Where to Learn About Entrepreneurship
Yesterday I posted on 3 great events over the next 10 days. However, in Silicon Valley there are many great organizations that host events designed to teach entrepreneurship, how to build great businesses and raise capital. These events occur almost every day of the week and virtually every topic an entrepreneur could face is covered at some point. Here is a list of several that I've found to be especially helpful.
SDForum - Software Development Forum
SVASE - Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs
eBig - East Bay IT Group
SVASE, eBig and SDForum are the largest startup focused organizations in the Bay Area. They all host many events each month on all sorts of topics ranging from raising capital to product management. Also, these groups often feature VCs and angel investors as subject matter experts.
Stirr - Founders' Table
Stirr has become well know for their popular mixer events, like the one occurring tonight. However, they also host a second event called Founders Table. Founders Table sits 6 first time entrepreneurs with 2 experienced entrepreneurs at a table over dinner. I attended the inaugural Founders Table and can attest that it was a great learning experience and a lot of fun.
TVC - Technology Ventures Corporation
TVC is a amazing federally funded organization that provides free startup consulting services. I was a client of TVC at Cryptine Networks and found them to be incredibly helpful. I've written more praise about TVC here. TVC holds two identical seminars on startup issues each month in Mountain View and Livermore. The seminars are free and open to the public.
Pillsbury Winthrop - Back Stage Pass
Chad Lynch of Pillsbury Winthrop puts on an excellent series of events for entrepreneurs featuring top startup CEOs and venture capitalists explaining pertinent issues like board management. I don't have a link for the Back Stage Pass series but those interested should contact Mr. Lynch at Pillsbury Winthrop directly if they would like to attend.
VC TaskForce holds events for both VCs and Entrepreneurs. Among their more popular session are their Entrepreneurs Gathering events where anyone with an elevator pitch can have 60 seconds to present to a panel of 5 investors.
BASN - Bay Area Startup Network
BASN regularly hosts VC breakfast where entrepreneurs have the opportunity to discuss their startup ideas with a VC for 10 minutes.
The Churchill Club hosts a wide variety of intellectually interesting events. The scope is wider than startups and entrepreneurship but many of the events do focus on these areas. In fact there is a great event next week titled Startup Success 2006. Regardless of the topic, the Churchill Club always draws an interesting crowd so it is a great place to network and meet people.
TiE - The Indus Exchange
TiE hosts numerous events each month and the famous TiEcon event annually. Despite its name TiE events are open to all and they welcome people of non-Indian backgrounds.
SVAMA - Silicon Valley American Marketing Association
NorCal PDMA - Northern California Product Development & Management Association
SVAMA and NorCal PDMA are local chapters of national organizations focused on improving their respective functional areas. Neither organization is specifically focused on startups but they help build valuable skills in product management and marketing that are necessary to build a great business.