Alternative Sources of Funding: A Brave New World
Between AngelList, FundersClub, Kickstarter, IndieGogo and a host of other funding platforms, start-ups have a multitude of new financing options available. The emergence of new sources of funding begs the question - who will survive in this brave new world? This panel will explore the funding issue from both the perspective of the funder and the entrepeneur and the ultimate impact these new financing vehicles could have on the VC community.
Panel Leader: Kate Mitchell
Co-Founder & Partner, Scale Venture Partners
Kate is a co-founder and partner of ScaleVP, a Silicon Valley-based firm that invests in early-in-revenue technology companies that are looking to scale. Kate and the ScaleVP team have backed successful, high growth companies including ExactTarget (SalesForce), Vitrue (Oracle), Ring Central (NYSE: RNG), Box, Docusign, and Omniture (Adobe). ScaleVP is currently investing its $300M Fund IV in companies in the SaaS, cloud, mobile and internet sectors. Kate is instrumental in building the firm’s team and strategic direction. She also focuses on investments in software and business services – including Infrastructure and Mobile.
Kate is past chairman of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and remains active in policy matters that impact entrepreneurship, start-ups & innovation. She chaired the IPO Task Force, whose recommendations to reform the IPO market were included in the recently enacted JOBS Act. Mitchell received the NVCA Outstanding Service Award in 2013 for her policy work on behalf of the venture ecosystem. Kate writes a regular blog for the Wall Street Journal’s Accelerator’s forum on topics that impact entrepreneurs and startups. She is also a current board member of Silicon Valley Bankshares (SIVB) and is a charter member of Environmental Entrepreneurs (Silicon Valley).
Panelist: Alex Mittal
Co-Founder and CEO, FundersClub
Prior to starting FundersClub, Mr. Mittal was the founding CEO of Innova Dynamics, a VC-backed touchscreen hardware company, leading the company from university laboratory to commercialization, securing design-in collaborations with today's major consumer electronics companies. Previously, he was the founding CTO of Crederity, a VC-backed identity and credential verification enterprise software company, and co-founded and led Penn Engineers without Borders, a non-profit that has provided running water to thousands of people worldwide. Mr. Mittal currently serves on the Board of Directors of three companies, holds degrees in economics and engineering from Wharton and the University of Pennsylvania, and is an alumni of Y Combinator. He was recently named an advisor to First Round Capital’s Dorm Room Fund, and is a columnist for Inc. Additionally, Mr. Mittal has been featured in Forbes 30 under 30 in Tech, in BusinessWeek as one of America’s Best Young Entrepreneurs, and in Silicon Valley’s 40 under 40. Prior to his time as an entrepreneur, Mr. Mittal was active in science research, presenting at the 2002 Nobel Prize Ceremonies, and MIT Lincoln Laboratory named an asteroid after him for his work.
Panelist: Ellie Wheeler
Ellie focuses on investment opportunities across the digital ecosystem, with an emphasis over the last few years on B2B and B2C commerce innovation, marketplaces, and mobile applications. Ellie currently oversees Greycroft‘s investments in BaubleBar, Daily Secret, Buzz Points, NuOrder, and Plain Vanilla Games and also works closely with our investment in Plated and Nomi. Prior to joining Greycroft, Ellie worked in a similar role during business school evaluating investment opportunities at Lowercase Capital with investor Chris Sacca. Before working with Lowercase, Ellie worked at Cisco in Corporate Development doing acquisitions, investments, and strategy within the communications, collaboration, enterprise software, and video sectors. While at Cisco, she was involved in multiple acquisitions and investments, including PostPath, Jabber, Xobni, and Tandberg. Ellie’s past experience also includes working briefly at the London-based venture capital firm DN Capital, focused on early stage transactional businesses which included Windeln.de and Mister Spex. She began her career in growth capital private equity at Summit Partners in Boston as a generalist.
Ellie graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a BA in Psychology and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Panelist: Luke Winston
Sales & Operations, Formlabs
Luke has helped build Formlabs from pre-Kickstarter stealth mode to a premier desktop 3D printing company. Generally he does what he needs to get done on the business side of things. Right now heading up Sales, Support and General Operations. Tomorrow we'll see.