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Discussion with an accomplished silicon valley venture capitalist


Discussion with an Accomplished
Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist

Geneva, and Zong in Menlo Park, California. Dr. Hassanein is the Willard Brown Distinguished Visiting Professor at AUC (American University in Cairo) member of the Board of Advisors. He lectured on Management Science and Dr. Hassanein’s Biography
Engineering at Stanford University and the University of San Diego, and on venture capitalist. Over the last 35 years, completed his B.Sc. (first class honours) diverse leadership roles including EVP of Berkeley International in San Francisco, Electrical Engineering at the University financing of 80+ Silicon Valley based IT successes including: Adaptec; Cirrus Logic; Atmel; PMC-Sierra; LSI Logic; Linear Technologies; and Oracle. Combined market value today exceeds Background information
$140 billion. In the last 15 years, he was chairman or co-founder of six leading- Accelerator at Cisco Systems in San Jose, attend and participate in the discussion. acquired by Comverse), and nCipher in Cambridge UK (encryption, listed on LSE). Combined market value at exits: $2.2 billion. The aim of the discussion was to give the partners in general, the real potential for Corporate Partners the chance to participate in a discussion with a Silicon Angel & VC financing: VC investing
in the US is approximately 5 – 10 times learned for entrepreneurs; and 3) Silicon year). Therefore, US entrepreneurs have a significant advantage when it comes to receiving financing and accelerating growth. European entrepreneurs face 1) Europe/US Differences
obstacles that their US counterparts somehow ignore. For example, it is In the discussion, Dr. Hassanein touched accountability, conflict resolution, etc.), business planning process, and Angel & someone may steal their ideas. This is a legitimate concern. However, in the US, NDA’s are seen as a barrier to continuing Management style: In Europe, the
intellectual property violations. On the other, there is a general belief that good ideas are “a dime a dozen”, and that the real secret to success is execution. For
to know that the fear of sharing relevant information about their business may stand in the way of potentially becoming creativity, risk taking, and multidisciplinary problem solving. This is particularly true in “cross-domain” business areas such as product marketing, project management and branding. Anecdotally, the hiring process at Google, with 33 000 employees, has not changed in the last eight years: it still typically includes 12 interviews with different people in different jurisdictions. This accentuates the importance of every team member, current or future. Dr. Hassanein stressed the importance in the ability to look forward and detect in candidates, and Entrepreneurship: Dr. Hassanein
skills, there is increasing interest in the US, both in education and in practice, on soft skills such as those outlined above. would be “more aggressive”. What seems to be lacking in Europe is the vibrancy of the ecosystem that US entrepreneurs enjoy in Silicon Valley, and increasingly 2) Lessons Learned for
Entrepreneurs
Complementing this ecosystem is the presence of corporate partners, highly qualified Diasporas, and business incubators. Equally important for the ecosystem is the absence of bureaucratic Connections: While possessing
knowledge is a positive trait, connections are crucial. Thousands of great business an “acceleration” program, such as those offered by PwC: “Take a leave in Silicon imbued with the values you aspire to live by”. He used an analogy of a “believer” “favours”. Therefore, our first rule of engagement must be the following: “in Mecca. It is not essential, but could be important thing we can do, is what we with the “then and thereafter”: Intel, Apple, Google, Facebook, PayPal, Zynga, and so forth? Proximity: Be close to your clients! Dr.
Hassanein recounted the story of Zong, a
He introduced the concept of emotional intelligence and commented on its four that took the strategic decision to move closer to the action. It expanded to Silicon Valley and set its office in Palo  Self-Awareness - the ability to read
Alto right across the road from Facebook - the client it wished to win! By having impact while using their gut feelings to proximity, rubbing elbows with the right  Self-Management - involves
Motivation - the ability to inspire,
Empathy - the ability to sense,
understand, and react to others' emotions while comprehending social context. Performance: Dr. Hassanein has had
3) Silicon Valley Trends
his share of high tech companies that he has known or financed. He noted five Silicon Valley: Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, rumours of a bubble, and the  Integrity: it’s always better to tell the
loudly no matter how painful this may be. Challenges and bad news are Instagram
plentiful; wearing blinders and suffering in silence do not solve the made clear that Facebook’s purchase of  Strategic Flexibility: anchoring and
or patents. It was Instagram’s 40 Million different results? Riding a faster horse  Execution: knowing how to make
significant influence in the acquisition to get it done. Leaders with strength to execute have the ability to “catch” an idea and make it a reality.  Influencing: You help your team
are always selling the team’s ideas inside and outside the organization.  How will customers come to you? In an  Relationship Building: You are the
together. Without these strengths in a team, in many cases, the group is just as gross margins used to be for traditional manufacturing companies. Is there a Bubble?
The JOBS act crowd funding will help entrepreneurs raise capital and current situation in the Valley. He noted trade at 50x their trailing revenues, and before the bubble burst in 2001. The big the benefits of such a bill and rebutted earnings ratios (around 15) and the business models of digital platforms is  Companies will be able to raise up to 1 valuation levels as Apple ($450 billion) when its revenues were $18 billion, less than Apple’s net profit of $23 billion  Critics of the easing of regulations say concluded that the risks of a bubble are that the legislation exposes investors to greater risk. Dr. Hassanein pointed out that small investors trade in the Crowd funding: The Jumpstart Our
always exist, and it is not necessary to Dr. Hassanein and Alexandre Rhea being pictured at Cisco in San Jose (picture taken in Cisco Luxembourg office). This was PwC’s Accelerator first broadcast of a speech to members of the community. Naturally, the picture was taken using Instagram.

Source: http://accelerator.pwc.lu/pwcsaccelerator/docs/pwc-discussion-with-an-accomplished-Silicon-Valley-Venture-Capitalist.pdf

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