Sixth Annual Intermountain Venture Forum slated Oct. 6-7 (2971)

admin//October 4, 2004

Sixth Annual Intermountain Venture Forum slated Oct. 6-7 (2971)

admin//October 4, 2004

By Brad Carlson


Entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from around the region are slated to speak at the Sixth Annual Intermountain Venture Forum, slated at 8 a.m. Oct. 6 and Oct. 7 at Boise Centre on the Grove.

Carl Ledbetter, general partner in UV Partners, a private equity firm based in Salt Lake City, is the keynote speaker.

Before joining UV Partners, Ledbetter was responsible for Novell Inc.’s venture fund. Earlier, he was president of AT&T’s Consumer Products Division, and was CEO at ETA Systems. He also worked for Sun Microsystems and IBM, and was a dean and professor at Sonoma State University and Wellesley College.

In his keynote address, he plans to offer early-stage entrepreneurs guidance in making business-plan presentations to venture capitalists.

“Often they say too much, frequently the wrong thing, or frequently the right thing the wrong way,” Ledbetter said in an interview. Leaders of tech companies often spend too much time talking about their technology, he said.

“Especially the technologists are prone to the error of, ‘If I build a better mousetrap &#133’ Ledbetter said. “They need distribution and marketing plans, territories, overhead planning and commission schedules. They are thinking of making a thing. Venture capitalists only invest in businesses.”

In most successful technology companies, research and development consumes one-seventh to one-tenth of revenues, while marketing takes a quarter to one-third, he said.

The venture capital market has been more active recently, having recovered substantially from the dot-com bust. Ledbetter said UV Partners has seen a threefold increase in deal volume and a similar increase in the number of strong business plans considered in the past year.

Panels will address starting and sustaining a new venture, doing business with government agencies, and conditions in venture-capital markets outside the Silicon Valley.

Fifteen companies are slated to deliver presentations, seeking funding, to several key venture-capital firms in the West.

The Boise Metro Economic Development Council, a unit of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, presents the forum. Mark Solon, a principal in Boise venture-capital firm Highway 12 Ventures, is forum chairman.

“Things continue to progress from the doldrums of 2001 and 2002,” Solon said. “Deal flow in the region is robust.”

Boise law firm Stoel Rives plans to sponsor a continental breakfast on both days.

On Oct. 6, Matt Mosman, president of Cerberian Inc. -&#160which markets Internet content-filtering technology -&#160is slated to deliver the 8:15 a.m. welcome address.

Companies seeking funding are to deliver presentations to venture firms from 9 to 11 a.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 6. Ledbetter’s keynote presentation, sponsored by KeyBank, is slated during the noon lunch.

“Startups and the Government Market” is the title of a panel discussion slated at 11 a.m. Oct. 6. Mary Givens, of the Idaho Department of Commerce and the Governor’s Office of Science and Technology, will moderate the discussion.

Scheduled panelists include Lisa Rutherford, investment partner in Q-Tel; AFCEA International CEO and retired U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Herb Browne; Vaughn Peterson, vice-president of government sales for Attensity Corp.; and Brent Whisenant, principal in The Carlyle Group.

“Bootstrapping -&#160An Entrepreneur’s Guidebook,” is the title of a panel discussion set at 3:15 p.m. Oct. 6. Moderated by Len Jordan of Frazier Technology Ventures, the panel discussion is to feature ProClarity Inc. CEO Bob Lokken, Mark Soane of Appian Ventures, RxElite Inc. CEO Jonathan Houssian, and Hobbytron Inc. CEO Tim Gibson.

A networking reception sponsored by Morgan Stanley at 4:30 p.m. and an invitation-only dinner sponsored by the Holland & Hart law firm and Comerica Bank at 7 p.m. will conclude events of Oct. 6.

Oct. 7 events include company presentations starting at 8:30 a.m. “Venture Capital Outside Silicon Valley” is the title of a panel discussion set at 10:15 a.m. Oct. 7. The scheduled moderator is Bill Reichert of Garage Technology Ventures. Panelists are to include Tripp Peake, managing partner in Long River Ventures; Ledbetter; Jesse Devitte, managing director of Borealis Ventures, and Vista Ventures General Partner Kirk Holland.

Nick Miller, a partner in Hawley Troxell and chairman of BMEDC, plans to deliver closing remarks on the forum at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 7.

The forum will include presentations from:

&#149 5Bridge Open Solutions, automated remote management, Denver;

&#149 Blue Water Technologies, water treatment, Coeur d’Alene;

&#149 CardioGrip, blood pressure lowering technology, Eagle;

&#149 Dedicated Devices, home systems integration, Nampa;

&#149 Healthcast, health care information technology, Boise;

&#149 Mobile Data Force, mobile data computing, Meridian;

&#149 PAKSense, “smart” active- able technology, Boise.

&#149 Ligocyte Pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, Bozeman, Mont.;

&#149 Remote Control Mail, real-time, Internet-accessible mail, Portland;

&#149 SupplyChainge, supply-chain management, Portland;

&#149 IMC Centric, lifestyle-management, Draper, Utah;

&#149 Cogito, knowledge-centered software, Provo, Utah;

&#149 MicroGreen Polymers, environmentally conscious food packaging, Stanwood, Wash.;

&#149 VizXLabs, bio-information software, Seattle.