Friday, July 22, 2011

Back To School for Startups Too!

Esther from Taste of Crete
    In 2004, Esther Psarakis founded her imported specialty foods company, Taste of Crete, out of her love for Greece. She married a Greek, and very quickly embraced the language, the culture, the religion and the food she tasted on many visits to the family farm on the Island of Crete. Before long, she was importing olive oil from the family’s  olive groves and selling wine cookies named for and based on  her mother in law’s recipe,  both online and in a retail store in Hillsborough, New Jersey.  While the business got off to a strong start within a couple of years, once the Euro soared and the US  recession began to  hit specialty food businesses hard, Esther decided to go back to school for help.  But she didn’t have to enroll to find the answers to her business problems.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Why Pitching Investors Sometimes Misfires

    According to a recent report from the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, women-owned ventures account for 20% of entrepreneurs seeking capital, though only 13 % of them  actually receive funds, lagging behind the overall rate by about 5%.  One crucial step in seeking capital  is “The Pitch.”  Recently two seasoned women investors shared  their experience about  why some pitches don’t persuade investors to write checks.

     A recognized spokesperson for the technological entrepreneurship community in Silicon Valley, Heidi has achieved success both as an entrepreneur and as a venture capitalist.  Currently a faculty member of Stanford University, Heidi served as VP for Apple Computer, and as a co-founder and CEO of T/Maker Company, a developer and publisher of personal computer software. Heidi was a managing director of Mobius Venture Capital which had $2 billion under management.  Currently, She serves on the board of TiVo and Prysm and Springboard Enterprises.
Heidi Roizen

Here are Heidi Roizen’s top pet pitch peeves.