Tag Archives: SDF

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.

Jun. 24, 2010 SDF Visionary Awards 2

On June 24, 2010 at Kelly Porter’s home in Lost Alto Hills, SDForum held its annual Visionary Awards. It was a great chance to meet people who change history.

Previous visionaries attending were Forest Baskett of New Enterprise Associates, Bill Draper of Draper Richards, Doug Engelbart of Stanford, James Gosling, Diane Greene of VMware, Steve Kirsch of Propel, Steven Levy of Wired and Ann Winblad of Hummer Winblad. This year the first visionary was Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn introduced by Jeff Weiner. The second visionary was Arthur C. Patterson of Accel Partners introduced by Ram Varadarajan of Arcot Systems. The third visionary was Brent Schlender of Techonomy introduced by Bill Gates of Microsoft. The third visionary was Chris Shipley of Guidewire Group introduced by Wendy Lea of Get Satisfaction.

More pictures can be seen at:




Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jun. 2, 2010 SDF Volunteers At SAP

On June 2, 2010 in Palo Alto at SAP, SDForum volunteers and staff got an inside look at SAP views on future technology trends.

David Cruickshank , Director, Co-innovation Lab Palo Alto presented “Global Ecosystem and Partner Group Overview of SAP’s Global Co-Innovation Lab Network-leveraging the Ecosystem to accelerate innovation.” SAP technology touches over half of the world’s GDP in one way or another. They want to reach everyone everywhere.

Sanjay Poonen, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Business User & LoB (Lines of Business) Solutions presented “Overview of how SAP’s analytical software solutions are transforming the way businesses run.” It is now possible to track every transaction and analyze it in real time.

Richard Probst, VP, Infrastructure Technology Strategy in the Technology and Innovation Platform group presented “Overview of SAP’s technology strategy, envisioning what enterprise software must look like in a world, that is mobile, on-demand and in-memory.” Probst tracked the historical trend from mainframes to client server to internet to enterprise 2.0.

Scott Bolick, VP Sustainability. Presented “Highlight SAP’s emerging solutions, including SAP Carbon Impact and Green Rewards.” They are moving to power their equipment and buildings to direct current solar this summer. He demonstrated SAP applications running on an Apple iPad.

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

July 21, 2009 SDF PWC

SDForum copy.jpgbengston-steve-copygarratt-matthew-copyhamid-mamoon-copyrubin-daniel-copyleopoldtilley-alison-2-copywalker-robert-copywood-don-copy

On July 21, 2009 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 Steve Bengston of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Matt Garratt of Battery Ventures, Mamoon Hamid of USVP, Dan Rubin of Alloy Ventures, Robert Walker of Sierra Ventures and Don Wood of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. They discussed trends in venture investments and how the economic landscape will change over the coming years.

The current investment picture is still flat or falling. Green or clean tech dropped from second to fourth place compared to other investment sectors. The problem is that clean tech is very much a physical infrastructure play, requiring more than what many venture capitalists are willing to invest. Startups are applying for government stimulus funds and some like electric vehicle maker Tesla are getting it, but it is a longer and more complicated process than VCs. While stimulus spending is growing, it is too early to see the impact in clean tech.

Private and government goals sometime are at odds for with each other. Public funds mean public interest. Governments like to incubate companies that create jobs. VCs like companies that create the value and not headcount.

Inside clean tech, the technologies to watch are smart grid and direct current inside the home. Almost every aspect of the smart grid needs to be developed. Historically utilities existed to provide power and encourage consumption. Entrepreneurs should not wait for utilities to change their spots but to push forward on opportunities that do not depend on them.Using an electric car as fuel cell for your home is one idea.

If few appliances require alternating current (AC) inside the home then perhaps a direct current (DC) grid to run them. It might use solid state or LED lighting, dramatically lowering costs. Your clothes dryer might need AC but your laptop computer probably does not.

All the VCs encouraged entrepreneurs to work on their pitches and why their ideas are unique and profitable. They want companies that will dominate their particular sector rather than fight for a percentage of a commodity industry. Be the biggest frog in your pond not the smallest shark  in the ocean.


Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Dec. 3, 2008 SDF Security Threats

SDForum copy.jpgcaughron-mathew-copy.jpgcornish-ames-copy.jpgkishore-kumar-copy.jpg

On December 3, 2008 in Palo Alto SDForum Security SIG hosted “Security Threats to Networking Infrastructure” by Kishore Kumar, President and CEO of Pari Networks.

Kumar addressed the growing network security risks facing CXO/IT Managers and how to deal with advisories. He said Cisco’s Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) releases advisories on security vulnerability related information, related to their products and networks. These advisories could adversely impact network security, availability and compliance. He showed how networking older devices manually could complicate auditing advisories and strategies for dealing with them.


Copyright 2008 DJ Cline All rights reserved.