Past Meetup

Strategic Planning for Early Ventures and the Fund Raising Process

This Meetup is past

87 people went

Price: $35.00 /per person

Needs a location


The Workshop

Based on your good responses to our poll ( for desired topics, we have combined the highest ranking request (funding) and the third (strategy) into one powerful workshop.

The core of the workshop will be strategic thinking and planning in the very promising, but risk prone, unpredictable, and highly uncertain early stage venture creation process.

What kind of business plan should I have?

Is the first mover advantage real? How do I grab it?

How should I balance product, team building, and distribution, vs. expense rates?

Internal vs. External strategy: How do I protect against competitors?

What are the big trends driving the current funding / competitive environment?

What practical lessons does game theory offer?

What do I do when "it's not working"?

How do I plan for and get to an exit? Is this an "Early Exit" opportunity?

When do I embark on my fund raising process, and who do I go to (VC's, angels, others)?

These and many more are typical strategic decision milestones for early venture creators.

We will be attempting to tackle stratgeic decision making in this environment, with Bob Rice (, author of "Three Moves Ahead" ( - on how top CEO's use Grandmaster techniques to win on Wall Street and elsewhere, even if they're not chess players. Bob will drive the overall 3 hour workshop.

While how to effectively run the fundraising process is really a summary of all the different workshops we may be conducting (on strategy, term sheets, early exists, valuation and many more) - this workshop will integrate a specific stratgic planning "case-in-point" relating to fund raising, as an extension of the strategic decision making workshop. We'll be doing this with the help of Phin Barnes, a principal at First Round Capital (, a leading seed stage VC fund based in NYC.

A copy of Bob's book ( will be provided to paid attendees.

The workshop will include a thirty minute group exercise, in which we analyze the "strategy fork-in-the-road" of some of the startups among you, with a follow-on discussion.

The Speakers

Bob Rice

Bob is a Managing Partner at Tangent Capital - a merchant bank focused on client service in alternative assets and pre-public equities. Tangent helps clients thrive in a world where rapid changes in technology, regulation and communication have opened new opportunities for investors, fund managers, and entrepreneurs.

Bob began his career at the US Department of Justice and then became a partner at the international law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, where he specialized in financial products. In 1995, Bob left his practice and founded a technology venture that developed 3D graphics software and hardware systems. It was merged into a public company, Viewpoint, of which he became CEO. In that role he transformed the company into a leader in interactive advertising, setting the stage for its subsequent acquisition.

Along the way, Bob co-founded and served as Commissioner of the Professional Chess Association.

He is currently a member of the New York Angels and has served on the boards of several private technology and media companies.

Bob is also the author of “Three Moves Ahead, What Chess Can Teach You About Business,”a frequent guest on FOX Business shows, and speaks often on the subject of business strategy in a time of rapid change. His personal website is (

Phin Barnes

Phin ( is a Principal at First Round Capital (, a seed-stage fund, dedicated to helping talented entrepreneurs build remarkable companies, worked at AND 1 from “day 2″ and founded a fitness video game company.

Before joining First Round Capital, Phin founded ResponDesign, an independent videogame company that developed and published Yourself!Fitness, the first fitness game for Xbox and PlayStation2. While managing the marketing and distribution of Yourself!Fitness from[masked], Phin secured retail partnerships with Nordstrom and Best Buy as well as promotional partnerships with Proctor & Gamble and McDonald’s.

One of the earliest employees at AND 1 Basketball, Phin spent six years helping to grow the company from revenues of $15 million to over $225 million. While at AND 1 Phin led product direction, managed relationships with national retail accounts and created the initial concept for the signature AND 1 marketing property—the AND 1 Mix Tape.

Phin also has consulted with several companies, including MTV Networks, where he focused on non-traditional games and the growth of the MTV Games division beginning in 2006.

Phin earned his MBA with honors from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business with a double major in Operations and Information Management and Finance. He earned his BA in Economics and Sociology from Haverford College in 1998 and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa society. A college basketball player, Phin maintains his addiction to sneakers and a decent mid-range jumper (Phin has recently retired from team sports due to an unfortunate inury). He has also participated in several triathlons and marathons and looks forward to more.

Avi Fogel

Avi ( runs Majorlee Investments, a family wealth management fund investing in angel venture investments, income/private equity deals and public equities. Avi is also an active member of New York Angels (NYC), Launchpad Venture Group (a Boston angel group) and Startup Factory (Israel's largest angel group). Before his current role Avi was an Executive in Residence at American Capital and a US based Venture Partner at Infinity Equity of Tel Aviv. Prior to these, he ran ProActivity - a process management startup from Israel which saw an early exit, was a CEO at Network-1, an intrusion prevention startup, where he saw an IPO and an M&A, CEO at CommHome Systems - a residential gateway developer, which exited through an M&A and a VP in multiple roles at LANNET, a LAN switching vendor based in Israel, where he saw the company go through an IPO and then an M&A. Avi is active chairman of the board of Clippr, a stealth stage startup focused on web based video discovery and serving, and a board member at Localytics, a leading player in mobile app analytics.

Avi earned an MBA, Summa Cum Laude, with a double major in entrepreneurship and finance, from Babson College, and a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the Technion, Israel's Institute of Technology.


PLEASE NOTE - Due to the security requirements of our venues full names are required in order to register for our workshops - please complete the full name in your meetup registration, in order to participate.

In some of our workshops, the participation fee includes a copy of a book. Books will be provided in the workshops to those who register up to 14 days before the event. All others will receive the book, after the workshop, by mail.