The University of Minnesota Foundation organized an alumni panel event in Palo Alto, California, to discuss the process of turning a new venture concept into a venture fundable idea.
The May 19 event, featured one of the leading global venture capital investors, Hany Nada, ’91 CLA, along with serial technology entrepreneur Asher Waldfogel, ’79 CLA, and student entrepreneur Tyler Ebert, ’16 BSB. U of M President Eric Kaler also appeared at the event, which was moderated by Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship Director John Stavig.
The event featured a large turnout of Carlson School alumni from Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Oracle, and a number of local startups. “Much of the discussion focused on the type of companies and people that attract venture capital, latest technology trends, as well as advice to recent grads on getting connected in Silicon Valley and moving forward with their ideas,” Stavig said. “Recent grad Tyler Ebert stole the show with the story on his development of AdrenaCard, a company he founded in 2015 and has raised over $900K to develop the initial prototypes and regulatory approvals.”
Nada provided the audience with great advice on “focusing solely on your strengths,” the Darwinian need to “find a way to get referred to me through my network, or you won’t be able to develop business once we’ve invested in you,” and the attractiveness of investing in first-time entrepreneurs “who want to change the world and offer the potential for outsized, or zero, return on investment.”