Global Technology Leaders Summit 2013

Global Technology Leaders Summit 2013

My impressions. It was a fantastic forum for those who want to take part it what is the greatest Technology Centre in the world

Investment – Technology – Leadership

Day 1

The registration took place in the Microsoft Cafe and then to the Global conferencing centre 1065 La Avenida Street Mountain View California.

After all my working life using installing swearing at Microsoft software to be at the Silicon Valley was a box ticked for me. With Microsoft whether you love it or hate to me it changed the way office worked for ever.

Networking as always took place in the usual to me anyway, egg shell fashion until the ice was well and truly broken on a discussion about The Sins of Sand Hill Road.

What is Sand Hill road you ask well its the home of Venture Capital. Its has more money than the leaves that adorn the trees that line the road.

Some venture capital and private equity firms located on Sand Hill Road include:


If you are a budding Entrepreneur you should now the above.



For many years, Sand Hill Road’s northern end terminated in the middle of Stanford Shopping Center’s parking lot, and the only four-lane segment was the section from Interstate 280 to Santa Cruz Avenue (the section where all the venture capitalists are housed). This situation resulted in two severe bottlenecks which made it difficult to travel to and from Stanford Shopping Center, Stanford University, and Menlo Park.


Extension and widening of the road was fiercely opposed by environmentalists, who were concerned about the road’s proximity to San Francisquito Creek, and by residents of Menlo Park, who feared that completion of the road would increase traffic congestion in their area due to the mid-Peninsula region’s lack of a direct north-south arterial. After three decades of lobbying, negotiation, and litigation, the road was finally completed to El Camino Real in 2001. Only the existing portion from just north of Alameda de las Pulgas to just south of Stanford Shopping Center was widened to four lanes; the new extension past the shopping center was built only as two lanes.


The bottleneck near Santa Cruz Avenue was widened in 2006 and features a 16-foot (4.9 m) high faux rock wall at the junction of Sand Hill Road and Santa Cruz Avenue. The project was delayed because the stretch of land at issue runs through Menlo Park, not Palo Alto; the city reversed its stubborn opposition to widening only after it saw how well the widening of the northern Palo Alto segment turned out.

John Stanton took the floor and introduced John Hartnett they make a great double act the Ant & Dec of the business world stealing the show with just a few short sentences. The the main man Craig Barrett Chairman of the ITLG – Former Chairman & CEO of Intel. A man who has travelled the world and managed from along side the troops, feeling and being part of the success. A powerful team that at a Thought Leadership level seem to have hands and  minds on where the future, that is the next 20 years in the technology business world is going. It will and I believe this will take over our lives as many of the films and science fiction writers have portrayed.

One more piece to set the scene for the networking ice breaker.  The Panel to me the single individuals that can make break and miss that potential Facebook Twitter or Pinterest.

The Panel Chairperson

  1. Richard Moran CEO of Accertive Solutions. Chairperson
  2. Sean Cunningham Director of Strategic Investments Intel Capital
  3. Rory O’Driscoll Partner Scale Venture Partners
  4. Cindy Padnos Founder & Managing Partner Illuminate Ventures
  5. John O’Farrell General Partner Andreessen Horowitz


Rich Moran currently serves as the CEO and Vice Chairman at Accretive Solutions, a national professional services firm with a focus on Accounting, Information Technology and Outsourcing. In his previous lives he was a Partner at Venrock, Chairman of the Board at Portal Software and a Partner at Accenture. Moran has served on the Boards of Glu Mobile Games, Winery Exchange, and Mechanics Bank among others. He currently serves on the board of PerfectForms.


In the public or not-for-profit sector he serves on The Council of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is the Chair of the Audit Committee at the Noyce Foundation, the National Board of Visitors at the Indiana University School of Education, and serves as a Regent at Saint Ignatius Prep. Moran serves also on the Accountability Structures Expert Panel for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN); the policy making group that coordinates the Domain Name System and Internet Protocol addresses.

Well placed to chair the panel and ask those awkward questions

Sean Cunningham has spent over 25 years managing, investing and building companies in the high tech industry. Mr. Cunningham’s passion for innovation and entrepreneurial excellence is clearly evident in his investment strategies and company building skills.

John O’Farrell is a venture capitalist at the Silicon Valley firm Andreessen Horowitz, which he joined in June 2010 as its third general partner (after founders Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz). He serves on the boards of ShoeDazzle,Tiny Speck, Factual, GoodData, Solumand the Second Harvest Food Bank.


Born in Ireland, O’Farrell has held executive positions in Europe and the U.S., frequently works with portfolio companies on global expansion, partnerships and M&A, and blogs frequently on these topics.O’Farrell speaks English, German, French and Portuguese.He has a Bachelor of Electronic Engineering from University College Dublin and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he graduated as an Arjay Miller Scholar.

Rory O’Driscoll is a founding member of Scale Venture Partners (ScaleVP) and has been an active investor at ScaleVP or its predecessor funds since 1993. His primary focus is on software companies benefiting from the move to software-as-a-service and the wider transition of enterprise computing to the cloud. He currently sits on the boards of Axcient, Box, DataSift, DocuSign, ExactTarget (ET), Livescribe, and Vantage Media.


Prior investments include Omniture (IPO:OMTR; Acq: ADBE), Net Genesis (IPO: NTGX; Acq: SPSS), ScanSafe (Acq: Cisco), Frontbridge (Acq: MSFT), Zone Labs (Acq: CHKP), Placeware (Acq: MSFT), OuterBay (Acq: HP) among others. The automation of marketing in the Internet era has been a theme of his investments from NetGenesis in the 1990′s, to Omniture in 2005, and ExactTarget today.

Cindy Padnos is founder and managing partner of Illuminate Ventures, an early stage Micro VC firm focused on cloud computing. Current investments and board seats include BrightEdge, CalmSea, Hoopla, and Xactly. Cindy has deployed over $100 million in venture funding to help dozens of start-ups reach successful outcomes including prior portfolio companies Red Aril (acq. Hearst Corporation) and WildPockets (acq. Autodesk).


Named one of the Most Influential Women in Technology (Fast Company) and one of the Most Influential Women in Business in the Bay Area (San Francisco Business Times), Cindy’s high tech career includes successful stints as a management consultant (Booz), VP of Marketing (Scopus, IPO) and founder/CEO (Vivant, acq. EVLV/ORCL).

By know you should be getting the picture a lot of Irish connection a lot of money to play with over all in the region of 2.9 billion. Enough to go around and make ;lots of investments in new start-ups you would think, well I give you the low down.

To all you budding entrepreneurs make of this what you will but remember the what I call localisation constraints on what you have to do. In Ireland if you go through the system Enterprise Ireland will partially dictate should you go down the government sponsored route. This can have a dramatic affect should you want to seek funding from American for instance. Take proper advice from those that know. ITLG being one such group. But as I discovered the Irish Diaspora are not the only Diaspora, Canadians, British, Israeli,India. It made me sit up and think we are (Ireland) not the only ones suffering.

Typically  questions went like this and I will paraphrase

  • If an Entrepreneur is over 50 would you invest in them
  • How important is the financial page of a business plan
  • would you read a business plan that had been sent in with out prior contact
  • would you invest in a company that does not have a base in Silicon Valley
  • Are revenues important.
  • How long should a business plan be.
  • How many business ideas requesting funding do you receive each year.
  • How many do you actually fund each year.
  • Are you hands on
  • Acquisition are you looking to buy the companies.

Well they were brutally honest and it made me sit up and think hold tough what’s going on. First and foremast was the banter around coming to Silicon Valley and  basically if you don’t have your management team here on a permanent basis you will not get funded. One funder will only fund if you have revenues, no revenues then don’t talk to him he wont fund. As for the financial page in a business plan or pitch they were highly amused to the point of acknowledging that that page is always 100% wrong and always will be so don’t get hung up on it. The biggest shock was the number of received request for funding to the exact number which went from 4 thousand requests to 8 funded 2 between them, am still stunned. The biggest shocker was that it is possible to get pre revenue funding from one to the tune of 4 million  for a web  site that has no signs or ways to get revenue Enterprise Ireland would love that one I would be out on my ear. As for the killer question would you fund somebody over the age of 50 not one would come out with a straight no but went round the trees with remarks like well it takes 10 to 15 years to really bring a company to fruition or yes we would if they have an in depth back ground in the area such as bio technology or science etc. Then we would fund. As for reading a business plan this would only happen if it had been given to them from what they perceive as an acceptable source. The verifiable network you have gets really important if you need serious money.

I could go on and on but I think you have a flavour of Day 1 for Day 2 go to my Silicon Valley page thanks.

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