Columbia University

Technology Ventures

VC Perspectives: “How VCs Evaluate Potential CEOs” and “Understanding Equity Economics as the Startup Grows”

May 01, 2018
Marc Singer, John Lee, Orin Herskowitz
Earl Hall - Columbia University
2980 Broadway
New York, NY

Overview: Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV) and venture investors Osage University Partners (OUP) invite you to join a free seminar on two topics: “The behind-the-scenes view on how VCs evaluate potential startup CEOS” and “Understanding the real economics of university startup formation”. Drawing from 25 years of venture capital experience, Osage University Partners (OUP) managing partner Marc Singer will take you through the CEO search process, how VCs evaluate potential entrepreneur, and some observations about drivers for long-term success as an entrepreneur. The audience will assess mock candidate profiles and learn methods of diligence to choose the right leader for your startup. OUP principal John Lee will then take you step-by-step through the life of a company, illustrating the different types equity, the pros and cons of each equity type depending on different company outcomes, and the economic effect this has on founders’ shares.  Data will be presented to support the conversation around founders' equity, the right allocation between faculty vs. post docs vs. grad students, and how much equity one needs to give away to attract and keep your top talent. CTV’s Executive Director Orin Herskowitz will then lead a Q&A with both Marc and John to round out the afternoon. 

Featured Presenters:



Marc Singer: Managing Partner, Osage University PartnersMarc joined Osage in 2008 to help develop and launch Osage University Partners. He is a twenty year veteran of the venture capital industry. Marc was previously a General Partner of BEV Capital, an early stage venture capital firm he co-founded in 1997. Marc helped BEV raise and invest over $200M in over 40 companies and co-invested with over 100 other venture capital firms. Marc managed or co-managed eighteen of BEV’s investments, served as an active board member and/or Chairman for the majority of his investments, and successfully managed multiple companies from start-up through IPO or trade sale. Prior to co-founding BEV in 1997, Marc worked at Consumer Venture Partners, another venture capital firm which he joined in 1993. Marc earned his BS from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Marc resides in Penn Valley, PA with his wife Leah and three children.




John Lee: Principal, Osage University Partners

John focuses on infrastructure software, enterprise software, and hardware. At Osage, John has been actively involved in Algorithmia, Body Labs, Clarifai, Embodied, Jibo, Kymeta Corp, Paracosm, Seismos, and Streetlight Data. Prior to Osage, John spent time at Lux Capital and was a manager in the investment arm of Mahindra & Mahindra, one of Asia’s largest conglomerates, where he worked on diversified investments and in-house startups in technology.  Previously, John co-founded two startups and served as the Director of Cover Africa, a non-profit organization working on a malaria prevention research project in rural Ghana. In his spare time, John builds robots and actively pursues the science of cooking with his Little Brother from Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Orin Herskowitz: Executive Director, Columbia Technology Ventures 
Orin Herskowitz is the Senior VP of Intellectual Property and Tech Transfer for Columbia University, as well as, Executive Director of Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV). He has served on boards or served as the Principle Investigator for a number of innovation and entrepreneurship-focused initiatives, including the NYC Media Lab, the PowerBridgeNY clean energy proof-of-concept center, the Columbia Coulter Translational Partnership, the NYC ACRE technology incubator, and Harlem Biospace; has been a peer reviewer for innovation and entrepreneurship awards for the National Science Foundation and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities; and is a frequent speaker at IP- and technology-focused events in NYC and across the country. He is a board member for the Center for American Entrepreneurship, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research, policy, and advocacy organization engaging policymakers in Washington and across the nation regarding the critical importance of entrepreneurs and start-ups to innovation, economic growth, and job creation. Orin is also an appointee to a two-year term on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE), a Federal committee that advises the U.S. Secretary of Commerce on issues related to accelerating innovation, enhancing entrepreneurship, and expanding workforce skill development.