Saturday, January 24, 2015

1871 CEO Howard Tullman Joins Opening Panel at AGILITY FIRST! FORUM - Crossing the A/B/C Funding Chasm: What to Look for in Truly Agile Companies

Crossing the A/B/C Funding Chasm: What to Look for in Truly Agile Companies

Daphne Kis, principal, DKE
Howard Tullman, CEO, 1871
Esther Dyson, EDventure Holdings and HICCup
Steve Lohr, technology and business writer, The New York Times
Peter Thiel isn’t the only one with sharp opinions on turning disruptive early-stage ventures into agile, global game changers. It's all about execution, which depends on high-voltage teams, smart management and aggressive, innovative strategies. Leaders of advanced early- and mid-stage companies must evolve from developing cool products that create or satisfy market demand to running businesses with multi-disciplinary teams that can perform at very high levels.

The absence of this shift in management often surfaces between the A and B or C funding rounds when execution weaknesses hamper significant growth. Is it a strategy or business model issue? A product or market disconnect? Or has management failed to assemble the right “unorthodox” team, including the right level of process or structure to manage explosive customer growth? It’s often several factors, all serving as red flags for later-stage investors who are only interested in the E round: the ability to Execute in order to Exit.

In this panel, serial entrepreneurs, advisers/investors and market observers talk about the "agile" factors that contribute to, or detract from, a company's ability to escape the funding chasm and manage through execution challenges that come with accelerated growth. What's most attractive in target investment companies? What factors are critical to avoid the execution gap?

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