Sound-bites from the Venture Capitalists themselves.

Have you read about the Startup Pitch Contest taking place at MobiCom this year? If not, read more about it here!

In my previous blog, I promised some words from the VCs (Venture Capitalists) themselves. This Q&A should be a teaser for you into the kind of valuable insight we will gain on this grilling process, from the experienced VCs themselves.

eugene_leeI begin by asking Eugene Lee about his career and experience with startup companies. “In my career I’ve had the opportunity to co-found a startup as well as be “CEO 2.0″ of a startup, been a VP at 3 large publicly traded companies (including Cisco and Adobe), and most recently an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at a venture capital firm.” He says. “So I’ve seen a wide spectrum of business stages, product categories, team dynamics, and leaders.”

I then ask Eugene what are the things that he is looking for as well as what are the red flags that he tries to avoid. For starters, Eugene is looking for:

  1. Passion
  2. Vision
  3. Big idea, big market, with an achievable market entry first offering
  4. Great team with complementary skills, experiences, and personality strengths/weaknesses

As for what are his red flags:

  1. Arrogance
  2. Tunnel vision
  3. Overpowering leader
  4. Great concepts but weak execution

Eugene also shared some startup tips with me. He suggests that, “In addition to having a big idea attacking a big market with an achievable market entry first offering, I also like to ask “Why now?” – in other words, what are the industry, technology, market, and competitive trends that are converging to make your idea the best thing for customers NOW?”

Claire_Portrait2We also received some learned wisdom from VC Claire Chang, who adds on what Eugene has said. She shared with us one personal sound bite of hers. She says, “One, competitive landscape – often times, entrepreneurs are so engrossed in their own ideas that they often neglect to do thorough research on what’s already out there. Once you have understood your competitors then you will have a better understanding of how to create your value proposition and your go to market strategy, which are other things I’d add to this mix of what we look for.”

This is the first time that both VCs attend MobiCom. Claire says, “As first time attendees of MobiCom, we are very much looking forward to attending the conference, learning cutting edge research.” We welcome both Claire and Eugene to MobiCom, and we look forward to the startup contest!

Remember, the startup pitch contest is today, Monday, September 8, from 6:30pm – 8:00pm. Don’t miss it!

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