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November 22, 2004
3rd Friday, MTBC Session on Early Stage Funding
Topic: 3) Ventures
This past Friday I attended the Metroplex Technology Business Council's (MTBC) 3rd Friday Technical Luncheon Series in Richardson, Texas.

The lunch session began with a hot-off-the-press video from NTT DoCoMo, which depicted a vision of the future in 2010. I have to say that the form factors depicted by the Japanese stir a pleasant feeling. As one of the people eating lunch with me mentioned, the video has an Disney Epcot kind of feel to it. (Source:

The main presentation of the day covered "Early Stage Funding and the Future of Wireless Communications". Guest speaker was Roman Kikta, industry veteran and managing partner of Genesis Campus, a seed- and first-round financing venture capital and incubator fund. Genesis Campus is closing a new $100M fund in January (Genesis' second fund). I was struck by the fact that the example liquidity event highlighted by Roman for Genesis Campus (Fund I) was Spatial Wireless (Alcatel to acquire for approx. $250M USD) and that the CEO was also the founder. I mentioned to Roman that having the founder as CEO up to the point of a large liquidity event was very atypical and asked whether he expected to see similar patterns in his other portfolio companies.

Roman had a very good response. He mentioned that while each situation must be treated on a case-by-case basis that founders get swapped out too early in many cases. Founders provide the vision for a venture, and the vision can get killed off too early if a new CEO is brought in.

Maybe a good topic of research for the academics reading along. That'll be $0.05 please.

Steve Shu
Managing Director
S4 Management Group

Posted by sshu-s4 (c) S4 Management Group LLC at 9:48 AM CST
Updated: November 22, 2004 10:03 AM CST
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