Bill Coleman, Tom Kosnik, and David Hornik Discuss Entrepreneurship Through the Lens of Venture Capital

David Hornik, Bill Coleman and Tom Kosnik discuss their experiences working in Silicon Valley and share several lessons they have learned over the years.

David Hornik

For more than a decade, David has worked with technology startups throughout the software sector. In 2000, David joined August Capital to invest broadly in information technology companies, with a focus on enterprise application and infrastructure software, as well as consumer facing software and services.

Prior to joining August Capital, David was an intellectual property and corporate attorney at Venture Law Group and Perkins Coie. In his legal practice, David represented high tech startups in all aspects of their formation, financing, and operations, including the likes of Yahoo!, Evite (Ticketmaster) and Ofoto (Kodak). Before that, David was a litigator in New York City at Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

David has an eclectic educational background. He holds an AB in Computer Music from Stanford University, an M.Phil in Criminology from Cambridge University and a JD from Harvard Law School.

David is currently a lecturer at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, where he teaches intellectual property, and the Harvard Law School, where he teaches entrepreneurship and venture capital. He is the author of VentureBlog, the first venture capital blog, and VentureCast, the first venture capital podcast, and is the founder and executive producer of The Lobby conference, an annual gathering of the thought leaders of the digital media ecosystem.

Current Board Affiliations: Blippy, Gravity, Nomis, Rocket Lawyer, Splunk, StumbleUpon, SAY Media

Additional Current Investments:, eBates, LiveOps, PayNearMe, Technorati, WePay

Previous investments: Aardvark (acquired by Google), DoneRight (acquired by LendingTree), Evite (acquired by Ticketmaster), Jaxtr (acquired by Sabse Bolo), PayCycle (acquired by Intuit), RedSwoosh (acquired by Akamai), Notiva (acquired by Oracle), Tickle (acquired by Monster)

Bill Coleman

Bill Coleman, a former Sun Microsystems executive and co-founder of BEA Systems (which were both eventually acquired by Oracle Corp.), will on Monday start as a partner at venture-capital firm Alsop Louie Partners.

While it’s not unusual for technology executives to go into venture capital, the 62-year-old Mr. Coleman has long been a serial entrepreneur with a forte in operating roles. After leaving BEA in 2003, he became CEO of cloud computing company Cassatt Corp. in 2005. Cassatt was sold in 2009. Since then, Mr. Coleman said he has looked at various other CEO jobs at technology start-ups.

This time, however, he chose not to go back into CEO mode. “I decided I really do like working with small companies and am not excited about the single focus of being CEO (anymore) and want to work with young entrepreneurs,” said Mr. Coleman, who joined Alsop Louie in a less formal capacity as a venture partner earlier this year.

Alsop Louie is one of a new breed of smaller venture firm that is focused on investing in start-ups at the earliest stages. The firm, run by Stewart Alsop and Gilman Louie, closed an inaugural $75 million fund in 2006 and is currently closing a slightly larger new fund. Apart from bringing on Mr. Coleman, Alsop Louie has also staffed up in recent months with new partners Jim Whims and Joe Addiego.

Mr. Alsop said he was excited Mr. Coleman is coming on board as a partner because Mr. Coleman “is a god of enterprise technology.” Mr. Coleman will work closely with Alsop Louie’s portfolio companies with a special interest in cloud computing endeavors.

“Bill is motivated by the ability to work with multiple companies in our portfolio rather than put all his eggs in one basket and that means he can get his fingers into a bunch of different parts of the cloud transformation that is just beginning to happen,” said Mr. Alsop.

Thomas J. Kosnik

Tom Kosnik is a Fenwick and West Consulting Professor, Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), at Stanford School of Engineering. He is an International Advisor for National University of Singapore Entrepreneurship Centre, and a cofounder of Gear Up Ventures, a global partnership that helps entrepreneurs in organizations large and small to create new markets and disrupt existing markets.

Teaching: His current courses include Global Entrepreneurial Marketing, Technology Entrepreneurship, New Venture Creation, and Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Program. He taught Marketing at Harvard Business School from 1985-89, and launched HBS’s Entrepreneurial Marketing course in1995-97.

Professional Education: Kosnik helps leaders and teams in start-ups, global companies, and other organizations to apply best-of-class tools to overcome real-world challenges. Topics include:
* Gear up: Your Best Idea Ever! Interactive anti-book/digital models for creating or disrupting a market
* Circles of Influence: Getting entrepreneurial players in different regions to bet on your new venture
* Negotiating the Triple Chasms of Generation, Gender and Culture: Building trust across borders
* Global Entrepreneurial Marketing: Creating new markets and entering new country/markets
* The STVP Case Collection: Cases on clean tech, social media, global ventures
* Designing Systems that Summon the Spirit: Bringing the best out of people at work

Past and current clients include: American Management Systems; Apple Computer; Applied Materials; China Mobile Communications Corporation; Clean Tech Open; Cypress Semiconductor; Cummins Engine; Electronic Arts; Ernst & Young; National University of Singapore Entrepreneurship Centre; HP China; IBM; Microsoft; Nuance Communications; Younoodle, Yunnan Tin Company, and over 50 startups.

Advisor: Kosnik has served as a leadership coach and advisor to hundreds of entrepreneurial leaders and teams from 1980 to the present.

BA in History and International Relations, Duke University (1972), MBA, University of Virginia (1977), Ph.D., Stanford Graduate School of Business (1986).

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