Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Looking for an Entrepreneur to Pitch My CU Class

I’m looking for a local entrepreneur to pitch their business in front of my VC 360 class that I teach.  The class is held at the University of Colorado Law School and is comprised of both law and business school graduate students.

The class is October 25th from 8am to 9:15am.  The format would be sitting with me and pitching me as you would if you came to my office, but the students get to watch.  We also let the last 20 minutes go to student questions.

It’s a great opportunity to pitch Foundry Group and do something good for the community.  If you are interested, let me know.  I’ll pick the company that closest fits one of the Foundry Group investment themes. 

September 24th, 2010     Categories: Education, Financings, Venture Capital    

A Balanced Summary of the Berkeley Patent Project

Recently, I wrote a strong rebuke of one author’s interpretation of the recently released High Technology Entrepreneurs and the Patent System: Results of the 2008 Berkeley Patent Survey that came out the day after Bilski was decided.

I was particularly upset in that I believe the author was intentionally distorting the facts of the survey for his own benefit.  Given how important patent policy is to this country’s innovation economy, I was amazed how a professor at a major University could be so cavalier with the facts of his own survey.  It was also disappointing that the first and best analytical study of its kind was being degraded by false interpretations.  If you feel like seeing the back and forth, feel free to check out his article and our collective comments). 

While I was away recently, Pamela Samuelson, (who was also one of the authors of the survey) gave her interpretation of the survey.  Her article is entitled Why Software Startups Decide to Patent …. Or NotI realize that I’m  a bit biased from view of software patents in general, but Pam’s analysis is much more neutral and balanced and therefore much more instructive in its teachings.  I will also point out that many of my comments of the prior article are supported by Pam’s analysis.

My partner Brad wrote an excellent summary of Pam’s analysis and is a must read for anyone who is interested in the subject.

Well done, Pam.  I really look forward to your future work based off the survey. 

July 31st, 2010     Categories: Education, Patents / IP, Policy    

Entrepreneurs Unplugged with Howard Diamond

On Monday, April 19th, I have the pleasure of interviewing Howard Diamond as part of the Silicon Flatirons Entrepreneurs Unplugged Series.

Howard is certainly one of the most interesting and engaging people that I know and I looking forward to hearing his thoughts on a wide variety of topics. 

Location is ATLAS Room 100 and the event is from 6:15pm to 7:30pm.  Hope to see you there.

April 13th, 2010     Categories: Education, Entrepreneurship    

Come to the Colorado New Venture Challenge Finals

The CU New Venture Challenge finals are this Friday, 3/12 beginning at 2pm in ATLAS 100 on the CU-Boulder Campus and are open to the public. Don’t miss the watching the top four teams pitch their business plans to a panel of judges including venture capitalists, angel investors and serial entrepreneurs.
Prizes include:

  • 1st – $6,000
  • 2nd – $3,000
  • 3rd – $2,000
  • Judges Choice – $250

Now in its second year, the CU New Venture Challenge is a campus-wide initiative connecting students and faculty with teammates in a broad range of disciplines and with mentors from the business community. The goal is to provide knowledge and experience making entrepreneurship accessible to anyone with the enthusiasm and creativity required to start a new business.

Highlights of the 2010 CU New Venture Challenge include:

  • $15,000 in cash prizes
  • More than 20 teams in fields ranging from information technology and Internet to music and outdoor recreation
  • Dozens of mentors sharing their entrepreneurial experience with competition entrants
  • Seven workshops and “crash courses” on topics such as intellectual property, economic sustainability, and how to build a company from concept to completion
  • Networking events connecting CU students with employers and building a sense of community among Colorado entrepreneurs
  • 145 Facebook members and 463 followers on Twitter
  • At least one CU student, employee or faculty member per team
March 8th, 2010     Categories: Education, Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital    

Have You Used Our Term Sheet Series?

Brad and I are thinking about updating our Venture Capital Term Sheet Series. We’ve heard over the years from folks that they’ve used our series to teach classes.  We are delighted by this and whenever we’ve been asked, we’ve always said (and will continue to always say) “with our blessing.”  However, we haven’t kept track of any of this over the year and have a few ideas for things we can do to update the material now that five years have passed.

So – I’m writing with a simple request.  If you’ve used, or encountered, our Term Sheet series in a college (undergraduate or graduate) course or any other teaching / seminar environment, can you leave a comment below with the information (school / program / year / professor) or email me the information?

For those of you concerned about nefarious plots on our part, I assure you that we are delighted this material is out there in the public and are happy to have it freely used and passed around for all eternity.  I promise we won’t send Jack Bauer your way.

February 14th, 2010     Categories: Education, Financings, Law    

Diary of a 3L Trying to Find a Job

One of my former students, Daniel Fredrickson has started a blog chronicling his quest to secure employment in what seems to be the toughest legal hiring environment ever.

He’s a smart guy and I’m really excited to see what he writes about his travails.  He promises that he’ll mix in some fun along the way, too.

Welcome to the blogosphere, Daniel, and if there are any hiring partners out there looking for a potential first year startup lawyer, let Daniel know!

January 22nd, 2010     Categories: Education, Law    

Hot Topics In Private Company Law

I must be on the rubber chicken circuit again, as I have yet another talk coming up – this one to (gasp!) lawyers.  If you are in the Denver area and want to attend, here are the details.  I might even opine on Law Firm 2.0 if asked.


WHERE:  The Warwick Hotel, 1776 Grant Street, Denver, Colorado 80203

WHEN:  Thursday, January 21, 2010, Noon to 1:15 p.m.

TOPIC: “Hot topics in private company securities law:  a view from a recovering lawyer and current venture capitalist”

SPEAKER:    Jason Mendelson, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Foundry Group

RESERVATIONS: Cost:  $28.00 Luncheon Attendee, $20.00 Conference Call Attendee

Registration Deadline:  Noon on Wednesday, January 20, 2010.

No refunds will be available for cancellations after that date or for no-shows.

Reservations can be made by calling the Colorado Bar Association, 303-860-1115 x 727, or by e-mailing mailto: .  Please specify if you would like a vegetarian lunch. If leaving a message, please spell your name, specify that you are attending the Securities Subsection Luncheon, and include your phone number.  Checks should be made payable to: Colorado Bar Association.

When registering for the call-in program please indicate that you would like to participate by phone.  The day before the program we will email registered call-in participants the materials & CLE affidavit as well as the call in number. 

Submitted for one general CLE credit.

January 8th, 2010     Categories: Education, Law    

How To Build A Company – Live Presentation

On January 13th, I’m giving a presentation at the University of Colorado entitled “How to Build a Company.”

For information and registration, go here.

This the kickoff of a number of talks going on over at CU that Brad blogged about earlier.

Hope to see you there. Come with questions.  I’ll answer anything.  (and I’ll even try to do so correctly).

January 7th, 2010     Categories: Education, Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital    

Over 60,000 Wanna-be Lawyers are Delusional

Wow.  On September 26th, 60,746 people took the LSAT (the law school entrance exam).  This is the largest single administration in the history of the exam.

Are people not aware what is going on in the legal industry?  These folks are going to be saddled with six-figure debt and then attempt to enter an industry that is shrinking faster than any that I can think of.

Folks, seriously, go get your CS degree.  Or go work at a big-box retailer.  Or be a ski bum.  You at least won’t have the debt.

For a full report, check out Most Strongly Supportive’s post

December 1st, 2009     Categories: Education, Law Firm 2.0    

Community Office Hours Coming Up

I have another set of open office hours coming up – this Thursday, November 5th.  If you are interested in getting together, you can sign up here.  The TechStars bunker is where I’ll be and I hope, that like last time, I’ll get to meet some new friends.

November 2nd, 2009     Categories: Education, Entrepreneurship, General, Venture Capital