Congratulations to the Stanford BASES Final Winners May 23, 2012Posted by Barry Eggers in Entrepreneur, startups.
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Yesterday afternoon, I had the opportunity to join the Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students, known as BASES, as a judge for its end of the year finale in which student-run start-ups compete for $150K in prizes. This was my third year as a judge. As with prior years, I was impressed by the quality of the presentations and teams this year.
Congratulations to all of the finalists and this year’s winners:
- Calcula Technologies – an innovative treatment of kidney stones that are traditionally determined to be too small to be operable, but that are very painful for patients.
- RAVEL – a legal search platform for lawyers and law students that helps reveal the most important cases, the connections between cases, and the evolution of legal principles over time.
- Wello – an online marketplace that connects consumers with fitness professionals over live, interactive video for group and individual workout sessions.
Lightspeed has been a proud sponsor of BASES for the last few years and continues to be impressed with their impact on the start-up community at Stanford and beyond.
Two is a good number of founders May 14, 2012Posted by jeremyliew in Entrepreneur, founders, start-up, startup.
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I’ve long held that two is a good number of (co)founders. One is difficult because you don’t have a true thought partner to talk to, or to tell you when you might be being crazy. To everyone else, you’re the CEO and the boss, and that power dynamic mitigates what they are willing to tell you.
Three can lead to a “two on one” situation, which can be destabilizing. It doesn’t always have to be unstable, but it is a risk.
Four or more and the equity cuts start getting pretty small for cofounders.
Douglas Merrill (CEO of Zestcash, one of our portfolio companies) has a nice post in HuffPo about how to work best with a cofounder that is well worth reading in its entirety. I paraphrase his five rules as follows:
- Be different, but not too different
- Share core values
- Compromise on work styles
- Overcommunicate to the team about your relationship, agreements and disagreements
- Find a trusted tie breaker
The Enterprise Flash Market is Taking Off May 10, 2012Posted by Barry Eggers in enterprise infrastructure, flash.
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Congratulations to Lightspeed portfolio company XtremIO and founders Ehud, Shuki, and Yaron for their acquisition which was announced today. This is another reminder of just how fast flash has gone from promising consumer technology to mainstream enterprise building block – primarily fueled by the proliferation of virtualization, BI, and Big Data coupled with the rapid decline in flash pricing.
We made our first investment in an enterprise flash company (Pliant Technology) in 2007; in 2008 we blogged about the potential for this technology to disrupt the storage market and in 2010 predicted that it could be the next $10 Billion dollar IT market.
Venture dollars have flowed into the enterprise flash market over the last few years and, to date, there have been 7 major liquidity events for venture-backed companies: FusionIO’s IPO (a Lightspeed portfolio company), Pliant (a Lightspeed portfolio company acquired by Sandisk), Sand Force (LSI), Anobit (Apple), IOTurbine (a Lightspeed portfolio company acquired by FusionIO), Flashsoft (Sandisk), and XtremeIO (a Lightspeed portfolio company). There are also a number of promising companies emerging in this market, including Violin Memory, Nimble Storage (a Lightspeed portfolio company), Pure Storage, Solidfire, Tintri (a Lightspeed portfolio company), Avere, Kaminario, and Nutanix (a Lightspeed portfolio company) as well as many others in development phases.
Despite all of the exit activity, we are in the early innings of this market – stay tuned for more fireworks…