Nov 19

Silicon Valley InSITE Fellows Kicks off its Second Fellows Group

The Silicon Valley InSITE fellows kicked off its second fellows class on Sunday, November 17, 2013, at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. At the meeting the co-presidents Irem Mertol and Bushra Bataineh introduced two InSITE alums Mike Katz and Owen Krishner. Both talked about their career paths and how the InSITE community helped them get to their current position. Mike and Owen then went into details about the venture capital industry.

Mike began the talk by mentioning how he considers himself the luckiest person given that in his twenties he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that had a high mortality rate.

He discussed his entrepreneurial and VC path before attending Columbia Business School and his current position as Vice President at Battery Ventures.

Mike discussed the types of limited partners who invest in Venture Capital firms and the different ways that venture funds are incentivized such as carried interest and management fees. He then discussed how different venture firms specialize in certain categories and how his venture firm makes investment decisions. Mike then explained the lifecycle of funds and the different skillsets that are required for VCs. He said the most important skillset is having good judgment and the other skillsets revolve around making a product, selling a product, analyzing markets deeply, recruiting and coaching talented people, anticipating challenges and taking early action, finding and negotiating great deals, and selling companies.

He then discussed what his typical day was like as a VC and then provided specific examples of how entrepreneurs pitch ideas to him and investments that his firm has made.

At the end of the meeting, the Silicon Valley InSITE fellows discussed potential projects that they would be working on this year as well as future speakers for future events.

While the Silicon Valley InSITE group is young compared to its counterparts in the East Coast it is gradually picking up steam and this year looks to build on its inaugural year with an engaging speaker series and most of all worthwhile projects that will engage the business, engineering, and entrepreneurial minded Stanford students affiliated with InSITE.

This post was written by Tim Hsia, Stanford 

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