Fall 2014 Consulting Project: MPAY

This fall, one of Venture Club’s Consulting team is working with startup MPAY with its new Payentry offering! We talked to the group leader Andrea Owen who was happy to fill us in on the work they will be doing:

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 12.45.10 PMOur team is working with MPAY, a Software as a Service (SaaS) company, as it plans to an accounting/bookkeeping service to its Payentry offering. We will be performing a Competitor Analysis on the space that MPAY wants to enter: SaaS services that include accounting and bookkeeping for small and medium sized companies. We will be analyzing competitors including but not limited to Quickbooks, Xero, and Freshbooks. As we complete our analyses, we will look at metrics like service, price, quality, features, and distribution. Finally, we will evaluate Payentry’s competitive position in relation to each competitor. 

Team: Luke Allen, Benek Bolohan, Zebrina Edgerton-Maloy, Payson Miller, Andrea Owen

Find out more about Venture Club here!

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Alum Spotlight: John Wuestling

What is your name?
John WuestlingJohn Wuestling

Who are you and what are you doing?
I am a 2012 graduate of W&L that currently serves on the investment team at Greenspring Associates. Greenspring is one of the largest venture capital investment platforms with $3.1 billion in assets under management. We invest in venture capital funds, directly into later stage technology and healthcare companies and into secondary opportunities.

Specifically, I assist in our due diligence across all investment types and spend a good deal of my time interacting with our limited partners.

Where did the idea for your current startup come from?
While I am not an entrepreneur myself, our firm has invested in about 70 later stage start-up companies. To answer the question in a different way, some sectors that we believe are currently poised for strong market tailwinds include: the “Internet of Things”, cyber security, marketplaces that harness existing assets and cloud software.

What books, ideas and people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to other entrepreneurs?
Peter Thiel is one of my favorite entrepreneurs and investors. In my opinion, there is no one in our generation that has the ability to blend philosophy, political theory and engineering into a framework for investing and founding companies like him. I would recommend his most recent book, Zero to One.

Brad Feld is probably my favorite venture investor. His blog, “Feld Thoughts” provides a ton of digestible information for founders and does a great job of demystifying venture capital.

What are your favorite online tools, software or resources and what do you love about them?
I have been getting into LiveScribe a lot. It is a smart pen and paper product that seamlessly connects to Evernote and email. It has been a huge help in keeping me organized.

In terms of resources, I am a huge fan of technology blogs. For us, keeping on top of pertinent news in the start-up and venture community is critically important. For that, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, PandoDaily, Mashable and GigaOM are all great resources.

What startup besides your own are you most excited about?
I think the Bitcoin ecosystem is extremely interesting. The most interesting aspect in mind opinion is not its ability to displace other currencies, but rather its capabilities from a payment standpoint. I would love to have an entirely secure and digital wallet with the ability to track and understand my spending habits. Circle is an early stage company that is doing just that.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs?
From evaluating a wide variety start-ups, it has become apparent that having a well rounded founding team is important. Also, I think realistic pro-forma financial statements, an understanding of relevant metrics and a solid go-to-market strategy are also very important. The other thing to keep in mind is that early stage companies often pivot into other verticals. That is okay. In fact, venture investors in many case come to expect that. The true test is demonstrating product/market fit through early customers who have had great experiences with the product or service.

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Forbes Article Featuring W&L Alum Mike Wilner

Looking for an interesting read? Check out this Forbes Article featuring a W&L Alum:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/howardhusock/2014/09/30/reclaiming-the-american-dream-ii-making-capitalism-cool/ 

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Last Day to Register for the Summit!

Today is the last day to register for the 2014 Entrepreneurship Summit here at Washington and Lee!  Don’t miss out on your chance to meet alumni in various entrepreneurial field, attend informational sessions, participate in panel discussions, and contend for various jobs and internships through many interviews.  Register at entrepreneurship.wlu.edu to get involved.  See you there!

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Come see our Student Entrepreneurs!

Many Washington and Lee students have explored various entrepreneurial ventures and ideas, and they are very excited to share their successes and stories!  Attend the Student Pitch Competition from 11:15-12:15 pm on Saturday, September 27 in Stackhouse Theater and a Networking Reception from6:00-7:00 pm on Saturday, September 27 in The Science Center’s Great Hall to learn more.

Student Pitch Competition

Wondering what business ideas the next generation of W&L entrepreneurs will pursue? The Pitch Competition brings student business ideas to the forefront in this exciting session.

Contact:
Joey Manzinger, manzingerj15@mail.wlu.edu

Networking Reception and Student Startups, Consulting, and Research Showcase

W&L students are engaged in a variety of startups, consulting, and research. During our Saturday evening reception you’ll have the opportunity to interact with student entrepreneurs and researchers to learn about their activities.

Contact:
Jeff Shay (Johnson Professor), shayj@wlu.edu

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Interested in Startup Accounting?

“I’m not a numbers person” or “I’ve never taken an accounting course”. Many would-be entrepreneurs see their lack of accounting skills as a significant impediment to pursuing a startup. Although our experts can’t teach you everything in this session, they’ll do their best to offer advice for the most critical aspects of accounting so at least you’ll understand what your accountant says and what you should focus on learning.  Register for the summit atentrepreneurship.wlu.edu and attend the session on Startup Accounting from3:00-4:30 pm on Saturday, September 27 in the Huntley Hall room 327to learn more.

Speakers:
Lang Craighill (’76, Economics)- Retired, SMsi
Greg Barrow (’87, Commerce) – Founder, General Capital Partners
Tim Lavelle – Partner, Lookout Capital
 
Student Organizer/Moderator:
Christian Von Hassell (vonhassellc16@mail.wlu.edu)

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Summit Speaker Spotlight: Elizabeth Warland

Attending the panel on Women in Entrepreneurship on Saturday, September 27  in the Huntley Hall room 221?  Learn more about one of the featured speakers, Elizabeth Perkins Warland.

Elizabeth P. Warland is Vice President Sales Development and badge number 4 at Purgenix, Inc.  Elizabeth is responsible for driving the go-to-market sales strategy for Purgenix™, a high-growth startup company.  Purgenix™ is positively impacting clinical outcomes and the bottom line for healthcare providers with a solution for the most under addressed source of Hospital Acquired Infections – the air.

Prior to Purgenix™, Elizabeth worked in marketing for S1 Corporation, the world’s first internet bank and online banking technology firm.  After S1, she spent over eight years with Intec Telecom Systems (now CSG International) a world leading OSS and Billing Software Company.  Elizabeth was the company’s youngest Territory Director and held positions in the Atlanta, London, Brussels and Paris offices, where during her tenure she was responsible for the Benelux region and high revenue accounts such as Tele2, Mobilkom Austria, Telenet, Belgacom and Wind International.

Elizabeth currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband Christophe and sons Victor and Alistair.

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