‘Cause we all just want to be big tech stars!

I love the technology world.  There is so much creativity, and the following video is a great example of that.  This music video is a parody of Nickelback's Rock Star music video.  Check it out.  There is more reality in this video than most of us would like to admit. 🙂

I saw this video on Brad Feld's great blog, "Feld Thoughts", so special thanks to Brad for bringing it to our attention.

Thank you buySAFE!

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Today, I am starting a new chapter in my entrepreneurial story. It is with both a bit of sadness and a lot of excitement that I share with you the news that I have left buySAFE to pursue other start-up and entrepreneurial interests. In addition, I have joined buySAFE’s Board of Advisors so that I can continue to assist the company in whatever fashion is necessary.  Click here to see buySAFE's announcement on the buySAFE blog.

After almost nine years of building buySAFE, I am leaving the Company in very capable hands, with fresh funding, and the brightest future that the Company has ever had. It has been a deeply satisfying experience to create something valuable, and I want to sincerely thank our customers, our partners, my colleagues and the many investors who made buySAFE possible. I am obviously looking forward to my next adventure, but I am also very much looking forward to buySAFE’s continued success over the coming months and years.

I founded buySAFE after getting burned in an online transaction on eBay. As a student, I didn’t have any extra money to lose to ecommerce fraudsters, and so I decided that there had to be a better way to buy and sell products online. buySAFE was born!

This adventure started for me while I was earning my MBA at Wharton in 2000, and as with all start-ups, there have been huge successes and great challenges. For me, both have proven to be invaluable learning experiences.

Developing buySAFE’s early business/technology plan, acquiring our major financial institution and strategic partners (including two major strategic partners to be announced in the coming months), and raising our $30 million in venture capital financing were all challenges that I ultimately found to be great learning experiences. Over time, I was able to lead almost every aspect of buySAFE’s business operations, and all of these experiences were amazing for me personally and professionally. I plan to share with you many of the lessons I learned at buySAFE over the coming months.

Perhaps the thing I am most proud of at buySAFE is our team. Early on, I recruited Jeff Grass, Tim Woda, and Hans Dreyer to buySAFE. Today, Jeff is buySAFE’s CEO, Tim is the VP – Sales, and Hans is the VP – Operations. They are the core of our team even to this day. The rest of our team is amazing as well, and it has been a pleasure working with each and every one of them.

I never intended to spend almost a decade working on my Wharton class project, but along the way, buySAFE provided me with an amazing opportunity to make great friends, to learn important new skills, and to see that anything is possible with persistence and creativity. It also taught me that you can’t build a company by yourself.

Although I could never hope to name all of the folks that deserve my thanks, I wish I could. A few folks in particular – my wife, my brother, and buySAFE’s employees, customers, investors, and advisors – have all obviously been invaluable to both me and buySAFE. To all of you, thank you! I sincerely appreciate your investments in time, capital, expertise, and support. There would be no buySAFE without you.

As far as the next chapter in my entrepreneurial story, I am not ready to share the details quite yet, but please stay tuned. I will share my adventures with you here on my blog, so if you are interested, please make sure to subscribe using the form below.

Thank you buySAFE!

Related posts:

"Steve Woda, Founder and Chairman of buySAFE, Pursues New Entrepreneurial Ventures" on the buySAFE blog

"Founder of buySAFE, Steve Woda, Steps Down" on AuctionBytes.com

Zenoss Closes 2008 with 100 New Enterprise Customers & $15M in Financing

Zenoss Inc., the leading provider of commercial open source systems and network monitoring, today announced tremendous momentum through the end of 2008. In addition to astounding growth in commercial enterprise sales throughout the year, the company raised an additional $15 million of financing, was recognized with many awards including being named a finalist for a Jolt Award in the Enterprise Tools category and secured twice as many downloads as its nearest competitor in commercial open source IT management for 2008.

Zenoss added 110 new enterprise customers during the year, including Carlson Travel, Tyco Electronics, Cap Gemini, Formica and iStockphoto. Others, such as UTStarcom, Medifast, OpSource, OmniPresence, Broadcom, Johns Hopkins and Rackspace, renewed their annual subscriptions. Zenoss has gained the most traction in financial services, federal government, and among leading managed service providers where Zenoss management solutions are now routinely replacing traditional products from the “Big 4” systems management vendors (IBM, HP, BMC and CA).

As a result of this significant growth, Zenoss secured an additional $4 million in new financing from Silicon Valley Bank in December bringing the total raised to $15 million for the year and over $20 million cumulative. Other funding partners include top-tier venture capital firms Grotech Ventures, Intersouth Partners and Boulder Ventures.

Read more >> Zenoss Closes 2008 with Over 100 New Enterprise Customers, $15M in New Financing, and Numerous Industry Honors

 

JackBe Fueled to Extend Market Leadership; Adds $5 million in Funding

JackBe, the leading provider of enterprise mashup software, today announced that it has closed a $5 million round of funding and appointed software industry veteran Wayne Jackson as its new Chairman of the Board. The funding and appointment confirm JackBe's industry leadership and ready the company for continued growth and success through 2009 and beyond.

The $5 million funding was secured from existing investors including Harbert Venture Partners, Core Capital Partners, Blue Chip Venture Company, Intel Capital, and Darby Technology Ventures. The investment will be used by JackBe to expand sales, marketing, and partner activities worldwide.

Learn more >> JackBe Fueled to Extend Market Leadership; Adds $5 million in Funding and 25-year Industry Veteran as Chairman of the Board – MarketWatch

JackBe Lands $5 Million, Names Wayne Jackson as Chairman – Silicon Valley Wire

JackBe jacks another round with $5 million – Startup Meme Technology Blog

Dancing with First Round Capital

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First Round Capital's 2008 Holiday Card (video) proves once again why every early-stage entrepreneur wants to find a way to meet with this terrific investor group.  Check it out! 

These guys are creative; they have been in the trenches themselves (multiple times!); they have been successful (multiple times!); and most of all, they like working with entrepreneurs because they are entrepreneurs.

I have had the pleasure of working with and knowing lots of technology investors, and along the way, I have learned a thing or two about who you want to try and work with (and what you want to avoid).  These guys are good.  Period.  In addition, their holiday video is brilliant,
low-cost, and fun, and it highlights their strengths in an intangible,
yet powerful manner.

Let me share one quick story that illustrates why I like these guys so much.  Although they won't likely remember it, both Howard Morgan and Josh Kopelman provided me with a helping hand while I was trying to get buySAFE launched back in 2001.  I was introduced to Howard via a mutual friend, John Tedesco, and Howard offered to meet with me in NYC and provide me with feedback on my business plan.  At the time, the venture was called BondMyAuction.  I was not ready for primetime, and yet, Howard spent two hours listening to me and coaching me on how I could improve my plan.  Howard also introduced me to Josh Kopelman.  At the time, Josh was an executive at eBay because he had recently sold his business, Half.com, to the ecommerce giant.  For no reason other than to be helpful to me, Josh also spent almost two hours on the phone giving me feedback and advice on how to proceed. 

I will be forever grateful for their assistance since I was no more than an aspiring entrepreneur with a paper napkin business plan.  Their help was both gracious and inspiring.  In many ways, they (along with a few others like them) gave me the extra motivation and confidence that I needed to stick it out through the inevitable challenges of getting a business launched.  Since then, I have tried to return the favor with other aspiring entrepreneurs because of their good example (although I am quite sure that I could never be as helpful as they were for me).

Again, check out First Round Capital's holiday video, and I think you will agree with me.  These guys are authentic, and entrepreneurs clearly have good reason to want to work with them.

Nice job Howard and Josh!  For everyone else, enjoy!  http://holiday.firstround.com/

Roundbox Raises $20 Million for Mobile Broadcast Software

RoundBox, a provider of mobile broadcast software, announced on Monday that it has raised over $20 million in its third round of venture capital funding, led by Montagu Newhall Associates. Itochu Techno-Solutions Corporation, and previous backers Core Capital Partners, Polaris Venture Partners and RRE Ventures also participated in the round, which will be used to invest in product development and customer delivery.

Learn more >> Roundbox Raises $20 Million for Mobile Broadcast Software – Digital Media Wire

Roundbox Secures Over $20 Million in Series C Financing

Infinite Power Solutions, a thin micro-cell firm, raises $13 million

Infinite Power Solutions Inc. (IPS), a developer of solid-state, rechargeable thin-film batteries, has said it has completed its Series B round of financing, raising $13 million to fund the ramp to volume production of its Thinergy micro-energy cell product family.

Existing financial investors D. E. Shaw Ventures and Polaris Venture Partners led the Series B round, and were joined by the company's other existing investors Core Capital Partners, Applied Ventures LLC, the venture capital arm of Applied Materials and In-Q-Tel, along with a unnamed strategic investor.

Learn more >> Thin micro-cell firm raises $13 million – EETimes.com