Capital. Revenue. Talent.
Every year at the CEO Master Minds Summit, we gather founders, and entrepreneurs to gain a much greater understanding on topics related to capital, revenue and talent from seasoned tech executives.
This year, Eric Stang, Chairman & CEO of OOMA, Eric Benhamou, Founding General Partner at BGV, and Dennis DeBroeck seasoned legal veteran, shared thoughtful critique of today’s fundraising and capital landscape.
Revenue and marketing vanguards including Donna Wells, former CMO of Mint.com and Betterment board member, and Francis Lobo, former CRO of WeWork discussed product marketing fit and the importance of understanding your customer.
Providing perspective on the talent landscape were Sarah O’Brien, Global Insights Director at LinkedIn, Don Seeley, Head of Search at DeWinter Group and Brynn Kennedy, Founder and CEO at Topia.
We were truly grateful to every speaker for their time and insights at this year’s event. But don’t take our word for it — you can see these tremendous conversations for yourself.
The Pleasures & Perils of Fundraising
A CEO’s View of Raising Capital from Seed to C
Eric Stang, President and Chief Executive Officer at Ooma
Eric B. Stang has served as Ooma’s President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of their board of directors since January 2009 and as Chairman of their board of directors since December 2014. He is currently also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Rambus Inc., a publicly traded technology licensing company, and a member of the Board of Directors of Avalanche Technology, Inc., a privately held developer of new memory technologies. Mr. Stang was previously a director of InvenSense, Inc., a publicly traded MEMS semiconductor company, from 2014 to 2017, and Solta Medical, Inc., a publicly traded medical aesthetics company, from 2008 to 2014. From 2006 to 2008, Mr. Stang was President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Reliant Technologies, a privately held developer of medical technologies for aesthetic applications. From 2001 to 2006, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Lexar Media, Inc., a solid-state memory products company and currently a subsidiary of Micron Technology. Mr. Stang also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lexar Media from 2004 to 2006. Mr. Stang holds an A.B. in Economics from Stanford University and an M.B.A from Harvard Business School
Creating Positive CEO & Board Dynamics
Setting Up The Proper Operating System When Constructing & Working With Your Board
Eric Benhamou, Founder and General Partner at BGV
Eric Benhamou has over 40 years of experience in the IT industry, including 14 years of active venture capital experience. He founded Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV) in 2003 and made active investments in early stage information technology Silicon Valley firms focused on global enterprise and telecommunications markets. In fund I, he leads investments in Swan Labs (F5), Dasient (TWTR), Voltaire(MLNX), Finjan(FNJN), Contextream (HP) and Load Dynamix. Eric currently serves on the boards of Grid Dynamics, Ayehu, Totango, Secret Double Octopus and 6d bytes, portfolio companies of BGV’s fund II and III.
Eric Benhamou has extensive corporate governance experience, having served on more than 25 corporate boards, including 10 publicly traded companies such as 3Com, Palm, Netscape, Legato Real Networks and Cypress Semiconductors (CY). He continues to serve on the boards of Silicon Valley Bank (SVBFG) and of Finjan Holdings (FNJN). Through his career, Eric Benhamou participated in 7 IPO’s and 36 M&A’s.
Prior to his venture capital career, Eric Benhamou built and operated several IT companies and experienced all the stages of growth from start-up to Global Fortune 500. Principally, he served as CEO of 3Com from 1990 to 2000 and as Chairman until 2010. Revenues grew 25-fold during his tenure. In his last year as CEO, 3Com was ranked 294 in the Global Fortune 500 rankings. He was the first 3Com CEO to formalize a corporate venture investment strategy and started 3Com Ventures, a $250 million corporate venture fund in 1998. He also served as CEO of Palm until 2003, and subsequently as Chairman of the Board. Both 3Com and Palm were sold to HP in 2010. Prior to 3Com, Eric Benhamou was a founder of Bridge Communications, an early networking pioneer which he helped take public on NASDAQ in 1985. He started his career as a software engineer at Zilog in 1977.
Eric Benhamou has been teaching entrepreneurship in various business schools around the world for the past 10 years, principally at INSEAD, Stanford and IDC’s Herzliya’s Arison School of Business, where he was a visiting professor. He also served on the Advisory Board of Stanford’s school of Engineering and the Board of Governors of Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. He is also active in several non-profit organizations, chairs the Israel Venture Network and the American Friends of Arts et Métiers.
Eric Benhamou, 62, has an MS from Stanford University’s School of Engineering, a Diplôme d’Ingénieur and a Doctorate from Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts et Métiers, Paris. He also holds several honorary doctorates and international awards.
Forget the Mystical Legal World
A practical way to think about Legal Counsel
DeBroeck serves as Partner of Fenwick & West, LLP. Previously, Mr. DeBroeck served as a Secretary of Steel Excel Inc. He founded DeBroeck & Rachlin. He serves as Director of Peninsula Open Space Trust. He is a Member California State Bar Corporation’s Committee and Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund.
Product Marketing Fit
Get this right before you run out of cash
Donna Wells, Board Director, Tech CEO, F500 Marketing Leader
Donna Wells is a successful serial entrepreneur, an experienced Public and Private Board Director, and an innovator in the financial services, FinTech and cloud software industries. She currently serves on the boards of Betterment and Happy Money, and the Advisory Board of Mitek Systems (Nasdaq: MITK) and was an Independent Director at Boston Private Bank (Nasdaq: BPFH) from 2014 to February 2018. From 2010 to June 2017, Ms. Wells was President, CEO and Board Director at Mindflash Technologies, Inc., a private Silicon Valley company providing a market-leading cloud-based platform for employee and customer training.
Prior to joining Mindflash, Ms. Wells had a nearly 20-year career in the financial services and software industries. Ms. Wells began her career at American Express in Corporate Strategic Planning and later in the company’s Consumer and Corporate Card businesses. From 1997 to 2000, she helped establish a new, strategic product development function for Charles Schwab’s retail business and ultimately held responsibility for product development and marketing to customer segments representing 70% of all Schwab client households. This early experience drove Ms. Wells to leadership roles with four of the most innovative companies in this space from 2000 through 2009: MyCFO Wealth Management (sold to Harris Bank), Intuit, Expedia and Mint.com (sold to Intuit).
Ms. Wells’ teams’ work has won multiple Webbys and recognition as a Tech Pioneer by the World Economic Forum in Davos. She has been named a Top 25 Women in Tech to Watch by Accenture and a Marketing Executive of the Year Finalist by the Wall Street Journal. In 2018, Information Age named Ms. Wells a finalist for their Business Role Model of the Year award. Her company, Mindflash, was named a Top 50 Small Workplace in the US by Fortune magazine in 2016.
Understanding Your Customer
Three Elements to Business Success
Francis Lobo, Former Chief Revenue Officer at WeWork
Francis Lobo serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Business & Product Officer and President of Cooper Labs, overseeing the organization’s digital strategy and product development. Most recently, he served as Chief Revenue Officer for WeWork where he managed revenue, sales, performance marketing and data for the organization. Before taking on the Chief Revenue Officer role, he managed digital, technology and services for WeWork.
Prior to joining WeWork, Lobo was the Chief Executive Officer of United Online Inc., a leading provider of consumer-internet products and services, including brands like NetZero, Juno, Classmates, and MyPoints. His experience also includes nearly a decade at AOL where he held a number of different executive roles including President of AOL Services.
Francis holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from St. Joseph’s College at Bangalore University in India and a Master of Business Administration degree from Loyola University in Chicago.
Leveraging the Power of Data to Fuel Smarter Hiring
Sarah O'Brien, Head of Global Insights at LinkedIn
Passionate about using data to transform the way businesses operate and the way we make decisions.
O’Brien is incredibly fortunate to be immersed in the rapidly evolving field of data analytics. She saw the macro picture of how organizations are transforming and being transformed by data in my experience running the Advanced Analytics practice at Bain & Company. And now she is driving analytics on a massive scale at LinkedIn, where they have the opportunity to directly transform global talent recruitment through data-driven intelligence.
The landscape for data analytics is changing quickly, as are the approaches to get lasting value from analytics - so hit me up if you want to exchange perspectives!
Talent Attraction for Founders
The processes and strategies that work
Don Seeley, Partner at DeWinter Group
Don began his recruiting career over twenty years ago, and joined DeWinter Group upon their launch in 2000. Today he serves as Partner for DeWinter Associates (DeWinter Group’s contingent search division). Don has expertise sourcing candidates for all levels of the CFO’s organization, and takes pride in the lasting partnerships he’s built with Bay Area finance leaders. While he continues to work with individual professionals dispensing career guidance, he also enjoys consulting with companies on organizational development and process improvement projects to help CFOs grow and scale their business. Don can leverage his extensive network of finance and accounting professionals to ensure the success of any search. With a singular commitment and nuanced approach, Don has successfully placed hundreds of professionals into roles they love. Don is a family man who spends all of his free time with his wife and three sons. He enjoys the local art and music scenes, and is always open to receiving hiking or camping recommendations!
Developing a Global Company
Challenges and Opportunities
Brynne Kennedy, Founder and CEO at Topia
Brynne Kennedy is the CEO and Founder of Topia (formerly MOVE Guides), the platform for the mobile workforce. Topia manages benefits, compliance and careers for employees who relocate, expatriate and travel frequently, a growing segment of the current and future workforce. Brynne founded Topia after being an extensive road warrior herself as an investment banker, and has raised more than $90 million dollars from top venture capital funds NEA and Notion Capital. Brynne is also the Founder of #Mobility4All, to which Topia contributes 1% of its revenue to help those fleeing poverty and conflict. Brynne is frequently recognized as a leading entrepreneur and thought leader. She has won Entrepreneur of the Year in the Women in IT Awards and Women of the Future Awards, London Business School’s Distinguished Entrepreneur Award and Management Today’s 35 Under 35. In 2017, she was named a Workforce Game Changer, one of 25 people changing the HR industry, and recognized with the Meritorious Service Award from the global mobility industry. Brynne is a former elite level gymnast for the United States. She speaks four languages and holds a B.A. in History from Yale University and an MBA from London Business School.