Please join Silicon Flatirons on Thursday, November 15th at 6:00 PM as Joe Zell, General Partner of Grotech Ventures, will present a Crash Course on Effective Startup and Emerging Company Boards. This Crash Course provides insight from an experienced venture capitalist about how to architect, cultivate, and manage a board of directors that propels a company forward (or, at least, tries not to blow it up). The guidance of an early startup’s board of directors is critical in creating a successful company, however, there is more to it than just getting a handful of smart people in a room.
Zell, who is among Colorado’s most active early stage venture capitalist investors, brings deep startup board experience to this discussion. His talk will address questions such as (1) who do you want on your board? (2) what do you want board members to do? (3) what are the key functions of a startup board? (4) how do you run a board meeting most effectively? And (5) what are some key mistakes to avoid? Armed with this list of Do’s and Don’ts, entrepreneurs will be more effective when assembling and working with a board of directors for an early-stage startup.
Speaker: Joe Zell, General Partner, Grotech Ventures
Joseph R. Zell joined Grotech as a General Partner in 2002. At Grotech Ventures, Joe focuses on investment opportunities in communications and IT infrastructure, cloud services, mobile, networking, and internet and digital media sectors. Joe currently serves or has served on several portfolio company boards including Aztek Networks (acquired by GenBand) BroadSoft (BSFT), buySAFE, Collective Intellect (acquired by Oracle), GutCheck, Fieldglass, Hatteras Networks (acquired by Overture Networks), HiveLive (acquired by Rightnow Technologies/Oracle), LaGrange Systems, LogRhythm, Plink, SkyeTek, SpotRight, Rebit, Usinternetworking and Ziptronix.
Prior to joining Grotech, Joe built an extensive, 20-year operating background in communications and data networking, including nine years with US West Communications (which is now CenturyLink), where he was instrumental in building US West’s Data Networking Division from startup to $2.5 billion in revenue and was the president of the division for four years. While at US West, Joe was also responsible for managing a $30 million strategic investment fund. It was in this capacity that he began his relationship with Grotech as a result of US West’s investment and his board seat at a Grotech portfolio company, Usinternetworking. Most recently, he served as chief executive officer of Convergent Communications. Prior to US West, he held a variety of management positions at WilTel, LDXNet, United Technologies Communications, MCI Communications and Xerox Corporation.
Joe graduated Magna Cum Laude from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. He is an active member of the Rocky Mountain chapter of the WPO (World Presidents Organization). He also serves or has served on the advisory boards of Silicon FlatIrons, TiE Rockies, the Tech Venture Center, and StartupDenver.