Startups today are transcending typical fund-raising models to bring their ideas to the masses. While venture capitalists were traditionally the only means for funding and mentorship, the past decade has seen a surge of hundreds of incubators. And the landscape continues to evolve as crowdfunding models such as Kickstarter have become the new revolution in finding new capital. These new financing models are enabling more ownership control for founders and greater access to mentorship. As founders seek more freedom and find new ways to access capital, what’s at stake for the VC community? How sustainable is the rapid growth in incubators? Is crowdfunding just a financing fad or a viable reality? What can we expect next for new fund-raising models? Please join us as venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and business financiers discuss these topics and how new models are changing the scene for tech startups.
We are excited to welcome the following thought leaders and experts to our discussion:
|John Hoesley ’98
Managing Director @ Silicon Valley Bank
John Hoesley is a managing director with Silicon Valley Bank (“SVB”), where he leads the Midwest region for the bank. In this role, he is responsible for providing a full array of banking services to SVB’s clients in the information technology, life sciences, clean technology and private equity/venture capital segments.Prior to joining SVB in 2011, John spent 10 years with Prism Capital, a Chicago-based private equity firm with $190MM under management. At Prism, John was a partner in the firm’s venture capital and mezzanine funds and led its healthcare investment initiative. Previously, Hoesley was the CFO of Legato Partners, which successfully restarted the Breck’s and Spring Hill horticulture brands after the bankruptcy of their parent company, and co-founded Evincio Corporation, provider of data management software.
He is on the Executive Committee of the Illinois Venture Capital Association, is the President of IMSA Fund for the Advancement of Education and is a member of the Midwest healthcare Investor Network. Hoesley holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master of management degree from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Founder @ Pebble
Eric Migicovsky studied Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo in Canada. After graduating, he began working on smart watches. In 2011 Eric was accepted into the prestigious Y- Combinator startup incubator in Silicon Valley, California, where he attracted several investors’ attention. His first product, inPulse, was featured in the NYT, Wired and Popular Science.
Over the following year, living in Palo Alto, Calif., Eric and his team have succeeded in developing their next product, the Pebble smart watch for iPhone and Android phones. In April 2012, Pebble was first publicly offered on Kickstarter and backer investments skyrocketed, receiving a record of $10.2mm from 68,000 backers and in Jan 2013, Pebble began shipping to customers.
|Patrick Eggen ’04
Director of Seed Program @ Qualcomm Ventures
Patrick is a Director at Qualcomm Ventures and based in San Francisco. He oversees Qualcomm Ventures’s Seed program, focused on very early stage opportunities. Additionally, he serves as the group lead for investment opportunities in the mobile software and services sector.
Prior to joining Qualcomm, Patrick worked for Salomon Smith Barney’s Investment Banking unit in their Chicago, London and Hong Kong offices. He was a member of their Global Telecommunications team, involved in both M&A advisory roles and capital-raising transactions. Patrick has an M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a B.A. from Northwestern University.
Patrick currently manages and/or actively serves as a Board Observer for Qualcomm Ventures investments in Viddy, Noom, EduPath, Starmaker, Tempo AI, OpenSignal, ChaCha and Local Response. Prior investments (exits) include Aicent, Clicker (acquired by CBS), Plixi (acquired by Lockerz), ThinkNear (acquired by TNAV) and Viewdle (acquired by GOOG).
Founder and CFO @ RocketHub
Alon Hillel-Tuch is a Founder and the Chief Financial Officer of RocketHub, one of the world’s largest crowdfunding platforms. Alon was born in the land of cheese and clogs, The Netherlands, and speaks English, Dutch, German, and a smidge of Mandarin Chinese. Alon co-authored two whitepapers, entitled Regulation of Crowdfunding: Building On the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, and Implementation Of Crowdfunding: Building On Title III Of The Jobs Act, which have both received critical acclaim and resulted in Alon testifying before the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in US Congress and meeting with the U.S Treasury Department, White House’s Jobs Counsel, SEC, FINRA, and the Ontario Securities Commission.
Alon holds a B.A. from Hamilton College and received his M.Sc from Columbia University. Alon is a fellow at the Earth Institute and is currently part of the Advanced Consortium of Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity think-tank on genocide prevention.
|Troy Henikoff (Moderator)
Managing Director @ TechStars Chicago
Troy Henikoff was the CEO and Co-founder of Excelerate, a seed stage accelerator in Chicago, which is now Techstars Chicago. Additionally he teaches Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University, is on the board of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center and an advisor to Hyde Park Angels. His last 25 years have been spent starting, running and advising early stage technology companies.
Prior to Excelerate, Troy was the CEO of OneWed.com, a wedding website that provides the largest online database of wedding vendors, detailed ratings and reviews and a smart, unique voice for wedding planning tips and advice. Troy was also the President of Amacai, a consumer and business data supplier. Previously, Troy co-founded SurePayroll.com, now the largest Internet based payroll company in the country. Prior to SurePayroll, Troy built the technology for Jellyvision (creators of “You Don’t Know Jack!” ) and his first company was Specialized Systems and Software, which focused on creating custom database applications.
Troy has an undergraduate degree in Engineering from Brown University and a Masters Degree in Project Management from Northwestern.