Silicon Valley Trip – Day 2

The second day of the San Francisco trip began with a sort of déjà-vu: Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) Ventures invited us back for a meeting with associate Joshua Raffaelli to get a different perspective on the firm’s operations.  After arriving at Menlo Park a half-hour early, we took a detour back to The Sundeck for a cup of coffee before starting our day.   Sitting in The Sundeck dining room with a 270°-view of the surrounding mountains I thought, “This would be a pretty nice day to start every morning.”

After breakfast, we returned to the Millenium Falcon Conference Room at DFJ to meet with Joshua.  He was kind enough to bring us some swag (DFJ pens, notebooks, hats and bags) while he talked about the day-to-day deal-making and due diligence processes of the firm.  The day before we had met with the Don Wood, a Managing Partner at DFJ, who focused more on DFJ investing strategy including its global network of affiliates.

Our next stop was at Garage Tech Ventures—home of startup-guru Guy Kawasaki—in the heart of Palo Alto.  Here we piled into a small conference where a picture hung of the eponymous garage (located just a few blocks away from the Garage Tech Office) where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard got their start.  Managing Director, Bill Reichert, discussed the firm’s history: how it began as an accelerator and became one of the most important Silicon Valley early stage VC firms of the past decade.

After lunch at Il Fornaio, the group made its way to the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field.  Incidentally, the research center (which is a retired Navy base) is adjacent to the Googleplex property in Mountain View.  Here we met with Tim Collins, CEO of KleenSpeed: a resident research company at the center which is developing electric racecar technology.  After touring the KleenSpeed facility we met with Lisa Lockyer and several of her colleagues at the NASA Technology Partnerships Office.

Finally, we made our way back to the place where our two-days-in-Silicon-Valley started: the law offices of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR) for an attorney panel.  Professor Oglevee, an organizer of the trip, had suggested that we use this opportunity to do a venture capital “term-sheet” workshop.   A term-sheet is the non-binding document signed by an entrepreneur and venture capital firm when entering an investment deal.  Daphne, Alison and Phuong (the attorneys on the panel) gave us each three different term sheet templates and we discussed the differences between them and what to look for when signing one.  As it turns out, the keys are: READ YOUR TERM SHEET and ASK QUESTIONS.

After the panel we had one last chance to thank Jim Terranova, Fisher alumnus and Director of WS investments at WSGR, for organizing the trip and supporting the next generation of buckeye entrepreneurs.  Thanks again Jim!

Reposted from and Fisher Entrepreneurship Association blog.

See more pictures at flickr.