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Friday, November 12, 2010

Silicon valley SLP 1st full day workshop

SLP silicon valley had its first full day workshop on nov 6 with a number of talks and financial modeling exercise.

Day started of early in the morning with talk on startup strategy. The speaker, Mr Jagadish Bandhole, CEO of fonemine is a serial entrepeur. Key points in his talk related to what entrepreurs look at in starting their companies and how vcs see it in terms of risk mitigation. This was followed with a team exercise on strategy - product, channels, financing of a new hypothetical search company.

Next talk given by Dr. M. (Ken) Kengatharan. Dr. Ken has extensive experience in pharmacy industry. He talked at length about practical experiences in starting and a new venture eg importance of timing, secrecy needs etc. This was followed by a spirited Q&A.

Finally Prem Uppaluru, CEO of Transera, gave a talk on strategy and vision needs of a stratup. Intervowen in this was fundamental points related to needs vs wants and importance of targetting.

Needless to say we overshot all our schedules because of the great learnings we were getting exposed to.

Second half was set aside for financial modeling. Our own Rama Sekhar, fellow SLP, gave a talk on the vc funding process and took the mystery out of their financial due diligence process. He told us about VC 'haircuts' on proposed valuations, drivers and financial models and gave the class a good idea of what is important in the VC slide deck.

Rama was followed by Sendur Sellakumar, a VP at Morgan Stanley. He detailed the financial modeling process for a company about to file for an IPO and how it differed from early financial modeling. It was great to see a curriculum that was tailored for companies at all stages in the process.

We ended the day with an exercise created by our Program Lead and SLP's founder in which each cohort got a financial model for a fictitious web services company and had to explain what drivers or model parameters seemed wrong -- i.e. do what VCs would do to examine a startup's model. Since each cohort's model was slightly different, the class was able to learn about a lot of different potential mistakes / holes.

Great day with some very engaging speakers.

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