San Francisco vs. Atlanta as a place to run your startup company

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On this episode of Bay Area Ventures we speak with Paul Judge, Co-Founder and CEO of Luma. Paul, is an inventor, investor and serial entrepreneur. He is a cybersecurity expert and has had extensive experience in the field through many of his roles. In addition to Luma, Paul was a co-founder of Pindrop Security, Looklive, Tech Square Labs and PureWire, a web security service acquired by Barracuda Networks where he stayed on to be their Chief Research Officer and VP for over five years and through to their $2B IPO.

Luma logoPaul Judge, CEO Luma

Before all that, Paul was the Chief Technology Officer of CipherTrust and Secure Computing. CipherTrust was acquired by Secure Computing for $273M in 2006 and Secure Computing was subsequently acquired by McAfee in 2008 for $465M.

In addition to almost 30 patents under his belt, Paul is an author and lecturer and holds MS and PhDs in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a BS in computer science from Morehouse College. You can find videos of some of Paul’s lectures on his website at www.pjudge.com.

Paul tells us about his latest company Luma, makers of a new Surround WiFi system that brings the type of WiFi service typically found in large commercial spaces to the home. Luma is a scalable system that allows one to place multiple access points throughout a home, overcoming the limitations of typical home Wifi routers which only have antennas in one location. Luma also employs sophisticated software to make configuration a snap and to protect your home from cyber intrusions.

Luma in living room

Paul also shares his advice on building and running a startup company talking about his transition from a Ph. D. student and early employee at a startup company to becoming a serial entrepreneur on his own. Having homes and offices in both San Francisco and Atlanta, he compares the differences between running startups in the Bay Area versus other locations. The good and the bad.

Paul is an engaging speaker offering great advice for any entrepreneur.

Recorded December 19, 2016 on SiriusXM Channel 111, Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School. Bay Area Ventures airs live on Mondays at 4:00pm Pacific Time, 7:00pm Eastern Time.

For a list of upcoming and past guest information click on the Show link above.

How to run your startup as if your life depended on it

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Sheryl O’Loughlin, CEO of REBBL joined me recently to talk about her company, her life and her new book “Killing It: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Keeping Your Head Without Losing Your Heart“. You can hear it all in this episode of Bay Area Ventures recorded on December 19, 2016.

We begin the interview by catching up on the changes in her life that led her to leave a faculty role at Sonoma State University to join REBBL as their CEO, then we discuss her new book in detail.

Sheryl practices what she preaches and teaches. She advises entrepreneurs to create “purpose driven organizations” and that’s just what she is doing at REBBL, a registered Benefit Corporation. REBBL is the offshoot of the non-profit organization Not For Sale which is working to stop human trafficking around the world. Specifically, Not For Sale is striving to improve the lives or women and girls in developing countries who are most at risk for exploitation of human traffickers. 2.5 percent of REBBL’s net sales goes to Not For Sale and Sheryl talks about how she has chosen investors and co-workers who support the fact that REBBL is about more than just the bottom line.

Sheryl, is open and passionate about sharing her experiences as an entrepreneur. She has lived through the ups and downs of building a company and suffered the tolls that it takes on one’s health and relationships. After coming close to personal bankruptcy, Sheryl spiraled into a personal health crisis but, managed to pull herself through with counseling and the support of her family, friends and colleagues. To help other entrepreneurs avoid the problems and challenges she has gone through, she authored her new book, Killing It. Unlike a typical book or business school course on strategy, financing, marketing and all the other nuts and bolts of building a startup, Killing It talks about the personal decisions and actions one must take to maintain a healthy outlook and physical well-being needed to launch a company.

Killing It Book Sheryl O'Loughlin Killing It Book link

In Killing It, Sheryl walks entrepreneurs through the various stages of building a company from the decisions around founding a company, to choosing partners, teams and investors, to the ongoing stages of growth that a typical startup goes through. At each stage she offers personal advice about how to stay true to one’s personal beliefs and how to avoid the mistake of going from a healthy passionate pursuit to a destructive obsession. Sheryl openly discusses her own personal experience of going down the “dark path” and how difficult it was to see it while it was happening and how she ultimately came to put her work and life in balance.

Today she is back, her company is thriving and she is happy and fully connected with her relationships. She has dedicated time for family. Her team at REBBL is fully aligned, feel they are on an epic journey and share the dedication and fun of work with each other in order to help each other stay connected and in balance.

This is a highly personal story and fantastic advice for any entrepreneur.

To purchase Sheryl’s book go to Killing It
For more information on Not For Sale go to: www.notforsalecampaign.org

Recorded December 19, 2016 on SiriusXM Channel 111, Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School. Bay Area Ventures airs live on Mondays at 4:00pm Pacific Time, 7:00pm Eastern Time.

For a list of upcoming and past guest information click on the Show link above.

Artificial intelligence and deep machine learning are here

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NBC Universal, Hallmark, Facebook and other large enterprise companies are creating new personalized offerings that resonate with customers on a deep emotional level with artificial intelligence and deep machine learning.

They are working with GlimpzIt, a San Francisco based company to host conversations where customers and other audiences can express their opinions and share pictures and videos to illustrate their views. Parry Bedi is the Co-Founder and CEO of GlimpzIt and talks about his company and how they do it in this interview on Bay Area Ventures From SiriusXM Channel 111 Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School recorded November 14, 2016.

Why entrepreneurs must understand the sales function

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My latest podcast of Bay Area Ventures is an interview with Jim Fowler, Founder and CEO of Owler.com. Jim is a serial entrepreneur who launched Jigsaw.com in 2003 and sold it to Salesforce.com in 2010 for $175M.

Jim Fowler - Founder and CEO of Owler

Jim’s leadership skills have evolved over time and build on his experience as a Naval officer, Co-Owner of a ski resort, a VP of Sales and two-time tech entrepreneur.

The Owler team includes several of Jim’s friends and colleagues who have worked with him before which is a testament to his ability to foster and congeal teams. In this interview he shares his experiences in building and running companies, discusses some mistakes he’s made along the way and explains why he thinks the most important skill for an entrepreneur is to fully understand the sales process including how and why customers are going to pay for your company’s products or services.

Jim’s motivation for working and speaking is to help others. He is not drawing a salary from Owler and plans to donate his profits to charity. He is most concerned with setting a good example as a father rather than to sit back and live off of his prior gains.

I guarantee this podcast will be a great use of your time.

Bay Area Ventures replays now available here and on Spreaker

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I’m pleased to announce that replays of my Bay Area Ventures show will now be available on this site both on this blog page or on our Bay Area Ventures Guests page (available from the Show link above). The replays are hosted on Spreaker for streaming and downloading here as well as on the Spreaker mobile app, iTunes, Facebook, and elsewhere.

My first replay is an interview with Dr. Kirk Heath, Co-Founder and CEO along with Dr. Tom Clifford, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Modio Health recorded on July 25, 2016.

Modio Health is a startup with offices in San Francisco, California and Virginia Beach, Virginia focused on solving the inefficiencies of credentialing and career management for healthcare providers and the healthcare systems they work for.

Hear Kirk and Tom discuss how their backgrounds as surgeons and the hindrance to doing the work they love caused by burdensome paperwork, led them to create a high-tech solution to managing physician credentials. Learn how they teamed up experts in healthcare provider management from Virginia Beach with technology and marketing wizards from the San Francisco Bay Area to design and build their system and services.

Modio Health is a venture funded company experiencing rapid growth. Kirk and Tom share their story of transition from the Operating Room to the Board Room and how to develop a high performance entrepreneurial team.

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Bay Area Ventures on SiriusXM’s channel 111 Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School is a show about the San Francisco Bay Area way of doing Business covering all aspects of what makes working and living in the Bay Area unique and special. From startups to Fortune 500 companies, from politics to public policy, from venture financing to mergers & acquisitions, and even to the lifestyles of those living and working in the Bay Area, I try to cover it all in order to help you apply the great practices of the Bay Area to your ventures. The show airs live on Monday’s from 4:00pm to 6:00pm Pacific Time and is broadcast via satellite radio from our studio at the campus of Wharton|San Francisco (The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania’s San Francisco Campus on the Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco)

Every live show includes two feature guests for up to one hour each. Each of the Bay Area Venture podcasts on Spreaker covers one feature guest interview from the show. In addition to the feature guest, each month I host an “M&A Moment”, with Rick Climan, of the Weil law firm and every quarter I host a Bay Area Council Quarterly Update with Jim Wunderman of the Bay Area Council.

The M&A Moment is a look at top merger and acquisition deals involving at least one Bay Area company, as well as an exploration of strategy, tactics and financing inherent to this exciting multi-billion dollar business practice. The M&A Moment is available as a separate podcast here and on Spreaker at The M&A Moment.

Sales tax management made easy with Avalara

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Collecting and reporting of sales tax is a complicated task for any company, but a fast growing startup based on Bainbridge Island, Washington is changing all that. Avalara provides realtime automation of sales tax processing for online as well as brick and mortar retailers. The company automates the process of collecting sales tax, preparing returns for state and local jurisdictions, and also manages resale permits for your customers who purchase goods for resale.

Marshal Kushniruk, Avalara’s Executive Vice President of Business Development, is the company’s first hire and is a serial entrepreneur with an amazing track record of success. In his interview on The Free COO podcast on July 19, 2012, Marshal talks about his distinguished career and tells us how Avalara is helping companies eliminate a tedious but necessary task by offering a cloud based automated sales tax system.

Prior to Avalara, Marshal founded The Byte Stuff and Abacus Accounting Software, both highly successful startups. This was a fantastic interview, full of incredible insights and advice for any entrepreneur.

For more information on Avalara go to www.avalara.com

The Founder’s Dilemmas explored

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Dr. Noam Wasserman, Ph. D., Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School is the author of “The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup“. This is an amazing book that is simply a “must read” for any entrepreneur, anyone who will be working for an entrepreneur, their investors, vendors and customers.

Whether founding a company by yourself or with a team, and whether that team is comprised of friends and family, work colleagues or strangers, you’ll need to be aware of all of the forks in the road and dilemmas that you will face when starting a high-potential startup. Fortunately, this book really covers all the bases and, where Dr. Wasserman is uncertain of a particular dilemma or outcome, he is clear about that as well.

Founders Dilemmas is the result of over a decade of intensive research following the founders of over 10,000 startups in technology and bio-tech. If you are starting any company, you’d be crazy not to read this book. It will really open your eyes and could give you that edge you’ll need to be both king of your venture and rich.

Hear Noam discuss some of his key insights from his work. This is a rare chance to learn from one of the top business professors in the United States and you won’t even have to take a GMAT. Enjoy!


The Free COO airs Thursdays at 4:00pm on Spreaker

Biotech incubator QB3 transforming research into new ventures

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Biotech startups, business advice, startup incubators

Douglas Crawford, Ph. D., Associate Director of QB3 and Managing Director of Mission Bay Capital discusses the role of the State of California’s Governor Gray Davis Institutes for Science and Innovations’ role in transferring academic research into viable startup ventures. QB3, The California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences is one of the four institutes and is a conduit for the University of California’s UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and UC Santa Cruz’s biosciences departments.

Learn how PH. D.’s in bioscience are forming venture backed startups on their own or in a partnership with other tech and business entrepreneurs. Hear about the many programs and opportunities open to all entrepreneurs at QB3.

For more information on QB3 and Mission Bay Capital follow these links:
QB3
Mission Bay Capital

For information on the other Institutes for Science and Innovation follow this link:
The Governor Gray Davis Institute for Science and Innovation

The Free COO airs Thursdays at 4:00pm Pacific Time on Spreaker.

Hot Topic Media’s Gady Costeff on Entrepreneurship

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Gady Costeff is CEO of Hot Topic Media and an expert at online marketing. Starting in the Dot Com era, Gady has been at the forefront of building high volume web properties and high performing teams.

Learn abut Gady’s background and his favorite avocation being a chess composer.

Here is a link to some of Hot Topic Media’s websites:

www.doubleyourdating.com
www.catchhimandkeephim.com

Len Lodish discusses how Diapers.com went from zero to $545M

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in business advice, free business advice, Marketing

Len Lodish, Vice Dean, Program for Social Impact and Samuel R. Harrell Professor in the Marketing department of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania was my guest on The Free COO radio show on May 3, 2012.

Two of Len’s students from Wharton San Francisco’s MBA for Executives program founded Diapers.com while in school. Len was an investor and on Diaper.com’s Board of Directors. He discusses how the company went from a startup to its acquisition by Amazon.com for $545MM in just five years. Here how Diaper.com started in a garage, sourcing supplies from Costco in order to test their theory and market potential. Then learn how their customer service totally delights their customers.

Dr. Lodish also helped two other students get www.milo.com off the ground and sold to eBay.com in less than three years.

In this amazing interview we’ll explore Len’s career, his courses at Wharton, his own fantastically successful startups, his Global Consulting Practicum and how he and his wife complete a 1,000km unassisted tandem bike ride somewhere in the world each year to raise funds for the ALS Association of Philadelphia.

You’ve got to hear this interview end to end.

For more information about Len or to contribute to his annual 1,000K fund raiser visit these links:

www.alsphiladelphia.org/lodish

Wharton MBA for Executives

Len Lodish’s profile

The Free COO airs Thursdays on Speaker.com. You can also hear replays on Facebook and iTunes.