January 2016 – Monthly Newsletter

Welcome to our long awaited, very first newsletter for the Summit Venture Mentoring Service (VMS). It has been an amazing year for the program and the many ventures involved. We cannot thank the volunteer mentors enough for all the time and effort they put into supporting our entrepreneurs. With roughly 15 ventures and 50 mentors we stay pretty busy and have been planning new things as we look forward to growing the program even bigger in 2016. With these newsletters we’ll highlight new and existing ventures, provide details on events and other news.

As many of you know we are supporting goal setting and strategic planning for all the ventures as we enter the new year. This process will strengthen the agendas of each meeting so that the focus is on growth and achieving results. We will be conducting a mentorship training workshop January 15th with Greg Owens of EO San Fransisco. This will be for both mentors and mentees to learn best practices and techniques to get the most out of the mentorship experience. We will also have a strategy session for the ventures lead by Summit VMS mentors Jim Rossner and John Moscicki on January 28th.

We are happy to announce a strategic partnership with UNR through the Office of the Vice President of Research and Innovation, and the Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship. Together these two entities see the value mentorship brings to up and coming ventures whether they be student or faculty based. Research has found that university based ventures are 144x more likely to go public than independent startups. With mentorship and other support we hope to see a steady pipeline of new university spinouts supported through Summit VMS. Thanks to this partnership all meetings and events in the new year will be held at the new UNR Innevation Center at 450 Sinclair Street.

Here’s to another great year and we will see you all at the upcoming events!

Bryan McArdle
Operations Manager, Summit VMS

Please Welcome Strange Bikinis to Summit VMS

Strange Bikinis is a women’s swimwear line dedicated to making stand out designs that are suitable for women with a human shape. Strange Bikinis was founded in 2013 by Owner/Designer Ali Conway and currently operates with one full time employee and two part-time freelance workers. Strange Bikinis offers a semi-custom bikini experience via their website. They plan to double their revenue for 2016 and believe by hiring two part-time seamstresses can successfully produce enough product to hit this number.  www.strangebikinis.com

*For mentors – If you are interested in joining the Strange Bikini mentor team please contact us at Summit VMS – Shyla Pheasant @ spheasant@summitvms.com

Ventures on the Horizon

VRmersive is a UNR spinout company under CEO Eelke Folmer and CTO Sam Tregillus that has developed VRStep, a plugin that lets you easily and efficiently navigate mobile virtual environments, without having to connect a controller, simply by using your feet. Learn more at www.vrmersive.com

**VRmersive is participating in the LA node of the NSF I-corps program. Any mentors who might want to participate with VRmersive in the I-corps 3 month program please contact Bryan McArdle – @ mcardle@edawn.org

Ascel Bio was founded in 2010 with the mission of commoditizing and commercializing infectious disease intelligence information. Such information encompasses global disease intelligence, forecasting routine and non-routine disease activity, and provision of live alerts for unusual disease activity. www.ascelbio.com

Other News

Las Vegas Accelerator “The Mill” is Accepting Applications:

 The Mill is an accelerator designed to help startups evolve. We are looking for 5 outstanding mvp-stage startups. Our HQ is in the heart of downtown Las Vegas and applications for the Spring Cohort are open now through Jan 15. Accelerator information and application can be found on our site http://themill.vc/

As a reminder we just ask companies to be in Vegas for the 12-week program–with no pressure to re-locate here–we want them to be located where it makes the most sense for their business.

– Applications due January 15, 2016

– Cohort Runs March 21- June 10, 2016

Here are the Scripts for Sales Success – Emails, Calls and Demos That Close Deals – posted on FirstRound.com

Building a winning sales deck is one thing. But what about the email templates needed to get prospects on the phone? What about the phone scripts for setting those sales presentation appointments? The best sales deck in the world isn’t super helpful sitting on a shelf, gathering dust because you aren’t setting appointments in which to use it! more…

The One, Crucial Question Entrepreneurs Need to Ask Their Mentors – posted in the Wall Street Journal Blog

Since entrepreneurs often have to make complicated decisions with little information and little time, access to trusted mentors is critical. In addition to keeping mentors on speed dial, entrepreneurs should ask them this simple, but vital, question: “What am I missing?” more…

Upcoming Events

Summit VMS Mentor & Venture Training: Friday January 15th at 1:00pm – 5:00pm at The UNR Innevation Center (second floor), 450 Sinclair Street, Reno NV 89501

The Mentorship Training Event is a facilitated strategic session designed to create alignment, set expectations, and provide best practices for mentees and mentors to ensure for a successful year. A trained facilitator will focus the creative energy of both mentees and mentors to develop a strategic framework for the year in order to increase the likelihood that every pair achieves its goals. This training will provide proven tools that are useful for both mentees and mentors, including the importance of specific setting goals, giving and receiving feedback, and meeting frequency and agenda.

Greg Owens of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) San Francisco will be facilitating the Mentorship Training Event. Greg is the owner of McCarthy Painting Co., A painting and construction company that both beautifies and protects people’s homes and businesses in the San Francisco Bay area. Greg joined EO San Francisco in 2007 and served on the EO San Francisco Board for two years as the Mentorship Chair. He then served as Mentorship Director for the US West for two years. Currently, Greg is in his first year as the Lead Trainer for Mentorship at EO.

Venture Strategy Session: Thursday January 28th at Noon – 4pm at The UNR Innevation Center (second floor), 450 Sinclair Street, Reno NV 89501

A sound strategic plan sets the direction and goals for your business, and it also requires you to make conscious decisions regarding what resources you need, when you will need them, how you will use them, and what the results must be for your success. A business without a plan is working on hope and fate – not a good combination for success. This strategic planning workshop will give you the structure to think through what you need to do to succeed and to develop the basics of an effective strategic plan that every business needs.

Summit VMS mentors Jim Rossner and John Moscicki will be leading the strategy session.

Jim Rossner is a seasoned executive with over 15 years’ consulting experience with existing enterprises – as well as venture-backed startup companies. Strong leadership and management skills, with an aptitude for building teams and producing quantifiable results. Systemic thinker who can translate the company’s vision into operational results. Successful track record in a wide range of operational roles, including VP Sales, VP Marketing, and Chief Operating Officer in early stage, SMB and Fortune 1000 companies.

John Moscicki has more than 30 years’ experience in business process improvement, sales, marketing and strategy. He has worked with more than 100 clients in manufacturing, financial services, telecommunications, computer hardware and software technology, automotive and consumer goods. John has also held senior executive positions including Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, and Senior Vice President in organizations ranging from mid-size privately held businesses to Fortune 100 corporations.

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