Join Capital Factory and General Assembly for an evening of talks, panels, and networking at Capital Factory, bringing together founders and investors for an intelligent dialogue about fundraising strategies for early-stage startups, common misconceptions and best practices in fundraising, the future of crowdfunding, honest stories from entrepreneurs on successful (and less than successful) capital raises, negotiating a term sheet, and more.
O’Brien relocated to Austin from Silicon Valley where he had launched a series of startups in local search, crowdsourcing, web-based accounting, payments, and social intelligence. In Texas, Paul advises venture capital bound startups in funding, marketing, business development, and operations, and spends most of his time working to Accelerate Texas as founder of an economic development initiative to fund Texan startups.
Notably, O’Brien is a seasoned marketer from Yahoo!, HP, Outright.com (Acquired by GoDaddy), Zvents (Acquired by eBay’s Stubhub), and Dachis Group (acquired by Sprinklr). Paul was featured in the book, Online Marketing Heroes and continues to blog at seobrien.com.
Kevin Castello Co-Founder,
Best Fit Advisors
Kevin Castello is one of the founding principals of Best Fit Advisors (BFA). BFA partners with entrepreneurs to align their long-term goals or exit strategy, with their business strategies, and fund raising strategies. By bringing these three key threads into alignment the value of the business can grow faster and more profitable than without. BFA then actively executes the exit strategy while the entrepreneurs are executing the operational strategy. BFA is passionate about helping entrepreneurs accomplish their goals.
Kevin previously served as the Executive Director of the Baylor Angel Network and was the inaugural Chairperson of the Alliance of Texas Angel Networks Executive Director committee. Kevin’s training as a Baylor MBA and Venture Capital Fellow, as well as his experience in deal flow analysis gives him a broad view of capital strategy and deal structure, enabling him to assist entrepreneurs in finding the best fit solution for them. Kevin continues to teach private equity investing and venture capital practicum courses for Baylor’s MBA and EMBA programs. In addition, Kevin has managed several investment entities including the BAN G51 Investors, LLC; Affinity Angel Investment Fund I, LLC; and the BAN AV Fund I, LLC.
Brian Mikulencak Tax Alchemist,
Blue Dot Advocates
Brian has advised on the corporate and tax laws affecting businesses from start-up stage, through financings and acquisitions, and operation as public companies. Through Blue Dot Advocates (dba Campbell, Henry and Mikulencak), Brian focuses on social impact businesses, their investors, and nonprofits. Prior to practicing law, Brian travelled and worked in the architecture business.
David Altounian Partner,
David Altounian is the former Founder, Co-Chairman and CEO of Motion Computing, a leading provider of mobile computing products for vertical markets. Motion was formed in 2001 and now serves customers in over 24 countries around the world. He also was a founder of iTaggit Inc., an early web 2.0 company focused on item management.
Mr. Altounian has almost 30 years of management and staff experience in the technology sector. Prior to starting Motion he was with Dell Computer Corporation, where he served in marketing executive positions for both the relaunch of the notebook computer business in 1994 and the creation and launch of the Precision workstation product businesses in 1997. He worked for two years in the United Kingdom as the General Manager, Workstation Line of Business for Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
In addition to his experience at Dell, Mr. Altounian managed marketing and new business development teams for leading technology companies including Motorola, Compaq Computer Corporation and Ashton-Tate.
Mr. Altounian earned his MBA at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and is currently completing his Ph.D. at Oklahoma State University. Mr. Altounian is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship in the School of Business and Management at St. Edwards University.
Jim Brown Founder & General Partner,
Arena Growth Partners
Jim is a Co-Founder & General Partner of Arena Growth Partners, a new Austin-based venture capital firm focused on IT and IT-enabled businesses in need of a capital partner with operations experience and a servant leadership mentality. Jim brings industry domain expertise and a successful investment track record in private equity and venture capital, as well as CEO and director experience in several private companies. Jim was most notably a General Partner at Polaris Venture Partners, where he identified, led, and actively participated in investments in early-stage IT companies. During his tenure, Polaris grew from over $85M to over $3B in assets under management (AUM). Jim began his investment career with J.P. Morgan Capital, providing equity capital and leveraged loan financing for private equity firms and private companies. Jim holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a JD from New York University School of Law. Jim received a BS in Engineering and Political Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point, after which he served as an Aviator in the United States Army.
Kristine Kelly Investor. Advisor. Entrepreneur.
Kristine A. Kelly has spent her career in investments, specifically alternative investments and real estate. She has advised hundreds of entrepreneurs, executives and equity investors. Her expertise reflects the breadth and depth of a career spanning private equity and capital markets. Ms. Kelly specializes in technology, real estate, and product companies.
As the founder and principal of K.A. Kelly & Co., she works with high net worth and corporate clients to develop and execute investment strategies across asset classes. She is the co-founder of Equine Exchange, a transactional SaaS horse buying platform for equestrians that is doing for horse buying what CarMax did for the used car industry – giving buyers confidence in their investments.
Ms. Kelly previously held management roles with American Campus Communities, Inc. (NYSE: ACC) during the period of three-fold growth to $4.1B.
Tom Ball Founder and Managing Director,
Next Coast Ventures
Laura Bosworth CEO, Co-founder,
Laura Bosworth, CEO and co-founder of TeVido BioDevices, is a dynamic former Fortune 50 executive with 25+ years of cross-functional industry experience. TeVido is a biotech start-up using innovative 3D bioprinting and a woman’s own cells to create tissue engineered solutions for reconstruction after breast cancer. Press coverage includes CNBC, CNN, The Economist, Popular Science and many more. The company has received grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Cancer Institute and the LIVESTRONG Foundation.
With a B.S. in Engineering from UT El Paso, Bosworth started her career in manufacturing process development for IBM. She quickly moved into management where she led software development and launched a Technical Marketing Center earning a General Manager’s Award for her contributions to sales and customer relationships. At Dell, she built strategic business partnerships with large companies such as Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle and she led software product marketing delivering significant product feature improvement, highlighted by industry analysts. Ms. Bosworth is recognized for her skill in starting up new business functions and created multiple technical sales support functions including an OEM business unit: enabling over $500M in sales. She launched a professional services business unit and has expertise in customer support services. Using her cross-functional and international experience, she developed corporate wide quality strategies that reduced operating costs by ~$120M.
Ms. Bosworth developed curricula, taught and provided mentorship with several applied entrepreneurship programs in Central Texas and along the Texas/Mexico border – focused on mentoring aspiring underrepresented and women entrepreneurs to develop their own high- growth companies. Ms. Bosworth has volunteered for numerous non-profits, primarily supporting women’s needs in the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) field as well as domestic violence – in Board positions as well as providing direct service. She volunteers as a Spanish interpreter at a Healthcare Clinic that serves low-income individuals Ms. Bosworth developed curricula, taught and provided mentorship with several applied entrepreneurship programs -including those at Texas State University and UTEP- focused on mentoring aspiring underrepresented and women entrepreneurs to develop their own high-growth companies. She volunteers as a Spanish interpreter at a Healthcare Clinic that serves low-income individuals seeking healthcare access.