VentureSpur kicked off the Black Box Breakfast series on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 with breakfast tacos, coffee, and “10 slides in 10 minutes” presentations from mentors Michael Sitarzewski and Brendon Mills on their personal paths to success.
The breakfast was a success with attendees in Dallas and Oklahoma City communicating via web conference. For everyone who missed this first event, here are some highlights to hold you over.
“When we first started building things, [the internet] was an educational network. Commercial use was strictly prohibited. ”
“I was a double high school drop out, so [accelerators] became my network.”
“I’ve done five start-ups and multiple exits over twenty-four years.”
“There were two big events in my start-up careers that really changed the trajectory of the companies. One was 9-11, which changed our whole economic climate and our customer’s ability to purchase, but we ended up selling equipment to SBC.”
Entrepreneur, author, speaker and VentureSpur board member, Mike Whitaker presented the breakfast topic “Money doesn’t lead, money follows” in a presentation answering several important questions:
- What came first success or funding?
- What are investors thinking?
- What are the pain points of entrepreneurs in the funding process?
VentureSpur mentor and attendee, Joel Fontenot, a Managing Partner with Trailblazer Capital, gave an impromptu addition to Mike’s presentation providing four complementary points on how start-ups can reduce risk for investors:
1. Team: Your team needs to have relative domain expertise.
2. Is the product relevant? “Your product has to be referenceable.”
3. Market: “The market has to be large and your addressable market has to be real. Customer input is everything. If you haven’t talked to customers to set your product requirements, then you’re dead out of the gate. ”
4. Finance: “If I give you a dollar, what are you going to do with it?” Give measurable accounts of what will be accomplished with the money. He calls these “measureable, meaningful milestones.”
VentureSpur Managing Director Kreattli L. Epperson and Mike Whitaker gave attendees the inside scoop on the upcoming acceleration program and what we can expect to see from VentureSpur in 2014.
Black Box breakfasts are held on the last Wednesday of each month (excluding July and December) in Dallas and Oklahoma City locations simultaneously.
VentureSpur welcomes all who want to attend to come enjoy coffee, breakfast, and great entrepreneurial stories and banter!
The next Black Box Breakfast will be on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. To RSVP to the February breakfast event, click here for Dallas or here for Oklahoma city.
To view all upcoming VentureSpur events, visit our events page! We hope to see everyone at the next event!
Big thanks to our Black Box Breakfast sponsor, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management!
For details on how Morgan Stanley can help you, contact The Stonehaven Group at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management:
David A. Cary, First Vice President
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
7500 Dallas Parkway, Ste. 500
Plano, TX 75024