Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fwd: News from Flywheel Ventures

Congrats to Steve Pal and Juan Pablo Arias for their summer internships at Flywheel Ventures

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Trevor Loy <yasine@flywheelventures.com>
Date: Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 12:44 PM
Subject: News from Flywheel Ventures
To: hwr2@duke.edu


Flywheel Ventures Tag LineFlywheel Ventures Logo

Flywheel Ventures News - June 2009
In This Issue
Q&A with Associate Lawrence Chavez
Meet the 2009 Flywheel Fellows
Portfolio Company Spotlight
Contact Flywheel
In the News

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Dear Howie,

In this issue of the Flywheel Newsletter, Flywheel welcomes seven Flywheel Fellows for our summer apprenticeship program. Our Fellows are recruited from top graduate schools around the country to spend their summer working with Flywheel and our portfolio companies.

Flywheel Associate, Lawrence Chavez, coordinates the Fellows Program and this newsletter includes a Q&A with him on the goals of the program, the different projects Fellows work on throughout the summer, and the overall educational opportunities the program provides these talented upcoming leaders. We also showcase one Flywheel portfolio company MIOX, Corp. who has utilized Flywheel Fellows on several projects. 
 
In addition, we'd like to invite you to stop by the Flywheel Open House on Tuesday, August 4th from 5-7pm at the Albuquerque office at 9204 San Mateo Blvd NE. It's a great opportunity to introduce our summer Fellows and we will also feature our New Mexico Gap Fund companies. Started in 2007, the New Mexico Gap Fund is designed to invest in New Mexico-based companies who are in the very seed and earliest stages of development and we've made 7 investments to date. The Gap Fund showcases the rich R&D talent we have in New Mexico and we are looking forward to sharing these exciting companies with you.

To learn more about Flywheel Ventures or to contact any of the Flywheel Team visit our website at www.flywheelventures.com. You can follow the entire Flywheel Team on Twitter @flywheelvc.
 
Sincerely,
Trevor Loy
Flywheel Ventures, General Partner, on behalf of the Flywheel Team

 Flywheel Ventures Logo
From left: Scott Caruso, Kim Sanchez Rael, Paula Marez, Yasine Armstrong, Lawrence Chavez, Cassie Marez, Trevor Loy
Flywheel Ventures Logo 2 Q&A with Flywheel Associate Lawrence Chavez: "Flywheel Fellows Program"
Lawrence Chavez headshot   
1. What is the goal of the Flywheel Fellows program? 
 At its core the Flywheel Fellows program operates under the belief that venture capitalism is an apprenticeship business, requiring an approach that includes hands-on mentoring and close guidance. Leveraging General Partner Trevor Loy, Flywheel advisors David Alderson and Tom Byer's collective experiences and success in helping to build the Mayfield Fellows program within the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), the Flywheel program is designed to engage highly talented and experienced graduate students with practical hands on involvement with entrepreneurship and venture capital. The Fellows program began in 2006 with six graduate students from top universities around the country. The program has flourished and the 2009 Fellows program welcomes seven students from Duke University (2), Harvard Business School (2), Northwestern University, NYU and the University of Michigan.
 
2. What are some of the projects that Fellows work on?
The unique structure of the Flywheel program ensures that Fellows are engaged with projects from both the portfolio company perspective and the venture investment perspective. Furthermore, all projects involve important priorities, never "make-work". Andrew Wylie, a Harvard MBA student and former Navy fighter pilot, is working with Flywheel portfolio company MIOX, Corp., a water treatment company. He is designing a marketing program specifically targeted at providing high quality service to existing MIOX customers. Steven Pal, a student from the Fuqua School at Duke and a veteran of two successful start-up companies, is shadowing General Partner Scott Caruso. Among his projects is creating a market landscape analysis for Trackvia, an online collaborative database. Other projects the Fellows are engaged with range from performing due diligence, constructing term sheets for new investments, analyzing industry landscapes for possible acquisitions, and developing a collaborative work space of best practices for use by current and future portfolio companies.
 
3. What value has been created by the Flywheel Fellows alumni network?
 As part of an elite group, the Fellows have developed strong peer camaraderie and cooperation not only with each other, but with the entire Flywheel Team. The result is an extended network of the Flywheel family and one of the greatest long term benefits of the program is the ability to leverage the evolving Fellows Alumni Network. For example, a fellow from the Class of 2006, who was working at an investment bank in California, introduced Flywheel to one of our most promising investments. In addition, Hiten Somwal, Fellow class of 2008, returned to Flywheel this summer to assist us in coordinating the 2009 class of Fellows and to work with several of our Gap Fund companies on their business development. 

"I was a Flywheel Fellow in the class of 2008. I feel the Flywheel Fellows program is truly unique with regards to the effort the team puts into creating an incredible learning environment for its interns. The fellows are exposed to all aspects of the Venture Capital Business and over the summer they learn the basics of how to invest in and build technology businesses that create significant value. 
 
Beyond the opportunity to work with the Gap Fund companies this summer, my decision to return was motivated by my belief in the firm's potential for success. I believe the firm's emphasis on capital efficiency, real business models and building effective partnerships with entrepreneurs, positions it to come out of this downturn as one of leading small, focused venture firms." - Hiten Somwal, Flywheel Fellow, Class of 2008

Flywheel Ventures Logo 2 Meet the Class of 2009 Flywheel Fellows
 Aravo Logo






Top from left to right: Juan Pablo Arias, Jimmy Wei, Devesh Khandelwal, Kyu Ho Song, Botttom: Andrew Wylie, Jeff Hale, Steve Pal


Juan Pablo Arias
is completing his MBA at Duke University and is originally from Mexico where he most recently did sales and trading for Bancomer BBVA, the second largest bank in Mexico.
jparias@flywheelventures.com
facebook.com/jparias
Twitter:@JPArias

Jeff Hale is completing his MBA at New York University and served as the product lead engineer at Micron Technology. Jeff is a fellow with Flywheel Portfolio Company MicroProbe.
jhale@flywheelventures.com
Twitter:@jpaulhale

Devesh Khandelwal is completing his MBA at Harvard University and is originally from India where he most recently served as a Marketing Executive with Bharat Petroleum Corp.
devesh@flywheelventures.com
Twitter:@devesh84

Steve Pal is completing his MBA at Duke University and most recently served as the Senior Business Consultant for Merced System Inc.
spal@flywheelventures.com
Twitter:@steven_pal

Kyu Ho Song is completing his MBA at Northwestern University and is originally from South Korea where he most recently served as Senior Business Consultant to Monitor Group.
ksong@flywheelventures.com
Twitter:@Qhosong
facebook.com/Qhosong

Jimmy Wei recently completed his MBA at the University of Michigan and prior to business school was with Harris Corporation. Jimmy is a fellow with Flywheel Portfolio Company Tred Displays.
jwei@flywheelventures.com
Twitter:@jxw32

Andrew Wylie is completing his MBA at Harvard University and served as a fighter pilot in the US Navy. Andrew is a fellow with Flywheel Portfolio Company MIOX, Corp.
awylie@flywheelventures.com

Flywheel Ventures Logo 2 Company Spotlight - MIOX, Corp., Albuquerque, NM
MIOX safest water logo

MIOX is focused on solving one of the world's most pressing issues: the need for affordable, safe, and healthy water. Used for public drinking water systems, water reuse projects, and a variety of commercial and industrial applications, MIOX's patented water disinfection technology safely replaces the need to purchase, transport and store dangerous chemicals in over 30 countries and in hundreds of communities across the U.S. Read how MIOX recently placed 9th in The Artemis Project™ Top 50 Water Companies Competition.

Chris Traylor, Director of Business Development at MIOX, originally managed the Fellows program at Flywheel and is now leveraging Fellow, Andrew Wiley, to drive systematic improvements in the customer experience at MIOX. Last year, Fellow, Ricardo Leon, was a key resource for MIOX's International Sales team, in particular in their development of a key account in his native country, Colombia.

"MIOX nailed the recent American Water Works Association trade show. It's leading edge innovation with the revolutionary new small series, virtually maintenance free Vault, stands far ahead of the competitive field in terms of delivering compelling economic value and safe water to its customers." - Kim Sanchez Rael, General Partner, Flywheel Ventures
Flywheel Ventures Logo 2 Portfolio Company Job Opening: TrackVia Hiring for Chief Marketing Officer
Trackvia Logo
TrackVia, an online data management system, is looking for an experienced Chief Marketing Officer to create, own and drive marketing strategy, initiatives and relationships for the company. The individual will be responsible for growing TrackVia's market presence and, ultimately, customer base through messaging and positioning, channel and partner marketing, online and website marketing, content and influencer marketing, offline and event marketing, sales enablement, customer references and public, media and analyst relations. The Chief Marketing Officer will establish, follow, report and make decisions by key metrics. The successful candidate will reply on creativity, data analysis, sense of urgency, relationship building, instinct and some serendipity to build TrackVia's customer base, brand and  influence. The individual will be TrackVia's first marketing leader, report to the CEO and have frequent and involved board access / exposure.

For a full job description or to apply please contact Ed Zschau with Inductus Associates at ed@inductus.com.

Flywheel Ventures Logo 2 Contact the Flywheel Team
We hope you enjoyed Flywheel's Newsletter, covering the latest developments in the industry, at our firm, and with our portfolio companies. Contact us to learn more or to discuss any of the information covered.

General Partners                                                          
Scott Caruso                                  Trevor Loy
scott@flywheelventures.com            trevor@flywheelventures.com
Twitter:@slcaruso                            Twitter:@trevorloy
facebook.com/slcaruso                    facebook.com/trevorloy

Kim Sanchez Rael
kim@flywheelventures.com
Twitter:@kimsanchezrael                        

Associate                                      Director of Finance
Lawrence Chavez                          Paula Marez
lawrence@flywheelventures.com      paula@flywheelventures.com
Twitter:@lawrencechavez

Director of Operations                    Communication Manager
Cassie Marez                                 Yasine Armstrong
cassie@flywheelventures.com          yasine@flywheelventures.com
Twitter:@cassiem                           Twitter:@yasinem

Follow ENTIRE Flywheel Team on Twitter @flywheelvc


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Flywheel Ventures | 341 East Alameda | Santa Fe | NM | 87501



--
Howie Rhee, MBA
Managing Director
Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
Room E167J
919-923-7113 mobile
hwr2@duke.edu
www.fuqua.duke.edu/centers/cei

Watch our video: www.fuqua.duke.edu/wakeup

Duke Entrepreneurship Links:
- Entrepreneurship at Duke - www.EntrepreneurshipAtDuke.com
- Weekly Education Series - www.dukeDEES.com
- Connect with Duke Entrepreneurs - www.dukegen.com
- Find a startup - www.startupmatchmaker.blogspot.com
- Duke Start-Up Challenge - www.dukestartupchallenge.org
- Entrepreneurship Week - www.eweekatduke.com
- Twitter - http://twitter.com/EshipAtDuke
- Blog - www.howierhee.blogspot.com
- Photos - http://picasaweb.google.com/EshipAtDuke
- LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/in/howierhee
- Entering the Duke Start-Up Challenge? See example business plans - email me for a copy of Business Plan Pro (advert)
- Resources from Intuit at http://smallbusinessunited.com (advert)
- Learn VC - www.learnvc.com (advertisement)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Free Duke student help for your startup idea

Do you have an idea for a startup? Or an innovative technology that might be the foundation for a startup? We'd like to invite you to consider entering your startup idea or technology for consideration in our Program for Entrepreneurs.

 

What is the Program for Entrepreneurs

The Program for Entrepreneurs is a program that let's Duke students receive course credit for their work on starting a company.  Students can receive credit for up to two years, and work through a sequence of courses that takes them through the business planning process. The "lead students" tend to be Duke MBA students, and the rest of the team is comprised of other MBA students, graduate students, and undergraduate students. This spring, we have approximately 50 students that have applied to be considered for this program.

 

What role is there for us?

This email serves as a Call for Startup Ideas. Hopefully you are someone that has developed a technology or startup idea and are in need of business help. The students in the Program for Entrepreneurs can be matched with an idea (they can also select their own idea).

 

In addition to a general Call for Startup Ideas, you may have received this email from one of our partners: Duke's Office of Licensing and Ventures, NC State's Office of Technology Transfer, UNC's Office of Technology and Development, the NC Biotechnology Center, Square 1 Bank, Southeast TechInventures, and other sources of startup ideas have offered to help find ideas for the program.

 

How to Participate

If you participate, a description of your technology/innovation would be made available to students and, starting July 1st, they will evaluate it along with the others that are submitted. Last year we had approximately 30 ideas submitted, and we expect a similar number this year.

 

From July 1 to July 24, the interested students will let us know which ideas they are interested in, and we will setup informational calls for them to be in touch with you.  On July 24th, they will select their ideas and will pitch their startup concept to our Advisory group.

 

From August to October, they will continue to refine the business case for the startup idea, and in mid-October, they will present a pitch for our Advisory group.  We will select the top 8 startup teams, who will then enroll in the course.

 

Criteria: 

We are looking for specific situations that will lend themselves well to this program.

1) We are looking for situations where there is a strong need for the development of a business case and business model, but the technology/idea has achieved some amount of proof of concept. Often this looks like technical co-founders who are experts in the industry, but may not be experts on the business side of things.

2) In addition, we are looking for situations where the founders are open to the possibility of having some of the Duke students join the team, assuming everything goes well.  In the ideal situation, after two years of working on the project, the Duke students will be able to join the company and receive equity participation that is a win-win for all parties.

 

Next steps:

If interested, please apply here by June 30th: 

 

 -Howie Rhee

 

Howie Rhee, MBA
Managing Director
Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
Room E167J
919-923-7113 mobile
hwr2@duke.edu
www.fuqua.duke.edu/centers/cei

 


--
Howie Rhee, MBA
Managing Director
Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
Room E167J
919-923-7113 mobile
hwr2@duke.edu
www.fuqua.duke.edu/centers/cei

Watch our video: www.fuqua.duke.edu/wakeup

Duke Entrepreneurship Links:
- Entrepreneurship at Duke - www.EntrepreneurshipAtDuke.com
- Weekly Education Series - www.dukeDEES.com
- Connect with Duke Entrepreneurs - www.dukegen.com
- Find a startup - www.startupmatchmaker.blogspot.com
- Duke Start-Up Challenge - www.dukestartupchallenge.org
- Entrepreneurship Week - www.eweekatduke.com
- Twitter - http://twitter.com/EshipAtDuke
- Blog - www.howierhee.blogspot.com
- Photos - http://picasaweb.google.com/EshipAtDuke
- LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/in/howierhee
- Entering the Duke Start-Up Challenge? See example business plans - email me for a copy of Business Plan Pro (advert)
- Resources from Intuit at http://smallbusinessunited.com (advert)
- Learn VC - www.learnvc.com (advertisement)

Friday, June 12, 2009

NY Times - 36 Hours in Research Triangle, NC

http://travel.nytimes.com/2009/06/14/travel/14hours.html

Pretty cool. 

--
Howie Rhee, MBA
Managing Director
Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
Room E167J
919-923-7113 mobile
hwr2@duke.edu
www.fuqua.duke.edu/centers/cei

Watch our video: www.fuqua.duke.edu/wakeup

Duke Entrepreneurship Links:
- Entrepreneurship at Duke - www.EntrepreneurshipAtDuke.com
- Weekly Education Series - www.dukeDEES.com
- Connect with Duke Entrepreneurs - www.dukegen.com
- Find a startup - www.startupmatchmaker.blogspot.com
- Duke Start-Up Challenge - www.dukestartupchallenge.org
- Entrepreneurship Week - www.eweekatduke.com
- Twitter - http://twitter.com/EshipAtDuke
- Blog - www.howierhee.blogspot.com
- Photos - http://picasaweb.google.com/EshipAtDuke
- LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/in/howierhee
- Entering the Duke Start-Up Challenge? See example business plans - email me for a copy of Business Plan Pro (advert)
- Resources from Intuit at http://smallbusinessunited.com (advert)
- Learn VC - www.learnvc.com (advertisement)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Fuqua Prof. David Robinson cited in article in The Economist

http://www.economist.com/specialreports/displayStory.cfm?story_id=13686460


Now for the creative part

Despite the gloom, there are several reasons for believing that American business retains its underlying dynamism. First, one can listen to what businesspeople say. They may be feeling wretched this year, but few doubt that things will get better. Bill Green, the boss of Accenture, a consultancy, predicts that America will come out of the recession "much earlier" than other parts of the world. He talks constantly to other chief executives around the world, he says, and their consensus is that America will begin to recover later this year or in early 2010. They give three reasons. The recession started earlier in America than elsewhere. The government's stimulus package is likely to work. And "they believe that we have a natural competitive streak—that people are going to want to get back in the game."

Second, one can look at America's admirable record of dealing with turmoil. A study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a think-tank that studies entrepreneurialism, found that America's high rate of economic "churning" boosts productivity and hence material well-being. Between 1977 and 2005 some 15% of all American jobs were destroyed each year as firms closed or cut back. Thanks to the expansion of successful firms and the entry of new ones, however, many more jobs were created than destroyed. Start-ups (ie, firms less than five years old) provided a third of the new jobs during this period.

Start-ups that went bust were on average 32% less productive than mature incumbents. Mature firms that went out of business were 27% less productive than mature survivors. Start-ups that survived, however, were 3% more productive than mature incumbents; five years later they were 5% more productive. This was true of all industries but especially retailing, in which stores the size of football fields have given way to even larger ones.

The credit crunch is making it harder for new firms to find capital. That matters: not all entrepreneurs start up in their garages with money from "family, friends and fools". In a survey for the Kauffman Foundation of 4,163 companies started in 2004, Alicia Robb and David Robinson concluded that 80-90% of start-up capital for a typical firm came from two sources. One was the entrepreneur's savings. The other was external debt: either a bank loan or a credit-card balance.

Most start-ups do not require huge amounts of capital. The average in the Kauffman sample was $78,000. Some need far less. Saudia Davis, for example, founded Greenhouse Eco-Cleaning, a green apartment-cleaning firm in New York, with $800 she earned from mopping floors herself. She now has between seven and ten cleaners working for her and would like to expand, but banks are not lending, she says. She is looking for an "angel" investor but this is tough when you have no intellectual property, so she may have to grow organically.

The recession itself sometimes generates start-up capital, in the form of severance payments. Adrienne and Kelly Lumpkin got their start with the help of a redundancy package Mr Lumpkin received from IBM in the early 1990s when Big Blue was in trouble. Alternate Access, their Raleigh, North Carolina-based firm, helps florists, doctors and other small enterprises do clever things with internet telephony. It offers call-centre services, for example, and sells software that helps employees see, on their computer screens, whether the person calling them is an important customer or a deadbeat.

Despite the recession, Americans started 530,000 businesses a month last year. And firms founded during tough times have to be tough. Although more firms typically start up in fat years, Paul Kedrosky of the Kauffman Foundation found that each bad year in America since the second world war produced just as many firms that have subsequently grown large enough to list their shares. He concludes that firms that begin in bad times are more likely to turn out to become economically important: think of Microsoft, Apple and Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

During good times, any idiot can get his ideas funded, says William Barnett, a professor at Stanford University's business school. During bad times, only the most impressive and persistent entrepreneurs can. Mr Barnett has discovered that firms which are set up shortly after a successful IPO (initial public offering of shares) by another firm that does roughly the same thing tend to do very badly. By contrast, firms founded shortly after news of the bankruptcies of firms doing roughly the same thing tend to do well. Google, for example, got started just after a clutch of other search-engine firms crashed.

During a crisis, says Mr Barnett, the market's signals are clearer. During a boom, people buy stuff without much thought. During bad times, they are much choosier. So only firms with genuinely superior products or services will thrive.




--
Howie Rhee, MBA
Managing Director
Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
Room E167J
919-923-7113 mobile
hwr2@duke.edu
www.fuqua.duke.edu/centers/cei

Watch our video: www.fuqua.duke.edu/wakeup

Duke Entrepreneurship Links:
- Entrepreneurship at Duke - www.EntrepreneurshipAtDuke.com
- Weekly Education Series - www.dukeDEES.com
- Connect with Duke Entrepreneurs - www.dukegen.com
- Find a startup - www.startupmatchmaker.blogspot.com
- Duke Start-Up Challenge - www.dukestartupchallenge.org
- Entrepreneurship Week - www.eweekatduke.com
- Twitter - http://twitter.com/EshipAtDuke
- Blog - www.howierhee.blogspot.com
- Photos - http://picasaweb.google.com/EshipAtDuke
- LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/in/howierhee
- Entering the Duke Start-Up Challenge? See example business plans - email me for a copy of Business Plan Pro (advert)
- Resources from Intuit at http://smallbusinessunited.com (advert)
- Learn VC - www.learnvc.com (advertisement)