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Transcript of LAUNCH! Magazine Issue Two






Are You Mark Zuckerberg, Colonel Sanders, or John DeLorean?




Are You Mark Zuckerberg, Colonel Sanders, or John DeLorean? 3

10 Tips for Choosing a Co-founder 5


Kimberly Isaac, MBA 10 6

Jaime Parker, MBA 99 and Asif Ahmed, MBA 99 8

Dhaval Doshi, MBA 10 10

Matt Romond, MBA 12 12

The Ten Commandments of Fundraising 14

LAUNCH! Magazine celebrates the creativity, dedication to responsible business practice and entrepreneurial spirit of students and alumni at Pepperdine Universitys Graziadio School of Business and Management, principles fundamental to its mission and that the school and its faculty have embraced and actively ad-vanced for more than 40 years.












WEBVENTUROUS: Ghansham Paliwal (Business

Development Manager), Disha Mehta (Online

Marketing Executive), Priya Dhanawade (Web &

Graphics Designer), Munshi Soni Hakim (Office

Administrator), Pratik Sangoi (Business Develop-

ment Executive), Rushabh Doshi (HR & Operations

Manager), Namrata Shah (Creative Head), and

Dhaval Doshi , MBA 10 (CEO & Founder)



Are You Mark Zuckerberg, Colonel Sanders,or


Top 5 Reasons Entrepreneurs Fail

Nobody likes to talk about failure. Its not fun or sexy. We live in a culture that worships success, no matter how you get there, and is disgusted by and afraid of failure, no matter what the reason. This is especially true of entrepreneurs. We live in age that believes in overnight success. The mythology of Mark Zuckerberg starting a business at nineteen, immediately succeed-ing, and becoming a billionaire by age twenty- ve is now consid-ered a template for millions of young aspiring entrepreneurs.

Of course it is a cruel myth for anyone to believe that kind of success can be replicated. People would actually have a greater chance of winning the lottery. Most entrepreneurs fail. Some-times they fail many times before they ultimately succeed. Only a few entrepreneurs have ever become billionaires before the age of forty, and so far only one person in history has achieved what Zuckerberg did at such an early age. That puts the odds at hundreds of billions to one. If anybody likes those odds, we have to play poker together some time.


Here are a few more real life entrepreneurial stories. Colonel Sanders didnt start Kentucky Fried Chicken until he was sixty-two years old. If you dont believe that, check Wikipedia. Many entrepreneurs never succeed even if they try over and over for an entire lifetime. Do you remember Jon DeLorean? His car company was sort of like the Tesla of thirty years ago. He was arrested for selling cocaine. Why? So he could raise money to save his dying company.

Even the enormously successful Elon Musk had run out of cash before Tesla went public. Rupert Murdoch was out of cash in 1990. He survived because Marvin Davis loaned him money. Stories of extremely delayed success, nearly losing it all, or outright failure are not what people want to hear, but theyre important. As much fun as it is, nothing is learned from easy success. Failure and near failure is how people learn.

All of this begs to the question everybody running a business or thinking about starting a business wants to understand: Why do some entrepreneurs succeed while most of them fail? Here are a few key reasons.

1Excessive optimismEntrepreneurs have to be optimistic to succeed. However, too much optimism is also one of the most common reasons they fail. Entrepreneurs need to remember that only the paranoid survive. As much as you need to believe in your own success, at the same time you must never forget all the things that can go wrong and plan accordingly.

2InflexibilityEntrepreneurs need to be stubborn. They are often surrounded with people, even their loved ones, who tell them to give up and go get a job rather than trying to build something. Nevertheless, the inability or refusal to change and pivot kills many entrepreneurs.

3Lack of creativity A good entrepreneur learns from and often copies what others are doing if its working. As long as you arent stealing anything, thats just good business. However, if you have none of your own ideas and are simply a copycat of what others are doing, you arent creating any value. Your business has nothing about it that is special, and your customers and others in the market will know it. A commodity business with no unique value proposition is much more likely to fail.

4Greed A good entrepreneur should be greedy and not just for money. Entrepreneurs should have a big appetite for risk, glory, fame, misery, power, and fortune among other things. However, many entrepreneurs allow their greed to get the better of them. They allow it to blind their judgment and make bad decisions that destroy their businesses or themselves personally. The best entrepreneurs know how to balance their greed with discipline, prudence, and humility.

5Bad luck Yes, a successful entrepreneur must be lucky. This is just a basic fact even as it may be offensive to many people who think that you have to make your own luck and everything that happens people deserve. As nice as that is to believe for some people, it isnt true. Luck is usually the single most important factor that distinguishes the most successful entrepreneurs from those who just do ok and survive. It is extremely rare for an entrepreneur to achieve great success without luck, and there is no way for anyone to control that variable. This is why many successful entrepreneurs are superstitious.

Why become an entrepreneur when success is so uncertain? The most important reasons to become an entrepreneur arent success, money, fame, power, or glory. The entrepreneurial life is about being your own boss, doing what you love, and creating value. Hopefully if you create enough value, the money, fame, and glory will follow. Regardless, nobody can take away from you the enjoyment you derive from what you do. If youre just in the game for the hope of hitting it big, you shouldnt be in the game.

Christopher Grey is CFO and Co-Founder of CapLinked. Chris was a senior executive and managing

partner in private equity, nance, and banking for 15 years. He founded two companies, Crestridge

Investments, a private equity rm that made debt and equity investments in micro cap and middle

market companies, and Third Wave Partners, which made debt and equity investments in distressed

situations, and was managing director of Emigrant Bank, the largest privately owned bank in the

country. Chris is a founder of Stanford Professionals in Real Estate and a columnist for TheStreet.

com. A version of this was originally posted on CapLinkeds blog.


From Solo Founder to Co-founder by Mike Lewis

Great article which illustrates that with the right people, 1+1 = 3.

What We Look For in Founders by Paul Graham

Important article on what skills some Angels/VCs look for in

founders. If you dont have some of these characteristics, you may

need to add members to your team to broaden the company skill


How to Pick a Co-founder by Naval Ravikant

Neat VentureHacks article that preaches the importance of creating

your team.

Underbelly: What Haughty Startup Bloggers Dont Tell

You by Jason Fried

Insightful article which discusses the emotional toll starting a

company can take on a solo entrepreneur.

Build Your Management Team by Stever Robbins

Good resource from Entrepreneur Magazine which discusses how

to go about growing your team.

How to Assemble the Perfect Team

Another great article about how to build a great team from my

friend, Jun Loayza, co-founder of RewardMe.

Finding Your Co-founders by Seth Sternberg

Another awesome article from the CEO of Meebo about how to

nd a co-founder.

Go to a FounderDating event in your area

Meet with like-minded entrepreneurs. It will help you quickly

discover what types of qualities youre looking for in a co-founder.

Join an entrepreneurship association in your area

Network with other bright minds such as the SVASE in Silicon


Panel Discussion: Finding a Co-founderor Not? YouTube video from the Stanford GSB which talks about the

advantages/disadvantages of going solo or nding a team.

10 Tips for Choosing a Co-founderBy JUSTIN MOORE

Youve got the next billion dollar idea. Now what? There are business plans to write, products to craft, relationships to forge. There will be no shortage of crucial tasks to complete in order to see your idea to fruition. But should you go solo or nd a team?

Its a common question and Ive found the following articles, blog posts, and other resources extremely valuable in helping make the decision.

Justin is a rst-year student in the Fully Employed MBA program at Pepperdine University.

He earned his undergraduate degree in computer science from UCLA. Justin is involved

in many entrepreneurial endeavors and loves all things technology.10










Kimberly IsaacCompany Name: Shark Bite Scuba

Company URL:

Location: Thousand Oaks, CA

Mission: Provide the diving community the highest quality services and products the industry has to offer.

Business Idea: Devise a cart that makes it easy to tote heavy scuba tanks to and from dives.

Target Customer: Divers.

Year Founded: 2009

Avg. Annual Revenue: Con dential

Number of Employees: 2

Accountant-cum-scuba diver Kimberly Isaac (MBA 10) is exhibiting all the signs of new parenthood: joy, excitement, pride and a penchant for talking about her baby any chance she can. Never mind that her progeny is a two-wheeled metal scuba tank dolly marketed under her Shark Bite Scuba company name.

It was so exciting to see the design for the Tank Dolly in cold, hard metal, says Isaac, reminiscing about the rst time she saw her invention come off the production line. I imagine it to be like seeing your newborn child for the rst time.

The result of a years worth of development and design, the Tank Dolly meets a universal need of scuba professionals and hobbyists: make it easier to transport heavy scuba tanks and gear from land to boat. Simple in context, the Tank Dolly is a pure example of an entrepreneur discovering a need, working to meet it and harnessing the passion and belief behind the idea to make it all work.

I would not be where I am today if not for Dr. Cox. He is the greatest professor I have

ever had the pleasure of taking at any university.

Shark Bite Scuba partners Thomas Spiegle and Kimberly Issac


The entire process has been inspiring, encouraging and so much fun. I truly enjoy every hour that I devote to growing this company, says Isaac, who has had a life-long love of the ocean and became a certi ed diver in 2008.

Of course every diver knows the rst rule of safety is to never go it alone. Isaac applied that same principle in her dive into entrepreneur-hood. She partnered with diving buddy Thomas Spiegle, Los Angeles county sheriffs deputy and rescue diver. In addition, she credits idea generator Dr. Larry Cox, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Pepperdine, as the impetus behind the scenes in launching Shark Bite Scuba.

I would not be where I am today if not for Dr. Cox. He is the greatest professor I have ever had the pleasure of taking at any university, she says.

That encouragement was instrumental when Isaac was laid off from her job half way through her MBA program.

I had just started my entrepreneurship classes so it was perfect timing. I had extra time on my hands and was no longer worried about giving up my job to start the business; the decision had been made for me, she says. Dr. Cox encouraged and built my con dence so much that I decided I could do it. And now I am!

That encouragement was also important during the early days of the business when the two divers were working on getting their idea from sketch to three-dimensional format.

Tom and I had to get up to speed quickly on how manufacturing works, the types of materials we would need, the cost of these materials, types of metal, different suppliers, why one is better than another and so on, she says. Figuring out the manufacturing process was our biggest challenge. Dr. Cox gave us the courage to keep moving forward.

With the manufacturing process ironed out, Shark Bite Scuba has been aggressively marketing the dolly at tradeshows, online and has donated dollies to the Disabled Veterans Scuba Project. The product has garnered positive attention from The Wall Street Journal as well as, and word-of-mouth from diver to diver.

This whole process has been euphoric, says Isaac. I knew that someday I would do my own thing. Now that someday is here, I know for sure this is where I am supposed to be.


Jaime Parker and Asif Ahmed

Company Name: Shadys

Company URL:

Location: Pasadena, CA

Mission: To create a brand synonymous with unique, high-quality shade and sun protection products.

Business Idea: Sun protection screens for golf cars and other low-speed commercial and consumer vehicles that also deliver a unique and highly-visible branding opportunity.

Problem Set Out to Solve: Golf car occupants are at the mercy of the sun, and excessive sun exposure can cause severe skin damage, sunburns, premature aging, and even cancer.

Target Customer: Golf courses, country clubs, resorts, golfers, golf car owners, and golf car manufacturers.

Year Founded: 2010

Avg. Annual Revenue: Con dential

Number of Employees: 3


F or Jaime Parker (MBA, 99), a bright future meant he had to create some shade.Avid golfers and others who spend time outside on low-speed vehicles like golf cars are glad he did. Parkers company, Shadys, offers

a variety of open-weave mesh screens that easily attach to golf cars, provide 360-degree visibility and air circulation and effectively protect the occupants from up to 90 percent of the suns harmful UV rays. The company is now exclusively partnered with Club Car, the worlds largest manufacturer of electric vehicles including golf cars, golf and commercial utility vehicles, multi-passenger shuttle vehicles, rough-terrain and off-road utility vehicles, and street legal low-speed vehicles for commercial and consumer markets.

I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, says Parker. Prior to Shadys, I had participated in other entrepreneurial opportunities and have always found it dif cult to conform to a typical 9-to-5 work day.

That spirit has helped him navigate the challenges of the early years of enterprise, one of which is funneling enough cash into marketing efforts.

We are big believers in the importance of marketing and promotion efforts but often the funds that are allocated for marketing get funneled to pay bills and other expenses, he says.

That dearth of funding for marketing has been offset by a pleasant surprise: a low barrier to entry into the market. Its been easy to meet people and make key contacts in the golf and golf car industries, he says.

The ability to make the right contacts to ensure the success of the business began early in the genesis of Shadys, when Parker met his current Director of Marketing, Asif Ahmed, a fellow Graziadio School MBA-program student.

Asif and I graduated over 12 years ago, but we stayed in touch, says Parker. When Parker put the plans together for Shadys, he looked for a partner he could trust and who had the same drive and vision. I knew that with him on the team, wed be successful.

Parker de nes success not just by bottom-line results, but also by quality of life.

Even with all the work in getting the company up and running, entrepreneurship has allowed me to spend more time with my family because I dictate how and where my time is spent, he says. In addition, this has taught me to be patient, have faith, and become comfortable with having to sacri ce in order to reach my goals.

Parker recommends other would-be entrepreneurs take a no-holds-barred approach to launching a business.

Once you have been honest with yourself about the viability of the company or idea that you wish to pursue, pursue it with vengeance, he says. Even if it means some sleepless nights and stress from fear of the unknown, entrepreneurship is a risk / reward opportunity, so make it happen!

Prior to Shadys, I had participated in other

entrepreneurial opportunities and have always found it

difficult to conform to a typical 9-to-5 work day.


Dhaval Doshi Company Name: Webventurous

Company URL:

Location: Mumbai, India

Mission: Implement cutting-edge technologies and ideas to create superb Web strategies for our clients brands


Business Idea: One-stop digital agency for Web design, internet marketing and emerging mediaProblem Set Out

to Solve: While most businesses know that a web presence is necessary, most do not understand how to wring every possible marketing opportunity from it

Target Customer: Any business, anywhere

Year Founded: 2010

Avg. Annual Revenue: Con dential

Number of Employees: 10

Like sur ng, successful entrepreneurship requires you stay ahead of the wave in order to have a successful run. Its an adventure best undertaken with courage and a passion to be in the moment.

At Webventurous, Dhaval Doshi (MBA, 10) and his team build and implement Web architecture for an international client base in diverse sectors including lm/entertainment, celebrity brand management, education, nance /banking, hospitality and event management. Their renown is that once the Web presence is established, Webventurous continues to support each client, using the power of the Web to continually market and drive brand recognition.

Our focus is not only to build our clients Web implementation but also provide necessary support to grow their Web presence in the long run, says Doshi. In order to do that successfully, we have to evolve and learn every day.

Doshi both earned and learned his entrepreneur-ial fortitude. About 10 years ago he took a course in Web design, then took on a marketing position with a Web solutions company. I learned a lot and was fascinated by the potential to use the Internet as a marketing tool, he says.

The entrepreneurship itch took hold about a year into the job. I felt more like an expense account there. I always wanted to do something on my own, something more meaningful, he says.It was time to put in my notice and get started play-ing by my own rules.

He worked as a freelance consultant and then a sole proprietor for ve years, and graduated from

Pepperdines 12-month MBA program before launching Webventurous in 2010.

Theres no perfect timing for entrepreneurship, he says. Just be sure you have the skills to manage people. If you cant manage people your employees and your customers you wont be a success.

With plenty of people skills in his entrepreneur-ial toolkit, Doshis rst step was to hire recent college graduates who had the same passion and vision for Internet marketing as he has. He believed that a young employee base with a knack for social media and the web would bring to the table the insights critical to the success of any web campaign.

I have loved hiring and training graduates right out of college to learn and implement awesome marketing campaigns for our clients, he says. Im proud to say that they have done a commendable job and have played a critical role in the growth of the company. Being their mentor and seeing them grow is a delightful experience.

Also key to Doshis success is his passion for networking. If you want to be an entrepreneur, spend more time meeting people, he advises. But after you meet them, follow up and see how they can help you with your business. Contacts can be mentors, nanciers, or even business partners, he says.

Its also important to carefully manage relationships and time, he says. Its fun being an entrepreneur but life gets busier than one can imagine.


Matt RomondCompany Name: KM-X Youth Self Defense

Company URL:

Location: Los Angeles and Sherman Oaks, CA

Mission: Train children in practical effective, dynamic real-world self-defense.

Business Idea: Teach children to defend themselves with the gross motor skills they naturally demonstrate, and in realistic situations.

Target Customer: Children ages 5-13

Year Founded: 2005

Avg. Annual Revenue: $490,000

Number of Employees: 10


Acon ict of form over function made the entrepreneurial light bulb go off for Matt Romond (MBA 12). As a professional realistic self-defense trainer, Romond saw rst-hand how the Krav Maga system the techniques employed by the Israeli defense forces served adult civilians, military, and law enforcement personnel around the world. What was missing was a similar training program for children.

To truly be able to defend yourself, you need a functional skill set. Learning the form is just not enough to be effective, he says. Romond became determined to bring realistic self-defense training to children.

Outsiders thought the idea was crazy. The asked You mean youre going to teach children the same moves you teach to soldiers? Our answer was Why not?

Kid-sized Krav Maga (called km-X) is based on the gross motor skills of children and their natural instinctive responses under stress. We teach children the very basic self-defense moves and then apply stress in increments so they can safely feel what their body and mind will go through if they ever have to use the stuff in real life, he says.

For example, after a student learns how to defend against a basic choke attack, they are instructed to close their eyes until the choke hold is applied. The simple act of closing their eyes and waiting builds anticipation about the impending attack, which causes their bodies to release adrenaline the actual physiological response that will happen if they ever experience such an attack in real life. Once they learn how to handle the adrenaline rush, other stressors are added to the training, like dim light and loud music or spinning them around in circles so they get disoriented.

When a child realizes he or she can be in these conditions and perform the techniques without hesitation, it gives them an amazing sense of accomplishment, says Romond.

With 1,500 children trained or participating in the program now, Romond receives calls almost weekly from parents of graduates and the graduates themselves, telling him the difference the training has made in their lives, from successfully standing up to a bully to becoming a true defender of those who cant defend themselves.

The program has also given Romond a sense of accomplishment as an entrepreneur. I get to see what works and what doesnt and have the ultimate say as to how we are going to improve and evolve, not just as a business, but more importantly as a martial art, he says. Over the last ve

years I have learned that growing a successful business, especially in the service industry, can only come about by making a bunch of small, calculated decisions over a relatively long period of time. By growing slowly, I can re ect on and learn from past mistakes or actions.

Romond also has learned and has been inspired by his professors in the Pepperdine Fully Employed MBA program. All my professors, and especially L. Wayne Gertmenian and Max Ellzey, have been incredibly open about the lessons that they have learned along the way to success. They also all present the technical material within the context of their own experiences, he says.

Perhaps the greatest lesson about entrepreneurship is the one Romond has already applied to his business. Contrary to popular belief, entrepreneurial skills are actually learned rather than inherited. If you dont feel that you have enough skills to jump out on your own yet, use your current job as a springboard, he says. Seek out training and experience by starting something new at the company that you currently work for. It worked for me.



Ten Commandments of Fundraising


1Thou shalt focus, focus, focus thy plan. Make sure that our strategy is a ri e shot, not a shotgun blast. And always keep in mind the problem that youre trying to solve. Proprietary, protectable, and sustainable technology is a necessity, but its not a suf cient condition for success. Identify the collective IP to commercialize. Carve up target markets nely and restrict yourself to two or three well-de ned


2Thou shalt weave a story. Remember, all potential investors are looking for a reason to believe. Create excitement around our plan and show energy, enthusiasm, and Commitment when we present it. We detail both the mystic and the mundane. Cover our long-term vision, and then spell out short-term practicalities of its implementation.


3Thou shalt understand thy audience. Research and understand our target audience both for our plan and our pitch. Understand our prospective investors history, areas of expertise, rolodex, prior areas of investment, any obvious predictable con icts and so Forth. Dont forget that youre in the selling mode, and you need to understand your Prospects hot buttons. Knowing as much, or more about them than they due about us is A show of respect and professionalism.

4Thou shalt arrive via referral. Nothing turns off a prospective investor more than something coming in over the transom, regardless of the medium. An industry expert or an insider friend of the investor, a reference will instantly give you credibility, visibility, and the investors attention.

5Thou shalt be crisp in thy plan. Keep your plan succinct, and remember a picture is often worth a thousand words. Although graphics can be overdone, they convey information ef ciently and add impact. Your plan should be no more than 25 pages and the executive summary no more than 2 pages.

6Thou shalt ne-tune thy presentation. Your presentation is not a reside chat. Plan your pitch and pitch your plan, preferably a half hour but no more than an hour. Have backup for all claims, slides for common questions, and prepare a reference list in Advance. Ef ciency in both plan and presentation will create a good impression that often is taken as a proxy for how you will run your business. You get one shot in front of your prospective investor. There are no dress rehearsals.

7Thou shalt thoroughly research and evaluate current and prospective competition. All startups have competition of one sort or another. Thoroughly map out the competition, and honestly assess our relative status. Openly disclose the management teams background strengths and weaknesses. Today, marketing and sales execution is more important than ever.

8Thou shalt get real about nancial projections. Investors understand that nancials for new businesses in unde ned markets are very hard to estimate, much less verify, but be realistic. Even if you believe that you can build a $500 million business in ve years,

understand that this kind of growth would make you one of the fastest-growing companies in American history. To the extent possible, build projections from the ground up, not the top down.

There is no substitute for showing investors direct prospect/customer contacts who are willing to vouch for the product and company.

9Thou shalt not obsess on valuation. Valuation is clearly very important, but dont be penny-wise and pound-foolish. The entrepreneur must give credit to the value-add of the angel or professional investor. By understanding this, hopefully everyone gets a piece of a much larger pie than would otherwise be the case.

10Thou shalt understand potential exit strategies. Although the investors rst thought is the excitement of getting into an investment, his next priority is how hes going to get out of it. An IPO is one obvious path, but today, strategic buyers are acquiring more and more companies. Be explicit about potential buyers or licensees and the rationale for their interest in your company.

Gray Defevere started his rst company 37 years ago, and thinks of himself as a

recovering entrepreneur who has had successes founding and growing businesses

using pro t and debt as nancial accelerators. Defevere Advisory Group (DAG) focuses

on the representation of emerging growth and technology companies, middle market

public companies, large technology companies, investors, private equity funds,

investment bankers and underwriters, and clients in the entertainment industry.

Gray originally posted this on his blog at


6100 Center Drvie | Suite 400 | Los Angeles, CA 90045 |

PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY. All Rights Reserved. GSBM.DG.082211

2011 FAST PITCH COMPETITIONHave an idea for a new business? Pitch your idea in one minute or less in the Second Annual Fast Pitch Competition for a chance to win $2,500. The Fast Pitch Competition gives start-ups the chance to get their idea in front of our panel of experts, which includes angels, VCs, and established entrepreneurs.


1. Contestants must rst ll out the registration form and then submit a one minute video fast pitch of their business idea by August 31, 2011.

Ten semi- nalists will be selected to deliver a 1-minute pitch to the general audience at I2O: The Entrepreneurs Journey on Friday, September 23, 2011 at the Biltmore Hotel. The audience will cast an electronic vote for the top three contestants based on the strength of the business idea and the skill of the presenter. The use of props or visual effects is prohibited.

2. Three nalists will be selected to present their one minute nal presentation to our panel of business experts. Each presentation will be followed by a Q&A with the judges. A winner will be chosen and announced at the end of the round after judge deliberation.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011: Submit your one minute video pitch by 5 p.m.

Friday, September 9, 2011: Semi- nalists are noti ed.

Friday, September 23, 2011: Competition day! Contestants must arrive by noon or will be disquali ed.

How to Submit Your Video:1. Record a video of your one minute business pitch

2. Upload the video to a video hosting site (i.e. YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, etc.)

3. Send an email to [email protected] with Fast Pitch Submission in the subject line. In the body of your message include your name, phone number and the link to your video

You will receive a con rmation email upon receipt of your submission

Fast Pitch registration does not include conference registration and is non-refundable.$50 PEPPERDINE STUDENTS/ALUMNI AND NAWBO MEMBERS


www. i 2 O 2 0 1 1 . c o m