Monday, June 15, 2015, Computer History Museum, Mountain View, CA.
This year marks the 11th anniversary for SVOD’15. It was the largest conference to date, culminating twice the number of attendees in the past. 1,000+ attendees were gathering in from all over the world to experience a once in a lifetime networking opportunity and seek out the “who is who” of Silicon Valley. Over 170 angels and venture capitalists from top Silicon Valley venture capital funds attended the event to judge the 32 pre-selected startup pitches.
The cutting-edge networking and deal making opportunities at SVOD’15 provided prospects for both sides: “Wall to wall entrepreneurs and VCs don’t mingle – they crush” tweeted @Matthew_Holden #SVOD15
“What makes SVOD special is the way they make it so there is easy access for the entrepreneur to connect with/meet investors/panelists/speakers. With Techcrunch, Collision or Launch, it’s rather hard to meet those key people,” said David Frank, Founder of PEQVC.
The startups were carefully selected and coached in advance to pitch on stage. Diana Tkhamadokova, the CEO of ISTYLEMYSELF, an SVOD “Hot Startup” that won the Pitch Competition Award said: “The judging panels were seeded with top investors in each startup’s sector, so you can instantly get interest from the most desirable VCs in the Valley. Many speakers shared insightful advice that you won’t normally find in the media. Very impressed with the level of the conference.”
Zachariah Schmidt, CEO of SureClinical, an SVOD “Hot Startup” said: “The SVOD ’15 investor conference delivered amazing results for SureClinical – within 24 hours of presenting our business overview, we gained multiple inquiries from top tier investors and prospective strategic partners.” “I highly recommend the SVOD investor conference for innovative high tech firms interested in expanding investor and strategic partner opportunities.”
The multiple startup pitch sessions were judged by groups of eight veterans of venture capital, and included such investment leaders as Geoffrey Baehr, General Partner, ALMAZ Capital Partners, Jonathan Heiliger, General Partner, Vertex Ventures, Jim Smith, General Partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Spencer Tall, Allegis Capital, Eric Young, Partner, Canaan Partners, Rudy Burger, Managing Partner, Woodside Capital Partners, Maha Ibrahim, General Partner, Canaan Partners, Ken Elefant, Managing Director, Intel Capital, Sergio Monsalve, Partner, Norwest Venture Partners, Serge Plotkin, Partner, Opus Capital, Chetan Puttagunta, Partner, NEA, Stas Khirman, Managing Partner, TEC Ventures.
“SVOD has been around for over ten years, so no longer it is a startup by any standards. And yet the SVOD team succeeds where many mature companies unfortunately fail. SVOD continues to grow! Thank you for bringing us even more great content, amazing speakers and continuously increasing quality of startups,” says Daniil Stolyarov, Investment Director, Almaz Capital Partners.
Those who attended and participated in the SVOD conference in the past know that the thrill of potential investments is an integral part that SVOD generates. An introduction by a fellow SVOD attendee or simply a chance meeting during the networking lunch break have led to multiple successful collaborations, partnerships, deals and ideas.
The Founder of the SVOD Conference and Managing Partner of TEC Ventures, Anna Dvornikova, attributed success to the consistent efforts of the SVOD team and the outstanding reputation of the conference, which has been steadily growing year after year.
“This year, the quality of start-ups has been unprecedented and we will be following their success. We are seeing SVOD as the bridge that connects entrepreneurs and investors from all over the world to Silicon Valley and each other”, said Anna Dvornikova.
The сonference covered hot topics discussed in the Valley, starting with a powerful Women in Tech panel featuring Maha Ibrahim, Managing Partner, Caanan Venture Partners, Erica Lockheimer, Director, Engineering Growth, LinkedIn, Kira Makagon, Executive VP, Innovation, RingCentral, Victoria Tygipko, Managing Partner, TA Ventures, and Deborah Gage, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal.
“SVOD Conference gave us an opportunity to showcase our company in front of hundreds of attendees. This year, we were happy to see a session with a panel of speakers on social entrepreneurship. Since GOODdler is a social impact business, making a difference in the world, we were able to get an attention from both, social impact investors and attendees who were interested in getting involved with an organization.” said Galina Fedorova, Co-Founder, Gooddler.
The stimulating agenda included such highlights as the fireside chat by Devdutt Yellurkar, Partner of Charles River Ventures and early investor in Zendesk. This insightful interview was conducted by Cromwell Schubarth, Senior Technology Reporter for the Silicon Valley Business Journal.
Keeping the momentum high and the audience energized, the stage was taken by an additional thirty-minute fireside chat with Salil Deshpande, Managing Director of Bain Capital Partners. Moderated by Mark Boslet, Senior Editor at Venture Capital Journal, many interesting topics were brought to the forefront of this inquisitive audience. The relevant subject matter presentation was well received by the SVOD audience, who remained seated in anticipation of the upcoming fireside chat by Mood Rowghani, Partner, Digital Growth, KPCB, moderated by Alexandra Suich, US Technology Editor at The Economist.
Among the participants was Tatiana Lysenko, President of Altegria, a talent search and placement firm, who shared her thoughts about the experience at SVOD: “Once again SVOD has exceeded expectations in quality of presentations, networking and educational opportunities. SVOD delivered the very best of what Silicon Valley technology and business community has to offer.”
The event concluded with the award ceremony to the winning startup IStyleMyself (http://www.svod.org/files/SVOD2015_OnePagers.pdf) presented by the SVOD Platinum Sponsor and Silicon Valley leading venture capital fund Almaz Capital Partners. The winner also receives Microsoft Azure service usage worth $60K. The first runner-up was IndoorAtlas, a startup from Finland. The award was presented by SVOD long-time sponsor Silicon Valley Bank, and the second runner-up, SureClinical, a US startup, award announced by SigulerGuff, $8B fund based in New York with locations all over the world.
During the two days of SVOD, every participant received “SVOD money” to feel in the shoes of investors. Turned out that the opinions of the audience and the investors were not aligned. A pet startup from Ukraine, PetCube, charmed the audience. The award was presented by SVOD esteemed sponsor Google.
The celebrations continued with wine and cheese networking receptions, assuring that no one left without the opportunity to make valuable introductions and lasting connections.
SVOD would like to express special thanks to our long-time sponsor and supporter, Epiphan Systems, that gave an opportunity to SVOD fans from around the world, who could not make it this year, to watch the conference live-stream.
SVOD is proud to have some of the top names in the global technology ecosystem among its sponsors. This year’s sponsors are: Almaz Capital Partners (Platinum sponsor), Epiphan Systems, Microsoft, Google, Silicon Valley Bank, RingCentral, Deutsche Telekom, Siguler Guff, Greenberg Whitcomb Takeuchi, LLP, Luxoft.
Looking forward to welcoming all of you next year (May 25-26, 2016).
You can follow our events at SVOD’15 on twitter at #SVOD15, #SVOD16 and watch the recording here: https://www.youtube.com/user/SvodConf/videos
Wibe Wagemans, the President of IndoorAtlas, a SVOD “Hot Startup” said: “SVOD set the tone for us in raising a series B since magnetic became the world standard for indoor positioning and advertising overnight with 270 million users.”