Past Speakers Presentations
Matt Chasen, CEO and Founder uShip
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
As CEO, Matt leads uShip’s executive team in the company’s mission to create the most efficient marketplace for shipping that has ever existed. The idea for uShip was hatched in 2002 when Matt moved from Seattle to Austin in a nearly-empty rented moving truck. Inspired by the frustration of the moment, Matt has since turned uShip into a global online transport platform that leverages Internet and mobile technologies to effectively, affordably and automatically connect customer freight with available truck space. Prior to founding uShip, Matt spent five years in business development and engineering roles at The Boeing Company in Seattle, Washington. He helped assess the technical and financial viability of new ventures including broadband in-flight Internet access and a theater ballistic missile defense system. Matt also led the avionics integration effort for the F-22 fighter aircraft and evaluated research proposals for NASA. Matt attended the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin where he earned his MBA in May 2004. During business school, while turning the uShip idea into reality, Matt interned for the Austin office of Hunt Ventures where he evaluated new investment proposals. In addition to his MBA, Matt has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from UT Austin.
Alan Blake, CEO & Co-founder Yorktown Technologies
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Alan Blake is the CEO and co-founder of Yorktown Technologies, L.P. Under his leadership, the company overcame enormous hurdles to commercialize GloFish® fluorescent fish, the first mass-marketed biotech animal. Just a decade after their initial launch, the GloFish family has grown to nearly a dozen lines of fluorescent fish, including six colors, and three species. They are available in more than 7,000 retail locations across the United States, with more than 70 GloFish branded aquarium products. Through the process, GloFish have become the most successful example within the nascent category of consumer biotechnology.
Alan has been awarded six U.S. patents and co-authored a peer-reviewed article on the topic of biotech animals. He is a member and former Austin chapter president of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and a regular guest lecturer at the McCombs Business School. Alan is also a member of the Seton Fund’s “The Fifty” as well as a mentor for Incubation Station. Additionally, Alan serves on the board of the Boys & Girls Club of the Austin Area and he is a winner of the prestigious Austin Under 40 award. Alan graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where he received a BBA with Highest Honors.
Venu Shamapant, LiveOak Venture Partners
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Venu Shamapant is a co-founder of LiveOak Venture Partners, an Austin, TX based early stage venture capital firm that focuses on technology and technology driven services companies based in Texas and the Southwest. Prior to LiveOak, Venu was a General Partner at Austin Ventures. He has invested and sat on the Board of Directors of LifeSize Communications (Acquired by Logitech), Spatial Wireless (acquired by Alcatel-Lucent), Navini Networks (acquired by CSCO), Mavenir Systems (NYSE:MVNR) and Sipera Systems (Acquired by Avaya Communications). Prior to joining Austin Ventures, he was with McKinsey & Co. serving clients in the enterprise systems and software markets. He started his professional career as a software developer and engineering lead at Mentor Graphics.
Venu received his MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business, an MS in Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and a BS in Electronics and Communications engineering from Osmania University in India. Venu is one of the founding members of TiE-Austin. He is also a founding board member of Austin Speech Labs - a non-profit focused on providing affordable speech and cognitive therapy for stroke survivors.
John Arrow - Founder, Mutual Mobile
December 3, 2013
John Arrow is a veteran of entrepreneurship with a passion for harnessing disruptive and emerging technologies. His ability to combine market vision with methodical execution has propelled Mutual Mobile, Inc. to become the world’s largest mobile consulting company. Over the last ten years, John founded successful businesses in the online payment processing industry and the consumer and enterprise software spaces and one of the first site targeted PPC advertising networks. An adventurer and an innovator, John guides Mutual Mobile with a continuously evolving vision for the future.
Chris Pacitti, Austin Ventures
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Chris Pacitti joined Austin Ventures in 1999 and serves as General Partner. His investment focus is primarily on early-stage technology companies in the software and Internet sectors. Chris started his venture career in 1995 with TL Ventures, where he was a VP and also focused on early-stage technology investing. Prior to TL Ventures, Chris was a Co-Founder and COO of a technology start-up company that pioneered several industrial applications for oxidation chemistry. Chris received his BA in Economics from Johns Hopkins University. He previously served on the Boards of Directors for the Microsoft Venture Capital Advisory group and the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas.
Clayton Christopher, Founder- Sweet Leaf TeaCo-Founder, Deep Eddy Vodka & Rhythm Superfoods
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Clayton Christopher is the founder and former CEO of Sweet Leaf Tea Company that he started in 1998 with $10,000 in savings, an old delivery van and a recipe from his grandmother. Sweet Leaf Tea is one of the fastest growing beverage companies in the US, with over $60M in sales and 100+ employees. Nestle purchased Sweet Leaf in June of 2011.
Clayton is passionate about entrepreneurship and loves helping small food and beverage brands grow. Clayton is currently co-founder and Chairman of Deep Eddy Vodka, and co-founder and Chairman of Rhythm Superfoods. He also sits on the boards of several other food and beverage companies and is a co-founder of Incubation Station, an accelerator for young brands. Clayton won the 2006 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Central Texas, the 2010 AU40 Austinite of the Year Award, AU40 Business and Entrepreneurship Award, as well as the Austin Business Journal’s Best CEO Award for 2011. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization and serves on the advisory board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas where he has been a “Big” to his “Little” Andrew San Miguel for seven years.
Cotter Cunningham, RetailMeNot
October 29, 2013
Cotter Cunningham is the founder, president and CEO of RetailMeNot, Inc., the world's largest online coupon and deals marketplace. Founded in 2009, RetailMeNot, Inc. has 300 employees with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and France. In 2012, the company facilitated an estimated $2.5 billion in merchant sales. RetailMeNot's portfolio includes RetailMeNot.com and VoucherCodes.co.uk
– the largest online coupon sites in the United States and United Kingdom, respectively. The company has raised approximately $300 million from investors including Austin Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Adams Street Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, JP Morgan and Google Ventures.
Prior to RetailMeNot, Cotter was the COO of Bankrate Inc. (NYSE: RATE) for seven years, taking the company public and growing its revenues eight-fold. Cotter also was an executive with interactive agency VML and H&R Block, where he worked primarily with its CompuServe subsidiary. He wrote the book Your Financial Action Plan: 12 Simple Steps to Achieve Money Success. He has an MBA from Vanderbilt University and lives in Austin, Texas.
Joshua Baer, Capital Factory
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Joshua Baer helps people quit their jobs and become entrepreneurs. In 2008 he founded Capital Factory, the largest startup incubator and co-working space in Austin, Texas. Josh founded his first startup in 1996 in his college dormitory at CMU and now teaches a class at the University of Texas for student entrepreneurs. Josh is the Chief Innovation Officer of Return Path and is the most active email investor in the world. Josh was recently recognized as the 2013 Austin Community Leader of the Year and a 2013 Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. You can follow him on Twitter @joshuabaer
Rosa McCormick, Wild Basin Investments, LLC
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Rosa McCormick is a native Austinite and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where she received a bachelor's degree in economics and history. Rosa has been working with start-up companies since 2004 and is currently managing director of Wild Basin Investments, LLC, a closely-held entity focused specifically on early-stage equity investments, and president of Key Light Capital LLC, an Austin-based investment firm with an emphasis in venture investing.
Rosa serves on the board of VolunteerSpot, Inc., a company that provides online volunteer coordination, sign-up and reminders and is a board observer for Boomerang Pies. Rosa has been an active investor with the Central Texas Angel Network since 2007 and has served on that organization’s Board since 2011. She is also a Kauffman Fellow.
Laura Kilcrease Speaks at Heidelberg Innovation Forum
Laura Kilcrease is the founder and managing director of Triton Ventures, LLC, a venture capital fund investing in spin-out and early-stage technology companies. Ms. Kilcrease has 25 years of hands-on experience in commercializing technology. She has a deep understanding of how to cultivate new opportunities to “grow businesses around businesses” and how to deconstruct and reconstruct business models to achieve significant results. Laura hosts the popular Kelleher Center Speaker Series. Read more about Laura
Ms. Kilcrease used her keynote speech at the 2013 Heidelberg Innovation Forum to explain the particular importance of promoting companies in their early phase to drive economic growth. She stressed the vital role of crowdfunding – one third of all crowdfunding platforms come from Europe – and business angels to close the financial gap between the early and later stage.
John Butler Interviews Laura Kilcrease
April 23, 2013
The Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Laura Kilcrease, was interviewed by Dr. John Sibley Butler, holder of two endowed chairs at the university. Laura has created ecosystems to grow companies on a national and global scale. She has served on the board of startups, funded companies through her own venture firm, and harvested companies for shareholder value. This interview allows the audience to view the entire entrepreneurial process and see how wealth is created.
Previously, Laura served as director for the Center for Commercialization and Enterprise (C2E) and founding director of the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI). Under her leadership, 7 early startups put forward IPOs. Ms. Kilcrease was one of the key participants in changing the economic landscape of Central Texas into the high-tech environment of today. Prior to C2E, Laura spent time in executive management, operating, merging, acquiring, turning around or selling high-technology companies for both Fortune 100 companies as well as emerging firms.
Laura has received many honors, including Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Profiles in Power and the university’s own Trail Blazer Award and Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency Faculty Entrepreneur of the Year. Recently the Austin Business Journal named her One of 20 Austinites You Simply Must Know.
Entrepreneurship Live with Susan Strausberg
Tuesday, April 9
Susan Strausberg co-founded and developed a next generation financial search platform called 9W Search after moving to Austin from New York in 2010.
In 1995 Susan co-founded EDGAR Online, Inc. a leading provider of interactive business and financial data on global companies to financial, corporate and advisory professionals. The company was a pioneer in the information industry revolution. It used cutting edge technology to democratize access to publicly available information. It delivered value-added applications and produced the fastest and most accurate financial information in the market. Under Ms. Strausberg’s leadership EDGAR Online became an internationally recognized brand and a trusted source for SEC filings.
She took the company public in 1999 (NASDAQ: EDGR), and raised $34 million dollars. The company employed up to 200 full-time and contract workers in Connecticut, New York, Maryland and India. RR Donnelley acquired EDGAR Online in 2012 for over $70 million.
She has been featured in many articles as the CEO/spokesperson for EDGAR Online and was the subject of a chapter in DotCom Divas, a compilation of biographies of important women in the emerging Internet business world.
Angel Investors from Texas, Kansas and Nebraska
Tuesday, March 26
Jeff Harbach joined the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN) in 2011, and brings over 10 years of entrepreneurial experience to this position. Based out of Austin, TX, CTAN is one of the most active angel networks in the United States. Jeff is the first full-time executive director. He's focused on engaging and mentoring entrepreneurs through the capital formation process, recruiting professional investors with industry experience, and supporting the growth of entrepreneurship in Texas.
Bart Dillashaw is the president of the Nebraska Angels and an attorney at the law firm of Koley Jessen, P.C., L.L.O. in Omaha, Nebraska, where he represents companies in financings, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. Founded in 2006, the Nebraska Angels are Nebraska's largest network of accredited investors interested in working together to make investments in private companies with high-growth potential.
Joel Wiggins is a founding organizer and executive manager of the Mid-America Angels Investments, LLC. The firm started in March 2006, and has invested $10.5M in 29 companies. Dr. Wiggins is CEO & president of the Enterprise Center of Johnson County (ECJC), Kansas, a not-for-profit business incubator which provides business assistance services to more than a dozen clients in the high-tech, biotech, and service industries.
Rudy Garza, G-51 Capital Management
March 6, 2013
Rudy Garza is founder and managing general partner of G-51 Capital Management. He focuses on the development of all portfolio companies, syndication partnerships and deal flow. He is instrumental in driving success through defining and guiding the implementation of well-grounded business and marketing strategies. Rudy is an expert at finding and defining business and revenue models, market shaping services, business growth strategies and talent-sourcing. Rudy has been an investor and board member for over 20 companies, and he's sold several to publicly-traded firms including SAP, ADP, Prudential, and Cisco Systems among others.
Rudy is also an active leader in the venture community. He's a longtime member of the NVCA and the Texas Venture Capital Association. He served as Chairman of the Board of the University of Texas Alumni Association (“Texas Exes”) in 2011. Rudy is a lifetime honorary trustee of the Dell Children’s Medical Center Foundation.
Live with Ebetuel (Beto) Pallares
February 20, 2013
Beto Pallares founded Joseph Advisory Services (JAS) in 2006. He brings extensive domestic and international start-up experience as an entrepreneur. He's worked for top-tier strategy consulting firms, and his professional experience includes co-founding start-ups, international business development, nonprofit management, venture capital and military service. In the summer of 2009, he co-founded Cottonwood Capital Partners, the general partner of Cottonwood Technology Fund, a seed and early-stage venture fund with headquarters in El Paso, TX. He serves on several corporate and nonprofit boards. He is also an advisor to the UT Horizon Fund, the venture capital investment fund of the University of Texas System, and serves on the limited partnership advisory committees of several venture funds. Mr. Pallares graduated from Brandeis University, in Waltham, Mass., with a degree in economics, and received his MBA from The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). He went on to get his Ph.D. in International Business from UTEP. Dr. Pallares’ research has focused on confluence of high tech emerging market firms, incubators and technology commercialization.
Live with Satin Mirchandani
February 12, 2013
Satin Mirchandani is a serial entrepreneur and technology executive who's called Texas home since 1998. He currently serves as CEO of MD Buyline, a healthcare information services company headquartered in Dallas. Satin describes MD Buyline as “a cross between Consumer Reports, J.D. Power and Gartner for the hospital sector.” He's deeply engaged in transforming the 30-year old business in order to take advantage of seismic shifts in the healthcare space.
Before MD Buyline, Satin co-founded MessageOne in 2002, and served as CEO until its acquisition by Dell Inc. in 2008. MessageOne was the leader in SaaS-based email continuity, security and archiving services. Previously, as general partner at Impact Venture Partners, Satin focused on e-business services and next-generation enterprise applications investments. Satin received a B.A. in Computer Science and Economics from Dartmouth College, Phi Beta Kappa, and an M.B.A. with Honors from the Harvard Business School. He was honored with the 2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) award for Central Texas.
Live with Hemi Thaker
February 5, 2013
Hemi Thaker, a founder of Anue Systems, is a successful entrepreneur, technologist and industry leader. In addition to Anue Systems, Mr. Thaker has started four companies including Sybarus, a fabless semiconductor development company, which Lucent Technologies purchased in 1999. He's also led technology development teams at Fujitsu, Nortel Networks and Agere Systems. Mr. Thaker is passionate about solving complex customer problems using leading-edge technology. It is this passion that resulted in Mr. Thaker receiving the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® 2011 Award for Central Texas. A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Mr. Thaker has a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from the University of Alberta and a master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo. Mr. Thaker has 13 patents granted and one patent pending.
Money Talks with Bril Flint, Angel Investor
November 13, 2012
Bril Flint is an experienced technology and media executive. He's an active early-stage/angel investor. He also assists a number of Austin-based startups, particularly in the mobile arena. Flint’s management career began at Bain & Co., where he was a consultant and engagement manager. Following Bain, Flint was vice president of strategic planning for the North American division of EMI–Capitol Music in the mid-90s, its most profitable period ever. Following EMI, Flint built and organized the Corporate Planning department at Dell Computer, helping the company grow from $7 billion in revenue to $30 billion. He was also VP of Planning and Finance for Worldwide Operations at Dell, including manufacturing, distribution, and procurement. Flint joined Apple Computer in 2003, just before iTunes Music Store launched. He led the 100-person organization running the Demand/Supply Planning function for all Apple and Mac products and the Americas Finance team. Flint has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, and a master of science degree in Management from the Sloan School of Management at MIT
Money Talks with Clint Bybee
Co-founder and Managing Director of ARCH Venture Partners, Investing IP to IPO
October 30, 2012
Clint Bybee is a co-founder and managing director of ARCH Venture Partners. Bybee concentrates primarily on advanced materials, electronics, semiconductors, photonics, and infrastructure businesses. Bybee helped organize and finance numerous companies including MicroOptical Devices (acquired by EMCORE-EMKR), Cambrios Technologies, Siluria Technologies, Innovalight (acquired by DuPont-DD), Intelligent Reasoning Systems (acquired by Photon Dynamics), Semprius, Nanosys, Xtera Communications, and CoolEdge Lighting. He is a board member of Impinj, Cambrios Technologies, Xtera Communications, Semprius, Siluria Technologies, and CoolEdge Lighting. He led ARCH’s founding role with LabStart, an organization dedicated to starting companies from technologies developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Bybee is an organizing member of the Texas Venture Capital Association and currently serves as its first president. He also serves on the Commercialization Advisory Committee for the Chancellor of the University of Texas System, the Energy Security Review Board for Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Advisory Board of the Yellowstone Park Foundation. He also managed a venture investment fund for the State of Illinois, and was a production engineer with Amoco Corporation. Mr. Bybee holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.S. in Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Entrepreneurship Live with Brett Hurt
Founder & CEO of Austin-based Bazaarvoice: Building a Market Leading Business
October 23, 2012
Brett Hurt is the founder, chief executive officer and president of Bazaarvoice, where he is responsible for guiding the company's strategy. Brett is a seasoned CEO, and he's been pioneering eCommerce innovations since 1998 and online communities since 1982. Hurt has extensive experience in online marketing, especially the eCommerce industry. He founded Coremetrics in February 1999, after spending 10 years developing Internet-based software. Brett helped grow Coremetrics into the leading marketing analytics solution for the eCommerce industry. Prior to Coremetrics, Hurt was the founder and CEO of Hurt Technology Consulting and BodyMatrix, an online retailer of sports nutrition products. Before that, he was a consultant at Deloitte Consulting and Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). Hurt has more than 15 years of Internet programming experience, and has developed multiple software applications, including Internet marketing analysis solutions, eCommerce platforms, Web-based classroom management applications, virtual communities, multiplayer online games, and Bulletin Board System (BBS) software. He started programming when he was 7-years-old, launched a BBS on a 110-baud modem when he was 10, and created one of the first Internet-based multiplayer games in 1990. Brett holds a master's degree in business administration in High-Tech Entrepreneurship from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor's degree in business administration in management information systems from the University of Texas at Austin. Hurt is entrepreneur empowerment group RISE's Serial Entrepreneur of the year for 2012, and recently received Austin Entrepreneurs Foundation's Community Leadership Award. Hurt was named Entrepreneur of the Year for Austin in 2009, and he's a member of the Austin chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO). He proudly served three terms over six years on the board of directors at Shop.org, the leading non-profit industry association for retailers online and a division of the National Retail Federation, the largest trade organization for retailers. He serves as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Wharton School. He's a patented inventor, and presents at various industry events and universities. Hurt passionately speaks about and interviews other CEOs about how company culture drives performance.
Entrepreneurship Live with Ian Hatton
Chairman & CEO of Barynoyx, Global Entrepreneur
October 2, 2012
Ian Hatton received his bachelor of science (with honors) degree in Geology from the Polytechnic of North London, and started his career with Phillips Petroleum Company in 1979. He has 32 years experience in the upstream energy sector, 20 years in the oil exploration and production sector, and 12 years in the renewable energy sector. At Phillips Petroleum he became an expert in the evaluation of Cretaceous Chalk oil and gas reservoirs, developing an innovative and successful appraisal model for the U.K.'s Joanne Field. He took it from sub-economic to commercial status. In 1984 he joined Kerr-McGee Oil, and rose through the ranks to U.K. Director of Exploration. In 1996 he received an award from Kerr-McGee for "leadership in environmental excellence" in connection with managing environmental preparatory work for the drilling of an exploration well in an environmentally sensitive offshore area. His experience in the oil and gas industry led him to realize that regardless of the scientific debate about climate change, the growing disparity between energy demand and supply would lead to increasing energy costs and a need to develop alternative sources of energy production. After leaving Kerr-McGee in February 1999, Hatton founded Eclipse Energy. He took plans to the U.K. government for a ground-breaking co-development of electricity generation using offshore wind and gas turbines utilizing economically stranded sub-surface gas reserves. In 2008 Eclipse received the necessary environmental consents for the construction of the Ormonde Project, also notable as the first U.K. full-scale commercial project to deploy 5MW wind turbines. Hatton left Eclipse in April 2009 after the company was acquired by Vattenfall, the Swedish State Energy utility. He went on to found Baryonyx Corporation, a Texas-based renewable energy development business which currently holds State wind leases both onshore and offshore.
Money Talks with Joel Fontenot
Managing Partner of Dallas-based Trailblazer Capital
September 25, 2012
As managing partner of Trailblazer Capital, Joel Fontenot uses his unique insights gained from experience in banking, investing and operating early-stage companies to make and manage venture investments. Fontenot worked for Cisco Systems, Inc. He joined Cisco through the acquisition of Metreos Corporation, were Joel served as CEO and founder. Fontenot is a former board member of Spawn Labs, Inc. a Trailblazer investment he led, and sold to GameStop in 2011. He serves on the board of directors at NetSocket, Inc., Koupon Media, Inc. and cycleWood Solutions, Inc. Fontenot is an executive board member of the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering at SMU, and serves on the board of Cistercian Preparatory School. He also served on the Texas Emerging Technology Fund Advisory Committee. Fontenot bachelor's degree in Economics from The University of Texas at Austin, and an MBA from Southern Methodist University.
Entrepreneur Live with Gail Page
September 18, 2012
Gail Page is president & CEO of Vermillion, Inc. Vermillion is a healthcare company focused on developing and commercializing novel diagnostic blood tests. She joined Vermillion in 2004, repositioned the company, and successfully raised over $100M in funding. Under her leadership Vermillion successfully developed, and commercially launched, the first FDA-cleared blood test to help diagnose ovarian cancer. Page has spent her career in health care, and has a passion for emerging technologies that advance the era of personalized medicine. Page is a member of the American Association of Clinical Chemistry, Advamed, CLMA, and the Texas Tricities NACD. Page serves as a board member for Sword Diagnostics in the Chicago area, and she's active in the Austin community. She serves as a board member for the Austin Chamber Commerce's SIG, the Advisory Board for the Austin Technology Incubator and the Austin Technology Council. She is a frequent guest speaker for the Ramcorp program at Texas State University, and other local and national organizations. In 2010, Forbes Woman and Business Week recognized Page for her work in the healthcare sector. In 2012, Page was a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in central Texas.
Entrepreneurship Live with Dennis McWilliams
September 11, 2012
Dennis McWilliams is the CEO and founder of Apollo Endosurgery. In 2006, he and the Apollo Group partnered to create Apollo Endosurgery, Inc. He brings a breadth of entrepreneurial experience in both medical devices and drug therapies to his role as CEO. Prior to joining Apollo‚ Mr. McWilliams was an Entrepreneur in Residence at PTV Sciences‚ a venture capital fund focusing on life science and medical devices. McWilliams co-founded and acted as chief operating officer of Chrysalis BioTechnology‚ a development stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel drug therapies for tissue regeneration. As chief operating officer‚ he was responsible for corporate financing‚ strategic partnering‚ and M&A activities and was instrumental in raising over $15 million in financing and the signing of three major corporate partnerships. Chrysalis was acquired by OrthoLogic Corporation, now Capstone (NASDAQ: CAPS) in August 2004. McWilliams received a Bachelor of Science with honors from the University of Texas and a Master of Science in Engineering Management from Stanford University. He serves on the board of directors for the Texas Exes, as well as the board of the Texas Life Science Center. In 2007, he was awarded the Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award by the University of Texas.
Laura Kilcrease is the new Entrepreneur-in-Residence
September 2012 - Laura Kilcrease is founder and managing director of Triton Ventures, LLC, a venture capital fund investing in spin-out and early-stage technology companies. Ms. Kilcrease has 25 years of hands-on experience in commercializing technology. She has a deep understanding of how to cultivate new opportunities to “grow businesses around businesses” and how to deconstruct and reconstruct business models to achieve significant results.
Ms. Kilcrease founded Triton Ventures in January 1999 to provide management and operational leadership to emerging technology-based, spin-out companies formed to acquire and commercialize technology developed by Fortune 500 companies and other large domestic and foreign corporations, universities, and government or private research institutions. As managing director of the firm, she sources, structures, performs due diligence for, negotiates, and manages venture capital investments focused on information technology, energy-related technologies, advanced materials, and communications. She provides ongoing counsel to portfolio companies regarding management teams, industry and financial marketplace issues, introduction of strategic and investment partners, and positioning the company for public offering, merger, or sale. She has served as director on the boards (including audit and compensation committees) of portfolio companies Applied Science Fiction, Charitygift, Exterprise, Hart Intercivic, and LNNi.
Ms. Kilcrease was one of the key participants in changing the economic landscape of Central Texas into the high-tech environment that is widely recognized today. From 1992 to 1997 she served as executive director of The University of Texas IC2 Institute’s Center for Commercialization and Enterprise (C2E), which developed commercialization strategies for universities, government laboratories, research consortia, and R&D departments of major corporations. The largest of these projects, the NASA Ames Technology Commercialization Center in Sunnyvale, California, spun out 32 new businesses and raised over $55 million in venture capital in three years.
While at IC2, Ms. Kilcrease also co-developed and launched the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), serving as its founding executive director from 1989 to 1996. The ATI was one of the country’s first technology business incubators, designed to identify and build innovative new business models commercializing technology developed in university research, start-up companies spun-out from Fortune 500 companies, and emerging businesses. Under her leadership, the ATI selected and established over 70 technology-based companies that created nearly 1,500 jobs and secured approximately $170 million in funding.
Ms. Kilcrease also launched The Capital Network, one of the largest “business angel” investor networks in the United States with over $150 million in completed transactions. She co-founded and launched the Austin Technology Council, a premier networking organization that cultivated the growth of the Austin economy.
Prior to her work with C2E, Ms. Kilcrease spent almost 20 years in executive management, operating, merging, acquiring, turning around, or selling high technology companies for both Fortune 100 companies as well as emerging firms.
From 1985 to 1988 she was chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Nova Graphics International Corporation, a venture-backed software company based in Austin. From 1975 to 1984 she was financial and sales manager of Control Data Corporation in London, where she was responsible for financial reporting, forecasting, and planning for six major business units in the European headquarters of this Fortune 1000 company.
An active member of the community, Ms. Kilcrease has given her time and expertise to a number of nonprofit boards, including the Women’s Leadership Advisory Board of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, the Beyster Institute, World Congress for Information Technology 2006, and the IC² Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, among many others.
She has often been recognized for her outstanding achievements and has received numerous honors and awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Austin Business Journal’s Profiles in Power Award, and UT’s McCombs School of Business Women in Business Leadership Conference Trailblazer Award.
Ms. Kilcrease was born in London, and has been a permanent resident of the United States since 1984. She received her certification as a Chartered Management Accountant in the U.K. in 1980 and an M.B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin in 1992.
The Kelleher Center Helps Students Start Up
March 12, 2012 - Melinda Garvey, this year's Enterpreneur-in-Residence at McCombs, can usually be found in the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, sharing her experiences and expertise with ambitious students who hope to find success in their entrepreneurial business paths.
In the Kelleher Center you may also run into Associate Director Melissa Graebner (pictured) encouraging young entrepreneurs to find mentors and take advantage of the many resources in the McCombs and Austin entrepreneurial community.
In March, Austin Woman, the very magazine Garvey founded 10 years ago, ran a package of stories about entrepreneurship, including one about the Kelleher Center that featured both Garvey and Graebner. Here's an excerpt:
When Red McCombs and Bob May (at that time, the dean of the McCombs School) decided in 2001 that students needed more than business classes to see their visions become reality, Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines matched the McCombs School funds to found the Kelleher Center. The goal was to root students’ learning in the world. To that end, the center does not fund classes, but encourages entrepreneurship by fostering ideas, mentoring students and bolstering their networks. This integrates their goals and schemes with their business education. Melissa Graebner, associate director of the Kelleher Center, advises young people who wish to become entrepreneurs to think about the different forms of entrepreneurship, which include starting their own firm, buying an existing business or franchise, etc., and which is the best fit for students’ personal skill sets and ambitions.
As a high-profile Austin businesswoman, [Melinda] Garvey was selected to be the Entrepreneur in Residence at the Kelleher Center in September. She meets with students on a regular basis, and is at McCombs three days a week, occasionally guest lecturing in classes about entrepreneurship (which she’s done for the past five years). Having access to resources like her is a huge boon for young entrepreneurs. Graebner tells students to seek such mentors.
“The entrepreneurial community as a whole is very generous in terms of providing time and support to new entrepreneurs,” she says.
However, just as everyone starting a business will seek out a different form of entrepreneurship, they must also find mentors who suit their needs. Garvey sees herself bringing something new to Kelleher and McCombs. Unlike the former resident entrepreneurs, she has the perspective of a small-business owner.
Hoover's #2 Key to Successful Enterprise: A Sense of History
January 20, 2010 - Gary Hoover, entrepreneur-in-residence at McCombs' Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, pinpoints eight keys to building a successful enterprise that are valid in both good times and bad. Hoover based his keys on his 35+ year career experience, including three Fortune 500 companies and four of his own start-ups (Bookstop and Hoover’s Online were his). Hoover's second key point is a sense of history. (See Hoover's discussion on point #1 - curiosity.)
#2. SENSE OF HISTORY Our society in general does not have a lot of respect for history, but people who build great enterprises have a sense of history and make a concerted effort to study it. Regardless of industry, any understanding of the future comes from understanding the past. Watching key long-term trends is a critical part of successful leadership.
Almost everything follows a long term pattern/curve that will help predict the future. What are some of the trends to watch today? What large demographic shifts are at work? Women entering the work force was among the major demographic changes since WWII. Current trends to watch include the aging of the baby boomers and the Latinization of the United States.
What can be learned from the leaders of the past, including those in your own industry and company? Today's software and hardware companies can learn by studying the auto industry and its leaders from 1910-30, when the auto industry faced many of the same production issues. Hoover will present his study of the history of the airline industry on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 5:30 p.m. at the AT&T Center, Room 204. The event is free and open to the public. Feb. 24 (same time and place) he will talk about Lessons from Detroit, a discussion of the founders of the U.S. auto industry and what we can learn from them.