Last night I posted about a media workshop on private equity

Talking Biz News » You don’t have to understand the IPO to write about it

and today TheDeal writes about reporters needing to learn more about it. I like it!


Are you a reporter in Northern California that covers start-ups?

SARTA – Regional Media Workshop – Private Equity

Are you a reporter in Northern California that covers start-ups? Do you wish you had taken more finance classes in college that might have helped prepare you for your current beat? Now, I know that my knowledge of 19th century english literature is a hit at parties, but it didn’t directly help me out when trying to decipher a term sheet . I know now that I shouldn’t have switched my major, or at least kept a minor, from business to communications.

So, SARTA is having a workshop for reporters to help them understand the world of private equity and venture capital.

Here’s a working agenda. Please feel free to RSVP to me (josh at morgandorado dot com) or to Oleg at sarta dot org. This is for credentialed reporters only. If you have a blog, but are not a credentialed reporter, send me an email and we’ll see if there is a fit.

Draft Agenda

  • Entrepreneurship Fundamentals: What entrepreneurs go through to start a company
  • Venture Capital 101
    • What they do
    • How and why they do it
    • What it means to be the “Lead” investor in a deal
    • The Math
    • Success metrics
    • How VCs make money
    • and more…
  • Defining the Private Equity Universe*
    • Angels
    • Seed Stage
    • Early Stage
    • Late Stage
    • Mezzanine
    • Leveraged Buy-Outs (LBOs)
    • and beyond
  • Deals – Where’s the story?
    • What to ask (startups and VCs)
    • What not to ask (startups and VCs)
    • What local VCs find interesting in our region and its deals
    • Regional trends

Briefing Documents

The Long Tail: The Microsoft Memo: Some choose radical transparency, some have it thrust upon them

As a standard rule, reporters don’t share their notes with subjects (or PR folks) and we don’t share briefing documents with them. Interesting how this has played out. Wired was working on a story on transparency (fitting in this case) at big companies with Microsoft as the main focus. They interviewed several current and former Microsoft employees.

The wrinkle here is that Frank Shaw, of WaggEd (one of MSFT’s longest-tenured PR firms) inadvertently sent the briefing document to the reporter (oops!). In the interest of transparency, the reporter posted it here (caution that link downloads the briefing doc – all 13 pages of it as a PDF). Now, the fun part is that Frank Shaw, posted about it as well.

Think is, it’s a good article. I think we can add PR to that list of “laws and sausages” as things that you don’t want to see made.

InfoWorld is Dead, Long Live InfoWorld

InfoWorld Tech Watch | InfoWorld | InfoWorld folds print mag to focus on online and events | March 26, 2007 06:00 AM | By Steve Fox

The print edition of one of my favorite IT trade publications has gone the way of the dodo. Link above is to a letter by Steve Fox, EIC of InfoWorld.

Great take on the history of the publication from Jim Forbes, here. I always had great experiences working with their “Test Center” on product reviews and had some great conversations with Michael Vizard ‘back in the day,’ ok in the mid-late 90’s.

Sac-Area VC/Start-up Conference

It’s been a busy few days in El Dorado Hills. I watched presentations from 29 early stage companies, and was really excited by some, while some left me scratching my head. The dynamic of the conference that I love is seeing so many people that are so passionate about what they are doing. It’s why I love working with start-ups. It’s a lot easier to do great work when your client is so fired up about what they are doing.

Two companies, Pediatric Bioscience (a Morgan/Dorado client), and Visicon Inspection Technologies were selected as “Best in Show,” by a panel of investors that included representatives from Akers Capital (Roger Akers), American River Ventures (Harry Laswell), DCA Capital Partners (Steve Mills), Velocity Venture Capital (Jack Crawford) and Keiretsu Forum (Max Shapiro).

The other ‘finalists’ were:
Abrevity, Cupertino
Brondell, San Francisco (Mark Cuban is an early investor)
Radius 8 (Fresh Park), Emeryville
NexGen Medical Systems, Sacramento
Pediatric BioScience, Sacramento
Revionics, Granite Bay
S Machines, El Dorado Hills
Visicon Technologies, Napa
Tagent, Sunnyvale

Companies that I found really interesting were:
Freshpark – portable skateboard ramps (based in Emeryville)
ioSafe – ‘disaster ready back-up/storage’ (based in Auburn)
– bioCool – very cool way to keep people ..ahem…cool…in high temperature environments
BlackRock – auxiliary power systems for big trucks (seems boring until you realize the environmental impact of allowing idling trucks to shut down)

As always, congratulations to the team at Golden Capital (Jon, Jim, Allen and Karen) for putting together a great conference.