Morris Tech Meetup - With Dan Keoppel Executive Director of Verizon Ventures

We are very happy to switch gears and focus on financing with Dan Keoppel the Executive Director of Verizon Ventures, Verizon Communications’ venture investing program. We are very pleased to have Dan to discuss his experiences and the overall VC market.  

Verizon Ventures makes direct investments in innovative startups that work with one of three major Verizon business units wireless, wireline, and enterprise services. He has lead the investments in  Airborne, Networks in Motion, Thumbplay, Entropic Networks, Medio, Loopt, FlashNetworks, Veoh, Zoove, Cellfire, ConteXtream, CardStar, Videosurf, BugLabs, Aztek Networks and SkyFire. 

Dan has been with Verizon and its predecessor companies, Bell Atlantic and Nynex, for 15 years where he has held a variety of corporate development and merger & acquisition positions. Prior to Verizon, he worked at AT&T in their M&A group and at AT&T Ventures Corporation, and held various finance positions with Lucent (then AT&T) Consumer Products. Dan has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Rutgers University and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is based at the Verizon Center in Basking Ridge, NJ.

Agenda for the evening is as follows:

6:30 to 7:00 Pizza & Networking

7:00 to 7:10 Updates

7:10 to 7:20 Audience/Member Announcements and Requests

7:20 to 7:30 Startup presentation from Ron Robinson CEO of Beutystat 

7:30 to 7:40 Startup presentation from Ian Griggs CEO of Hazarai 

7:45 to 8:15 Keynote speaker: Dan Keoppel of Verizon Ventures

8:20 to 9:00 Networking

After 9:00   Drinks at Vanderbilt's in the Hamilton Park Hotel 175 Park Ave Florham Park, NJ 07932 - Just exit through the Florham Road / Park Ave exit of FDU and you will see the Hotel on the left before you reach Park Ave. 

Directions - Complete directions to the FDU library are available here -

Parking - Park behind the library, across from of the dorms or in one of the larger (but further) lots. See the parking map below. 

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  • John C.

    A video of Dan's speech is now available here -

    March 11, 2014

  • Darrell F.

    Great event, now Verizon Ventures just needs to host Open Pitch Day Events a few times a its easy to get in touch with the fund, pitch you're dream and see if one can make something happen..........before Smart Phones or Mobile Apps came out; I contacted Verizon hoping to find help with my Mobile Coupon app, now Mobile Coupons are a 10 billion industry growing into 40 billion industry by 2016....

    Sadly trying to get in the door to meet with Verizon was harder than getting into college or graduate school.. Nothing can help the economy grow more than " open innovation" and policies that welcome new people to collaborate and letting people in the door to meet, learn and pitch. Ventures need help and not always 100's of k to millions. MICRO FUNDS 5k-100k could help Entrepreneurs succeed 10x more, then they currently are....

    Darrell Fertakos

    November 16, 2013

  • Glenn

    What a successful event! Still scratching my head on VC industry returns. I think the blockbuster led portfolio construction approach inherently leads to over investment in hot sectors and low overall returns. Bringing up the hit rate and accepting less than blockbuster returns will more likely lead to the development of differentiated capabilities and interests among VCs and to longevity for the industry.

    2 · November 13, 2013

    • John C.

      Yes - The good part is it is much cheaper and easier to sustain a startup these days. Basic tools like web sites and email are almost free. Assuming you can generate some revenue then the startup should be sustainable until you get to the point where you can do a small M&A deal. If there is no revenue there probably wasn't a business anyway. A great way to get a small exit is to form partnerships - sometimes with your competitors and add value to their offerings. That will get you noticed.

      November 14, 2013

    • Glenn

      I think there is a role for VCs though, just a smaller role than the commitments they have available to them. Hyper growth requires financing, so do R&D intensive endeavors. I think the better biz is in filling the financing niche that businesses like Johns need.

      November 14, 2013

  • Darrell F.

    Verizon Start an Inventor Fund as well, to fund inventors innovations

    November 12, 2013

  • Eric K.

    I'm coming

    November 12, 2013

  • Radu R.

    Every journey starts with a step and with a direction. Though it is the motivation and vision that would walk the distance.

    November 12, 2013

  • Dom C.

    I will be a bit late

    November 12, 2013

  • Glenn

    Looking forward to it.

    November 5, 2013

  • J D F.

    Great having a company like Verizon take a lead in stimulating technology start-ups.

    September 5, 2013

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