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Entries from January 2012

Pilgrim Talks: Kai Tao - K5Launch

January 25th, 2012 · Comments

K5LaunchKai Tao

Kai Tao, Partner at K5Launch

Kai Tao is an experienced technology investor through Park One Capital, his family office, which invests in both private and public equities utilizing a variety of capital structures. Park One Capital seeks innovative disruptive business opportunities to back, working actively with entrepreneurs to create value by leveraging its many years of industry and financial relationships.

K5 is an accelerator run by angel investors and experienced business people to help emerging entrepreneurs build successful, technology-driven companies. The first step in becoming a part of K5 is to apply. Entrepreneurs who are accepted will receive funding and attend K5Launch, which is a three-month, high-intensity program that helps entrepreneurs build the necessary framework to launch their companies.

K5 was formed by a group of very successful entrepreneurs and investors who continue to have a passion for building startups. We are all based out of Southern California, and would like to provide local entrepreneurs with the opportunity to work with local investors, mentors and other business professionals. Our goal is to build a vibrant and supportive community for entrepreneurs in beautiful Southern California.

A company can get up to a maximum of U.S. $25,000 in pre-seed funding. The fund is intended to help the founders build the initial product, whether it's a prototype or version 1.0, as well as develop an initial business model. However, K5 is not about funding alone. Even more valuable than the money, is the time our advisors and mentors will spend with the companies to develop a viable business model. In addition, K5 provides a space to work with Internet access, mentor office hours, legal services, website design & hosting help, and other professional services that a startup needs. Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to connect with the angel and venture capital investor community, and build essential connections for subsequent fund raising.

K5Launch is a three-month high-intensity program that will cover all the key elements of building a lean technology-driven startup. The program is designed to walk the entrepreneur through the process of taking an idea and turning it into a business-and not just any business, a cost-efficient company with a strong chance to succeed. It will also include many hours of personalized mentorship, where our business mentors will work closely with the founders and guide them through the program.

To learn more about K5Launch, go to k5launch.com

Sandler Training

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Pilgrim Talks: George Lanza, Plethora Businesses

January 18th, 2012 · Comments

Plethora BusinessesGeorge Lanza

George Lanza

President and Primary Business Intermediary

Plethora Businesses was founded in 1999 by George and Dora Lanza with the mission to successfully engage buyers and sellers to a common interest where value meets expectations. Built on a foundation of excellent customer service, years of transactional experience, and numerous industry resources, Plethora Businesses excels in providing sell side advisory services, business sales, mergers, acquisitions, valuations and appraisals to clients across the globe.

George is the President of Plethora Businesses and actively involved in merger and acquisition services. His experience in management, consulting, business valuations, and mergers and acquisitions spans over 30 years.

George began his career as a boat designer and plant manager for Islander Yachts. Moved on to take a position as Director of Manufacturing and Engineering at Mark Industries, a manufacturer of hydraulic aerial lift equipment. Later serving as Manufacturing and Engineering Manager, ran a Multi-plant operation for Lear Siegler, a major defense contractor. Representing a group of investors as its CEO strategically grew Equity Lending & Investments (a mortgage banking firm), utilizing mergers and acquisitions maneuvers expanding it to three states, burgeoning sales above $200 million. After the divesture, George dedicated his full time efforts to the development of Plethora Businesses.

Graduated from the Naval Academy of Argentina in ship design. In the US, studied Manufacturing Engineering at the University of California Irvine; Hydraulics Design at Paul-Munroe, Hydraulics School of Fluid Powers; International Managerial Relations at the University of Southern California, and Mortgage Banking Certification at California State University Fullerton.

George is a Certified Mergers & Acquisition Master Intermediary, Certified Senior Business Analyst, Machinery and Equipment Appraiser and a Certified Business Intermediary. George is an active member of the Institute of Business Appraisers (IBA), The Society of Business Analysts (SBA),The National Equipment Business Brokers Institute (NEBBI) the California Association of Business Brokers (CABB), the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), and the M&A Source.

To learn more about Plethora Businesses, go to plethorabusinesses.com

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Pilgrim Talks: Ryan Huff, Cirrus Insight

January 12th, 2012 · Comments

Cirrus insight Ryan Huff

Ryan Huff

Founder and CEO

Ryan Huff created this Salesforce.com app from his vision of what would help salespeople who use Gmail improve their productivity. We will be discussing the development path as well as the ongoing projects of the develop entrepreneur in our own backyard.

Salesforce and Gmail are two essential cloud applications for thousands of companies, government agencies, and nonprofits. These organizations rely on Salesforce for best-in-class customer relationship management and on Gmail for robust, reliable email.

Ryan designed Cirrus Insight to be the most trusted, most advanced integration of Salesforce and Gmail.

Cirrus Insight Model

What's it Do?

Here's the short version: Cirrus Insight shows you everything about your Leads and Contacts in Salesforce right inside your Gmail inbox. As soon as you open an email in Gmail, you can see Contact Information and Activity History for that person from Salesforce. You can relate emails to Contacts, Cases and Opportunities; create Leads and Contacts; see details on open Cases and Opportunities; and more.

For more details, see our Features & Benefits, or better yet -  try it out yourself, with our free trial that anyone can install in about 30-seconds.

That's just the beginning.  We have dozens of exciting features in the pipeline.

To learn more about Cirrus Insight, go to cirrusinsight.com

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Pilgrim Talks: John Hakopian

January 9th, 2012 · Comments

First FoundationJohn Hakopian

John Hakopian

President, First Foundation Advisors

Director, First Foundation Inc.

Director, First Foundation Bank

Mr. Hakopian oversees the vision, strategy, operations and development of the investment management service for the firm. His entrepreneurial spirit combined with his focus on results, exceptional interpersonal skills, and ability to emphasize people's core needs continue to drive First Foundation's management success as the region's leading independent wealth advisory firm.

Having been with First Foundation since its inception in 1990, Mr. Hakopian has been closely involved in developing and delivering the firm's investment services. He became President in 2009.

Mr. Hakopian earned a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in economics in three years from the University of California, Irvine and an MBA in Finance from the University of Southern California.

To learn more about First Foundation Advisors, go to www.ff-inc.com

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