&As. Not every startup is like Facebook where they can attract large amounts of investment from Goldman Sachs and Russian private equity.

Which brings up the issue of foreign investment and growth. China has bigger market, more companies, more growth and more deals than the United States. While many Chinese startups come to America for the prestige of getting money from Silicon Valley VCs, eventually they may get more money staying home. The question is how to exit in a market that may be less transparent or stable.

The lack of foreign capital could mean a return to normal. At this point the number of jobs and the amount of investment in Silicon Valley are about where they were in the 1990s, before everything was caught up in the dotcom bubble. Most of the VC money in the country is still spent here. As VCs chase bigger deals, super angels are stepping in. While investors create wealth with M&As, they do not create jobs. Large companies are buying startups not just for their intellectual property but their talented employees. This process only consolidates the number of jobs. In order to increase the number of jobs, we need to increase the number of IPOs.

The next year will see the further rise of Apple, Facebook and Google platforms in the mobile space. Moving operations to the cloud will be normal. BRIC countries will continue to grow while other countries try to emulate them. After years of decline, there is a chance for growth.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Oct. 19, 2010 SDF PWC

On Tuesday, October 19, 2010 in Palo Alto, SDForum with Pillsbury Winthrop and PricewaterhouseCoopers held a Quarterly Venture Breakfast on “Clean Technology.” Allison Leopold-Tilley of Pillsbury Winthrop moderated panelists Steve Bengston of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sven Strohband of Mohr Davidow Ventures, Don Wood of Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Rick Yang of NEA.

Steve Bengston of PricewaterhouseCoopers delivered Wayne Hedden’s report “Clean Technology Investment Trends October 2010” that included data from the MoneyTree Report and Thomson Reuters. After taking a dive with the economic downturn at the end of 2008, cleantech investments rose again only to decrease in the third quarter of 2010. The largest deal was $106 million for Trilliant who provide wireless network solutions for grid management. The cleantech sector is maturing and starting to behave like the sectors for biotech, medical and software.

One of the unique parts of cleantech are the large capital requirements for developing infrastructure to the last mile, best seen in smart grid or power generation startups. The other is the lack of Moore’s Law in the efficiency of photovoltaics. While the efficiency of solar panels is increasing, it is not increasing exponentially like semiconductors. What can increase dramatically is energy efficiency. If twenty five percent of US electricity is consumed for lighting, the potential for savings with sensors and LEDs could drive down it down to five percent of consumption.

The panel saw the next big growth in the cleantech sector as water. Just as smart grids can increase efficiency in electricity, smart pipes can reduce waste. Better measurement and management will be necessary as more of the world population moves into cities and consumption increases. Look for opportunities in water desalinization that requires less or even no electricity like forward osmosis developed by Oasis.

It is important to remember that like the old energy sector, the cleantech sector is very much a product of government policy and subsidy. China, Germany and other countries are making progress because they have a national consensus despite political changes in government. Recognizing and dealing with the inevitable changes we face will reward investors and the countries that move toward cleantech.

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Apr. 23, 2010 SDF Teen Tech Titans of Tomorrow

On April 23, 2010 in Mountain View at Microsoft, SDForum held the fourth annual “Tech Titans of Tomorrow: Teens Plugged In 2010.” The focus was on being more socially and environmentally responsible and using social media. Text from DJCline.com

The opening keynote was given by Josh Becker of New Cycle Capital. Becker is a Green Energy Entrepreneur who for over twenty years has worked at the nexus of community activism, technology, environmentalism, and social justice. He co-founded New Cycle Capital, a pioneer in building socially responsible businesses. Josh also co-founded the Stanford Board of Fellows program, which trains students to serve on the boards of local non-profits, engaging them in social progress at the beginning of their careers, rather than the end. He thinks there is never a better to time to make the world a better place.

Mike Cassidy of the San Jose Mercury News moderated the first panel with college students Matthew Roeckel of Santa Clara University, Sol Tran Santa Clara University, Alvin Tse of Stanford and Nima Wedlake of UC Berkeley. His Silicon Valley Dispatches column looks at the entrepreneurship, diversity and risk-taking tradition that make the valley a place like few others in the world. While seldom watching television they may carry more than one mobile device to surf or text.

Anne Hardy of SAP gave the first corporate spotlight. Hardy leads Technology Innovation initiatives for SAP’s Technology Strategy group. She looks for critical enabling technologies that might disrupt SAP’s platform business.

James Bickford of Tigo Energy gave the first teen success story. After graduating from Santa Clara with a degree in mechanical engineering, James Bickford co-founded Valence Energy to develop energy efficiency software. He gave a hilarious talk about moving a solar house across the country. Bickford became the Marketing Manager at Tigo Energy. Their technology significantly boosts the amount of energy harvested from any solar panel.

Bruce Klafter of Applied Materials gave the second corporate spotlight. Klafter is the Senior Director of Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) and also serves as Head, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability for Applied Materials. Applied Materials is one of the leading suppliers of equipment and services to several industries, including the semiconductor, flat-panel display and solar photovoltaic industries.

Emily Gran and Julia Sommer of Menlo-Atherton told their success stories saving energy by changing behavior with high schools. Gran got involved in the environmental movement and spread the message to her peers about climate change and encouraging people to get involved.

Shreya Indukuri of The Harker School told her success story. She co-founded SmartPowerEd, a network seeking to connect schools with smart energy-tracking systems to cut carbon emissions and energy costs. She was a youth climate representative at the Governor’s Global Climate Summit and her project was part of a UNICEF documentary. She is currently on the Youth Advisory Board for Alliance for Climate Education, who awarded her project a $5,500 grant for on-campus green initiatives in 2009.

Allison Leopold Tilley of Pillsbury Winthrop moderated the fireside chat “Learning Lessons from Young Entrepreneurs” with Ken Elkabany of PiCloud and Simon Montford of Vibio.

Ken Elkabany graduated with honors from the University of California at Berkeley Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department, getting the William Everitt Award for Excellence in 2007. He co-founded HotSwap, a video ecommerce pioneer. He is the CEO of PiCloud, providing true utility computing in the cloud. He is also a published academic researcher in biomedical engineering.

Simon Montford is a British serial entrepreneur born in London. Some of his ventures were Corsellis-Montford Interactive, acquired by New Media Industries Group in 2000 and icollector Plc, purchased in 1999 by Able Auctions Inc. He left London to become an Entrepreneur in residence at Edinburgh University in 2007 and is currently founder and CEO of Vibio (UK) Ltd and Vibio Inc.

After lunch there was the “Call to Action: Teens Reach Out.” Teen entrepreneurs and developers gave their thirty second pitch on their projects.

Crystal Yan of Monta Vista High School told her teen success story. Yan is the Founder of Torque Media Group (design agency with a nonprofit branch that offers pro-bono design packages to startups/nonprofits), Co-Founder of Social Startup Summit (high-impact social entrepreneurship unconference for youth), Co-Curator of What’s Next: 25 Big Ideas from 25 Gen-Yers Under 25 (an e-book with big ideas from under-25 entrepreneurs/activists), and Founder of EconForAll (media campaign to with tools to make learning fun for K-12 educators and nonprofits). She is a trilingual Chinese American student entrepreneur in the San Francisco Bay Area. She talked about ways to eradicate polio.

Alison van Diggelen of Fresh Dialogues moderated the second panel with high school students from local Bay Area high schools discusses how they use technology and their personal interest in technology and entrepreneurship.

Amy Strande of Microsoft gave the third corporate spotlight. Strande is a Director with the Student Audience Marketing team.  She has launched connected the digital experiences of website, mobile and  competitions to reach students and give them low cost software, career advice, and school success tips.

Chris McCann of Startup Digest told his teen success story. McCann is an entrepreneur, writer, and general activist in the entrepreneurial community of Silicon Valley and San Luis Obispo. He has led the entrepreneurial programs at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he started an alumni led incubator Innovation Quest. He leads social media strategy for TEDx Silicon Valley.

Matt Thompson of Microsoft moderated the third panel Ben Narasin of TriplePoint Capital, Gamiel Gran of Sierra Ventures, Eli Chait of Alsop Louie Partners. They listened as teen entrepreneurs pitched to investors and experienced entrepreneurs, got advice and input on their projects. Text from DJCline.com

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Apr. 20, 2010 SDF PWC

On April 20, 2010 at Pillsbury Winthrop in Palo Alto, SDForum held the Quarterly Venture Breakfast Series in collaboration with PWC. Allison Leopold-Tilley of Pillsbury Winthrop moderated panelists Stephane Berthier of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Asheem Chandna of Greylock, Peter Sonsini of NEA and Andy Vitus of Scale Ventures. They discussed the growth of cloud players from Amazon, Google and Microsoft down to startups looking for their first round of funding.

While aware of trends and fads, venture capitalists look for the black swan. They want the entrepreneur with the track record and passion who understands how their product fits in an existing or entirely new market. While Amazon dominates the cloud infrastructure space with its ability to supply servers, there are many opportunities in applications, security and databases. MySql does not seem to be able to scale well in the cloud and that is an opportunity for some entrepreneur.

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.