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Entrepreneurial Lessons

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Entrepreneurial Lessons Rafi Gidron rafi_at_prologue.co.il – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Entrepreneurial Lessons


1
Entrepreneurial Lessons
  • Rafi Gidron
  • rafi_at_prologue.co.il

2
Prologue Parallel Entrepreneurship
  • Prologue is an investment and entrepreneurship
    organization that invests intellectual, financial
    and management resources to create and nurture
    early-stage ventures targeted at high growth
    markets and applications

3
The Prologue Parternership
  • Principals
  • Dr. Rafi Gidron
  • Chromatis (founder), Scorpio (founder), AST,
    Columbia University
  • Orni Petruschka
  • Chromatis (founder), Scorpio (founder), Cellaris,
    ECI, Bellcore, Cornell
  • Albert Olier
  • Chromatis, Scorpio, ZettaLight, IAF, Technion
  • Nimrod Goor (US Office)
  • Model N, Devicescape, MedSim, Banner Aerospace,
    HBS

4
High-Tech Commercialization Drivers
Technology
Entrepreneurship
Capital
Market
5
Prologue Value Proposition
Technology Backlog

Undeployed Capital
Large Markets
6
The Prologue Concept
7
A Company is Born
8
A Company is Born
9
Entrepreneurial Lessons
10
From 0 to 4.75 billion in 27 Months
Haaretz, June 2000
11
Lucents Share
12
August 2001
13
From Acquisition to Closure in 14 Months
Haaretz, August 2001
14
  • Because it is there George Mallory, British
    Mountaineer, before attempting to climb Mount
    Everest in 1924

15
The Challenges
  • Market
  • Technology
  • Finance
  • Business
  • Execution
  • Exit (financial reward)
  • Fun

16
The Means
  • Team
  • Product selection
  • Execution and culture
  • Finance
  • Timing
  • Luck

17
The Team
  • Core team
  • Employees
  • Venture capital
  • Board of directors, board of
    advisors

18
Team Selection -Core Team and Employees
  • Balanced and seasoned founding team
  • Founders from the target market and from Israel
  • Employees with high B/E (Brain/Ego) ratio
  • Preference to potential vs. experience
  • Enhance the management team with expertise
    according to the companys life stages

19
Road to Success
  • The right product at the right cost point
    (Marketing, RD, CTO)
  • Development execution (RD)
  • Bugs free easy to operate systems (RD)
  • Be in front of the customer (Sales)
  • On-time delivery (Operations)
  • Customer support (Sales, RD)
  • Infrastructure (HR, Finance, Administration)
  • Financing, coordination, management

20
Team Selection - Venture Capital
  • Resources to support the company over time
  • Chemistry with management
  • Leading US-based VCs for their reputation and
    contacts base
  • Israeli VC for comfort level for US-based VCs
  • Strategic investment dilemma

21
Team Selection - Directors and Advisors
  • Enhance board with external director
  • Name recognition
  • Experience
  • Contacts to client base
  • Contacts to strategic partner base

22
Product Selection - Tradeoffs
  • Market opportunity is not obvious - some
    selection criteria
  • Market needs vs. Market trends
  • Execution risk vs. Technology risk
  • Niche vs. Mainstream
  • Geographical focus vs. Worldwide
  • Point product vs. Platform
  • Numerous roadmap choices
  • (depending on product
  • complexity)
  • Product selection is only
  • a basis for change!

23
Product Direction
  • Keep an open mind
  • Be in the face of customers
  • Listen to customers
  • Listen to your colleagues, peers, subordinates,
    supervisors

24
Execution
  • Company setup
  • Focus Focus Focus
  • Professionalism
  • Culture and values

25
Company Setup
  • Target market based company - facilitates access
    to market and strategic partners
  • Israeli RD
  • Avoid usage of government aid programs with
    strings attached
  • Significant target market presence from Day 1
  • Over time move center of gravity to the target
    market as company matures

26
Professionalism
  • Take responsibility - no small head
  • Dedication
  • Be on time
  • Challenging, not impossible milestones
  • Balance between orderly and creative processes -
    know, or ask, when it is ok to cut corners
  • Raise a red flag the moment you identify the
    problem
  • Do your utmost to solve the problem

27
Company Culture and Values
  • We are all partners
  • Listen and communicate
  • Team work
  • Hierarchy does not mean much
  • Talk at eye level internally and externally
  • Help recruit more good people
  • No bullshit

28
Timing is Everything
  • Market development and product introduction
    phases Prefer time to market over completeness
  • Financing rounds
  • Exit considerations

29
IPO vs Acquisition
  • Build the company solely for IPO
  • When an acquisition opportunity comes up,
    consider shareholders value in light of IPO track
    risks
  • stock market volatility
  • political risks
  • execution risks

30
Luck
31
  • I have climbed my mountain,
  • but I must still live my life
  • Tenzing Norgay, first to climb Mount
  • Everest together with Sir Edmund Hillary

32
Lessons Learned the Hard Way
  • A few examples
  • Strategic investment - created misperception in
    the industry
  • Operations support was started too late
  • Product definition zigzag
  • RD performance could be even better
  • Late in correcting staffing mistakes
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