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|[Actually 3/19/2012]: The May Report: 3/19/2012: Larry Irwin, longtime Efoora investor, tells me that what Catherine Steege at Jenner & Block is doing is horrendous and Efoora investors should be incensed since she's trying to trade $57MM worth of shareholder interests for a fishcake (Wikipedia says "The fishcake has been seen as a way of using up leftovers that might otherwise be thrown away. In Mrs Beeton's 19th century publication Book of Household Management, her recipe for fishcakes calls for "leftover fish" and "cold potatoes" "); TapMe Games snags $3.2MM from Chicago’s Hyde Park Venture Partners which led the round. Other investors include I2A Fund, which led Tap.Me’s initial round of financing; Western Technology Investment; Great Oaks Venture Capital; FireStarter Fund and Hyde Park Angels -- looks to me as though FireStarter will be, like i2A, a "me too" tag along fund, partly because they only have $5.7MM, and when you're trying to keep 42 investors happy, you tend to get risk aversion and regression toward the mean -- what kind of beta coefficient do they seek?; Why is the Techweek board, smug and snug, hiding behind the apron string of anonymity?|
|March 19, 2012|
The May Report: 3/19/2012: Larry Irwin, longtime Efoora investor, tells me that what Catherine Steege at Jenner & Block is doing is horrendous and Efoora investors should be incensed since she's trying to trade $57MM worth of shareholder interests for a fishcake (Wikipedia says "The fishcake has been seen as a way of using up leftovers that might otherwise be thrown away. In Mrs Beeton's 19th century publication Book of Household Management, her recipe for fishcakes calls for "leftover fish" and "cold potatoes" "); TapMe Games snags $3.2MM from Chicago’s Hyde Park Venture Partners which led the round. Other investors include I2A Fund, which led Tap.Me’s initial round of financing; Western Technology Investment; Great Oaks Venture Capital; FireStarter Fund and Hyde Park Angels -- looks to me as though FireStarter will be, like i2A, a "me too" tag along fund, partly because they only have $5.7MM, and when you're trying to keep 42 investors happy, you tend to get risk aversion and regression toward the mean -- what kind of beta coefficient do they seek?; Why is the Techweek board, smug and snug, hiding behind the apron string of anonymity?
Editor and publisher: Ron May, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,www.themayreport.com, 773-525-3944.
If you missed an article, go here:
(ALL REPORTS HAVE NOW BEEN POSTED ON THE TMRONLINE.COM SITE AND THANKS TO PROMINIC FOR FIXING THE PROBLEM)
Otherwise, just go to www.themayreport.com where all the articles are archived and the search function on the new site is now working
Louis Brandeis: "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants."
frequently attributed to Edmund Burke: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." but the quote and its many variations have been the subject of dispute. See http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Edmund_Burke for more.
"Larsen E. Whipsnade": You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939), a comedy film starring and scripted by W. C. Fields
Andre' Gide (1869 - 1951) in his "Les Nourritures Terrestres. Envoi:":
"What another would have done as well as you, do not do it. What another would have said as well as you, do not say it; written as well, do not write it. Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself --- and thus make yourself indispensable."
Cyber Security & Forensics Conference & Expo
April 19 & 20
$150 if registered by March 16th (includes 2 days with breakfast & lunch)
$500-$1,500 sponsorship/exhibitor opportunities available
The Cyber Security & Forensics Conference & Expo is a multi-track, technical conference that attracts 200+ professionals for 35+ presentations in an intensive one- and a half-day schedule. Topics include forensics, security, data/information governance, cyber-crime and security, ethical hacking, eDiscovery, cloud forensics, steganography, policy and compliance, privacy, wireless security, cloud computing, identity theft, and much more.
Participants have included: the FBI, Cisco, Computer Associates, The Chicago Police Department, CompTIA, Fermilab, Argonne, IBM, KPMG, Microsoft, Motorola, Sungard, and many others.
Dan Kaminsky is the keynote speaker. Dan is best known for finding a critical flaw in the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS), and for leading what became the largest synchronized fix to the Internet's infrastructure of all time. He is also one seven Recovery Key Shareholders who possess the ability to restore the DNS root keys. Dan spent much of 2011 briefing the US Government on the impact of the SOPA and Protect IP legislation on DNSSEC and the security of the Internet in general.
The Cyber Security & Forensics Conference is April 19 & 20 at Illinois Institute of Technology in Wheaton, IL (Chicago Area). The registration fee is $150 if you register by March 16 ($200 after).
For more information, to register or sponsor, please visit www.cpd.iit.edu/forensecure, or contact Scott Pfeiffer at email@example.com or 630-682-6001.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Scoop section:
-- Briefly noted, by Ron May
-- TapMe games raises $3.2MM from Chicago’s Hyde Park Venture Partners which led the round. Other investors include I2A Fund, which led Tap.Me’s initial round of financing; Western Technology Investment; Great Oaks Venture Capital; FireStarter Fund and Hyde Park Angels -- if this is the first investment by the FireStarter Fund which has only $5.7MM from 42 investors (mostly the usual suspects), it appears that they are following the i2A model, namely 'me too' and tag along -- so how likely are we to see anything creative from FireStarter?; btw, who runs Hyde Park Venture Partners?
-- Liquid Generation: Mystery surrounding Series B funding
-- Chuck Stack: U of I faculty (again) ask Trustees to fire Hogan - Chicago Tribune
-- Encyclopaedia Britannica To End Print Edition, Go Completely Digital
-- Ed Domain: Chicago Techweek Gets New Executive Director; Pasky Out
-- Wednesday, March 21: Entrepreneurs Unplugged: Mike Evans (GrubHub), Rona Borre (Founder, President and CEO of Instant Technology), Joseph Dwyer, Venture Partner with OCA Ventures
-- Announcing keynotes for 6th annual eChicago / Free public event Apr 20-21 / Be there!
-- Phil Tadros: Front Stage Posse
-- Advanced Equities Wells Notice
-- Tonight: MoMo Chicago: Nokia CES Redux
-- Tarkus Murphy: Below is a first new periodic report about Angel Capital that you may want to share with your readers!
-- Something for the Oink Fans
-- Larry Irwin: The Estate of Efoora Inc. and Efoora, corrected letter
-- Miscellaneous notes (1 message)
Hi Everyone: It's almost impossible to know who to vote for when faced with the long list of judges who are on the ballot in the Tuesday primary in Chicago. I'm an attorney who is in court every day and even I don't know all of the candidates. One thing you can do is check the bar association ratings for their qualifications.
Please vote for qualified judges in the Democratic Primary on March 20, 2012 including me, Tom Osran, in the 8th Subcircuit (Punch 184).
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Or you can go to one of the best and most rigorous ratings agencies, the Chicago Council of Lawyers and see their ratings here:
Please don't forget to vote for me, Tom Osran, at ballot spot 184 in the 8th Subcircuit (lakefront district from Peterson to Chinatown, east of Ashland). Please forward this email to as many family and friends you know that can spread the word. You may know me as a soccer coach, marathon runner, or CARA pace leader. You may know that I like to tell a joke while doing a long, group run.
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Please vote for me by punching 184 and forward this email.
Thanks for your help.
The Scoop section:
Briefly noted, by Ron May
* Well, along with finding out about Liquid Gen, I have a long list of things I'm investigating, one of them is:
Why was Arabella Santiago the person to call people about Jon Pasky's departure?
Why did they do nothing to protect Jon's reputation, even a little bit? He is, after all, the last of the remaining founders.
Was he incompetent?
Arabella sounded to me as though she was just better equipped to put on a conference like this since she's done it at a higher level in the past.
But then, in addition to saying that she can do it better, she said that there were problems under Jon. I get that mostly from Ed Domain's article, so maybe she dished more dirt to Ed.
Ed's article, see below in this report, states that "Santiago said she is “humbled” by the opportunity and has already hit the ground running: An email went out to people that had applied to be panelists apologizing for the the lack of communication by the conference in recent weeks and months and has already generated positive responses."
My own experience with Jon was that sometimes, as recently as my follow-up with him after seeing him at Rocket on Feb. 7th at Built in Chicago, I had to track him down, but I checked. He got back to me by Feb. 13th, so it was not all that long.
While Arabella may not have been overtly trashing Jon, there is some trash Jon tone to Arabella's remarks.
That's typical of organizational politics.
What bugs me more is that the disingenuous, smug, and 'too precious' board of Techweek is hiding behind the apron string of anonymity.
Board members, come out in the open where we can all see you, wherever you are.
Fair is fair. If the board can boot a founding member -- and see that he's trashed in the process -- they should be out in the open.
They owe that to all stakeholders, including attendees, sponsors, speakers and to Pasky.
I'm not taking sides.
It's quite possible that Jon deserved to be canned, but let's get some transparency.
We don't know the names of the angels who funded Techweek (fka midVentures), the amount of the funding, or the names of the board members.
They have an advisory board that is known, but the real board is where the power is.
My suspicion is that the board includes people from New World ventures which threw a party down at SXSW a day or two after Jon Pasky was given his walking papers.
We'll find out.
TapMe games raises $3.2MM from Chicago’s Hyde Park Venture Partners which led the round. Others investors include I2A Fund, which led Tap.Me’s initial round of financing; Western Technology Investment; Great Oaks Venture Capital; FireStarter Fund and Hyde Park Angels -- if this is the first investment by the FireStarter Fund which has only $5.7MM from 42 investors (mostly the usual suspects), it appears that they are following the i2A model, namely 'me too' and tag along -- so how likely are we to see anything creative from FireStarter?; btw, who runs Hyde Park Venture Partners?
by Staff Reporter
Tap.Me Inks $3.2M
Posted on: March 12, 2012
Chicago-based Tap.Me, developer of a platform for creating branded enhancements in mobile games, has raised $3.2 million in venture capital. Chicago’s Hyde Park Venture Partners led the round. Others investors include I2A Fund, which led Tap.Me’s initial round of financing; Western Technology Investment; Great Oaks Venture Capital; FireStarter Fund and Hyde Park Angels.
Tap.Me, the only easy-to-implement and scalable platform for branded enhancements in mobile games, today announced it has closed a $3.2 million round of funding from investors led by Chicago’s Hyde Park Venture Partners (HPVP), an early-stage venture capital fund investing in technology companies in the Midwest, with particular focus in Chicago. Other partners in the round include I2A Fund, which led Tap.Me’s initial round of financing, Western Technology Investment, Great Oaks Venture Capital, FireStarter Fund and Hyde Park Angels.
The company also announced that, effective immediately, Jeffrey Lapin, former Chief Executive Officer of Atari and veteran of Take-Two Interactive Software and THQ joins the company’s Board of Directors.
“When we looked at Tap.Me’s unique value proposition to both brands and game developers, as well as their accomplished management team, Tap.Me fit perfectly with what we look for in companies,” said Guy Turner of HPVP. “HPVP looks forward to working closely with Tap.Me to accelerate their growth in the marketplace.”
Platform Integration With Fluik
In a separate key development for the company, Tap.Me and Fluik Entertainment, an Edmonton-based game developer whose line of games have been downloaded more than 20 million times, have agreed to integrate Tap.Me’s platform into Fluik’s top titles, including its wildly popular “Office Jerk” mobile game.
“Fluik is thrilled to partner with Tap.Me, whose platform will help us monetize gameplay in a way that enhances the experience for the gamer, which is of paramount importance to us,” said Victor Rubba, co-founder, Fluik. “This is the future of meaningful game and brand integration.”
With the Fluik partnership, Tap.Me’s platform is on pace to reach nearly 25 million gamers by June 2012.
Additions to Board of Directors Jeffrey Lapin, former Chief Executive Officer of Atari and veteran of Take-Two Interactive Software and THQ, will immediately join Tap.Me’s Board of Directors. “I’ve been around gaming for a long time and know the challenges of bringing brand advertisers into the game experience without being disruptive,” said Lapin. “Tap.Me has taken a very innovative approach to solving this problem by making brands valuable to game play. I’m excited to bring my experience and perspective to the team as they continue to build their business.” Other additions to the board include:
• Sam Yagan, co-founder of both OkCupid (recently acquired by Match.com) and Excelerate Labs (a Chicago-based incubator), effective immediately.
• Stuart Larkins, Managing Director, I2A, effective immediately. Larkins, a media industry veteran, was a senior leader at Performics where he helped lead the business through acquisitions by Doubleclick, Hellman & Friedman, Google and Publicis.
“Closing on the new round of funding and adding industry leaders to our investment ranks give us a lot of momentum,” said Matt Spiegel, Chief Executive Officer of Tap.Me. “Our partnership with Fluik provides immediate scale for our platform’s reach, while the addition of talented folks like Jeff Lapin, Sam Yagan and Stuart Larkins to our board validates our approach. I’m thrilled with these developments and look forward to an exciting period ahead at Tap.Me.” About Tap.Me Tap.Me is the only easy-to-implement and scalable platform for branded enhancements in mobile games. By creating contextual and authentic branded integration points within mobile and web games, Tap.Me delivers experiences that thrill gamers and strengthen the connection between leading game developers and brands for mutual benefit.
1.Funzio Inks $20M Series A
2.Z2Live Inks Funding from DFJ
3.MindSnacks Inks $1.2M
4.GameSalad Inks $6.1M in Second Round
5.Diversion Closes Series B, Inks $1M Ad Deal with Sony
May here. Jeff Carter who responds to my emails in minutes, not hours or days, or weeks Kapil, helps to answer one question about Hyde Park Venture Partners. I'll ask Ira Weiss for more info.
Subject: Re: Jeff, who runs Hyde Park Venture Partners? Tied to HPA? Fund size? # of deals?
Date: 3/19/2012 8:23:26 A.M. Central Daylight Time
Ira and Guy turner. All questions on the fund should be directed to them
Sent from my iPhone please excuse any misspellings
On Mar 19, 2012, at 8:17 AM, RONALDMAY@aol.com wrote:
Liquid Generation: Mystery surrounding Series B funding
from: Clayton Young firstname.lastname@example.org
date: Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 6:52 PM
subject: Liquid Generation
: Important mainly because of the words in the message.
Clayton Young email@example.com
Mar 13 (5 days ago)
Who ended up being the super angel investors in the Liquid Generation Series B round?
May here. I called Mike Freud at 12:07am Chicago time. I asked him how long ago his father, Bruce Freud, was fired. Mike said that bruce is the founder and CEO and that he's still ther. Mike told me that the names of key executives I found on the internet, see below, are fake. When I looked at the names for a few seconds, I realized that Mike wasd right: Mr. Nixon, Mr. Slippy Jenkins, Ms. - Elmo....
Mike says he does nor recall the amount of the Series B. i don't believe him. Mike is one of the founding shareholders.
I'll call Bruce at 310-289-7877.
Mike is claiming that the names of the angels are still secret as they always have been..
Internet Software and Services
Company Overview of LiquidGeneration, Inc.
LiquidGeneration, Inc., an animation and casual gaming company, creates content over the Internet for young adults. It makes entertainment for Web junkies and procrastinators. The company provides original animations, games, photos, movies, news, online pranks, cartoons, videos, Webisodes, and new music pieces, as well as interactive sabotages, quizzes, and ecards. LiquidGeneration, Inc. was founded in 2000 and is based in Beverly Hills, California.
8750 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Founded in 2000
Key Executives for LiquidGeneration, Inc.
Mr. Slippy Jenkins
Helga Mohammed el-Salami
Chief Technology Officer
Mr. - Nixon
Ms. - Elmo
Director of Virus-Spreading & Multimedia Tinkering
Mr. Brad Saranecki
Compensation as of Fiscal Year 2011.
Chuck Stack: U of I faculty (again) ask Trustees to fire Hogan - Chicago Tribune
U of I faculty (again) ask Trustees to fire Hogan - Chicago Tribune
firstname.lastname@example.org via addthis.com
3:50 PM (24 minutes ago)
from: email@example.com via addthis.com
to: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
date: Sun, Mar 18, 2012 at 3:50 PM
subject: U of I faculty (again) ask Trustees to fire Hogan - Chicago Tribune
Ron, here's the latest on the U of I soap-opera in Urbana. Our state is really turning into a national joke....two governors in jail, high taxes, and this faculty vs. Pres. Hogan mess at our flagship campus. Hope you feel better, Chuck
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U. of I. faculty again urge president's removal
Top scholars sign letter urging board of trustees to fire Michael Hogan
Beleaguered University of Illinois President Michael Hogan, left, attends… (Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune)
March 16, 2012|By Andy Grimm, Chicago Tribune reporters
For the second time in less than a month, top faculty at the University of Illinois have called for the board of trustees to fire beleaguered President Michael Hogan.
A letter signed by about 120 professors, some two-thirds of the most distinguished faculty at the Urbana-Champaign campus, was delivered at a trustees meeting Thursday morning asking for the "rapid and decisive termination" of Hogan.
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The letter comes just 10 days after the board held an emergency meeting to discuss complaints expressed in a letter Feb. 27 that was signed by 130 faculty members, most of whom also signed Thursday's letter. After that meeting, the board ordered Hogan to take steps to rebuild his relationship with faculty or risk losing his job.
Finance professor Jeffrey Brown said he did not sign earlier letters circulated by disgruntled faculty, though he has been unhappy with Hogan's administration. Hogan's efforts to reach out to faculty since receiving the trustees' mandate has only made things worse, Brown said.
"I know some in the administration ... thought that perhaps this was not a widespread feeling," said Brown, who has been at the university for 10 years. "I thought that maybe it was time to say that some of us who did not sign the first time around also are saying that 'Hey, we do think there are serious problems.'"
U. of I. spokesman Thomas Hardy said Thursday that board members had not had time to review the letter, but said Hogan's efforts at reconciliation are to be reviewed during the next meeting in two months.
Hardy pointed out that Hogan was also praised by some faculty groups at Thursday's meeting for recent changes he made to a controversial enrollment strategy. Hogan was not available for comment Thursday, Hardy said.
After the board meeting last week, Hogan vowed he would improve communications with faculty and others. He has a planned meeting with the faculty Senate at the Urbana-Champaign campus later this month.
In their latest missive, the faculty members, including a professor who was on the search committee that recommended Hogan as president, said they had not been satisfied with Hogan's efforts and said nothing will likely change their minds.
They called Hogan "ethically and reputationally compromised," and said his efforts to apologize and regain trust are insufficient.
Hogan has been under fire since the beginning of the year when his chief of staff and closest confidante, Lisa Troyer, resigned after being accused of posing as a faculty senator in anonymous emails sent to a faculty group to influence its debate. Since then, his leadership style has been criticized and he has been accused of bullying new Chancellor Phyllis Wise.
Encyclopaedia Britannica To End Print Edition, Go Completely Digital
Encyclopaedia Britannica To End Print Edition, Go Completely Digital
Move marks latest step in firm's evolution to digital education and instruction
CHICAGO, Mar 14, 2012 (www.twitter.com/techaccesstv) -- Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., announced today that it will cease publication of the 32-volume printed edition of its flagship encyclopedia, continuing with the digital versions that have become popular with knowledge seekers in recent decades.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica, which has been primarily an online product for almost 20 years, will cease to be available in book form for the first time in 244 years when the current stock runs out. It was originally published in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1768 and has been in print continuously ever since.
The move is the latest in a series the company has made over many years in the direction of digital publishing and a wider range of educational products.
"The end of the print set is something we've foreseen for some time," said Jorge Cauz, president of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. "It's the latest step in our evolution from the print publisher we were, to the creator of digital learning products we are today."
The company began exploring digital publishing in the 1970s and created the first digital version of the Britannica--likely the first digital encyclopedia ever--for LexisNexis users in 1981. It published the first multimedia encyclopedia on CD-ROM in 1989 and the first encyclopedia on the Internet in 1994.
As Britannica expanded and diversified its Internet reference services in the years since, it also used its acquired expertise in online education to move beyond reference and into the $10 billion school curriculum and digital-learning markets, developing instructional programs and e-books in math, science and the humanities now used in classrooms around the world.
In announcing plans to discontinue the iconic 32-volume set, Cauz emphasized that numerous digital versions of the encyclopedia--as well as other Britannica databases for all ages--are widely available, continuously updated and significantly larger than the content in the printed encyclopedia. The online versions serve more than 100 million people worldwide, and a new app that delivers the whole encyclopedia to the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch was recently launched.
The company is also moving vigorously in developing community features for its online users. At Britannica Online School Edition PreK-12, teachers share lesson plans. Britannica Online allows readers to make revisions directly to the encyclopedia, which are then published after editorial review and revision if necessary. Britannica language and dictionary subsidiary Merriam-Webster.com boasts community features in which visitors share thoughts on words and usage.
"We're digital, we're mobile, and we're social," said Cauz. "We're a very different company from 20 or 30 years ago."
What hasn't changed, said Cauz, is the way Britannica products are created and maintained. The company has a worldwide network of thousands of expert contributors and a staff of more than 100 editors who edit, review and fact-check Britannica content to make sure it's accurate, reliable and up-to-date. Contributors include many scholars, Nobel laureates and world leaders, such as Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu, Ian Rankin, Francisco JoseI' Ayala, Jody Williams, Chris Evert and Tony Hawk. The company works with and consults educators and instructional designers extensively in creating its classroom products.
To mark the retirement of the print set, the entire contents of the Britannica.com website will be available free for one week beginning today. More information is available at the Britannica blog: http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2012/03/change/ .
Additional media resources can be found the on Britannica Corporate Information site: http://corporate.britannica.com/ .
About Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. is a global leader in education publishing whose products are available in many media, including online, wireless devices and books. A pioneer in digital publishing since the early 1980s, the company markets a variety of curriculum products for schools, language-study courses, online learning services, encyclopedias and other reference works, management solutions and language products through its Merriam-Webster subsidiary. Many of them are available at britannicastore.com. The company is located in Chicago.
Bruce Eric Montgomery
Executive Producer & Host
Technology Access Television
200 S. Wacker Drive, 15th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606-5865
Ed Domain: Chicago Techweek Gets New Executive Director; Pasky Out
Chicago Techweek Gets New Executive Director; Pasky Out
EDWARD DOMAIN MARCH 11, 2012
Arabella Santiago has been appointed the new Executive Director of Chicago tech conference Techweek. The Board of Directors at Techweek asked the former Executive Director, Jon Pasky, to step down for unspecified reasons.
Pasky’s departure officially marks the end of the original founders of Techweek running the organization. Brian Mayer left the company over a year ago and Geoff Domoracki left in the last year to focus on his Data 2.0 conference on the West Coast.
The new executive director, Arabella Santiago worked for Techweek since its first inception as Midventures and has deeper experience running conferences. ”I used to produce Web-based initiatives for the 14,000 participant ‘The Women’s Conference’ in 2008, then led by Maria Shriver,” said Santiago. ”What is most important to me is that Techweek works with everyone- we want to make this conference the best it can be for Chicago.”
Santiago said she is “humbled” by the opportunity and has already hit the ground running: An email went out to people that had applied to be panelists apologizing for the the lack of communication by the conference in recent weeks and months and has already generated positive responses.
A resident of San Francisco, Santiago is moving to Chicago for six months to manage Techweek 2012. The Board of Directors for Techweek have chosen to remain anonymous thus far in public, presumably because they are waiting to see the results of the 2012 conference and if it has a future. To date, Techweek is has raised approximately $400K in investment capital.
Santiago is also the CEO and founder of StartupLive
Wednesday, March 21: Entrepreneurs Unplugged: Mike Evans (GrubHub), Rona Borre (Founder, President and CEO of Instant Technology), Joseph Dwyer, Venture Partner with OCA Ventures
The Founding Team Edition
March 21, 2012
6pm - 9pm
1543 W. Division St.
Chicago, IL 60642
What makes for a great founding team? Are single founder companies more likely to succeed or fail? This Entrepreneurs Unpluggd will feature three amazing entrepreneurs who have cofounded companies as well as started successful single founder companies.
Mike Evans, co-founder of GrubHub, will talk about the team dynamics he and his cofounder Matt had, as well as how they brought people onto their founding team. Rona Borre, founder and CEO of Instant Technology, will share her experiences bootstrapping her company as a single founder from her spare bedroom to the Inc 500.
Rounding out the speakers will be Joe Dwyer, currently a VC and internet entrepreneur who has founded and cofounded several companies in the last fifteen years. As usual, the entrepreneurs will share their experiences and practical advice in an informal, intimate environment with plenty of room for questions.
6:00 – 6:30
6:30 – 8:00
8:00 – 9:00
Co-Founder and COO, GrubHub
Mike Evans graduated MIT in 2000 with a pile of degrees and an equally impressive pile of debt. Following along the dotcom bandwagon Mike moved to Chicago to work at Apartments.com. While there he came to understand the value of lead generation Internet advertising.
In 2004 Mike wrote version one of GrubHub.com because he was frustrated with futilely searching for delivery restaurants and grumbling through inaccurate orders. After refining the Web site he jumped ship and went full time to pursue making GrubHub.com a real business. Armed with a “Sales for Dummies” book Mike and co-founder Matt Maloney bootstrapped the business for two years. In 2006 GrubHub won the University of Chicago's New Venture Challenge. The company’s rapid growth has led to five rounds of investment funding, totaling $84 million.
These days, Mike is the COO of GrubHub. The process has made him prone to pontificating on his blog, GrubHub Mike, about Technology Leadership and the Chicago Technology Community.
Founder and CEO, Instant Technology
Rona Borre, Founder, President and CEO of Instant Technology began her career in the technology staffing industry as an Account Manager at a global recruiting firm in 1996. She quickly became the top producer in Sales corporate-wide for four years in a row and exceeded every sales goal and company benchmark previously established.
Rona built and ran a $30 million book of business before venturing out on her own to establish Instant Technology. Since founding Instant Technology in 2001, the company has become a nationally-recognized Woman-owned Business Enterprise and consistently doubled in total revenue and net income the first five years in business. Rona has been honored as an Influential Woman in Business by The Business Ledger and the National Association of Women Business Owners, and an Enterprising Woman of the Year by Enterprising Women Magazine, in addition to the number of accolades awarded to her agency.
Venture Partner, OCA Ventures
Currently, Joseph Dwyer is a Venture Partner with OCA Ventures in Chicago. For the 15 years prior to joining OCA, Joseph Dwyer was an Internet entrepreneur creating high-growth technology companies.
Joseph’s past ventures include: CEO and founder of The Virtual Market, one of the first dynamically generated e-commerce sites; CEO and founder of Blir, a technology consulting and custom software development company serving clients such as Bain & Company, Albertsons, and Exodus Computing; CTO and board member of LoanSurfer.com, a venture-backed online mortgage bank; and President and Founder of TouchPoint Solutions, an enterprise Software-as-a-Service company with customers including Kodak, British Petroleum, and Lockheed Martin.
Joseph is an expert in web application design and development, including the architecture of a web-based device management, ad delivery, and content distribution software system licensed by Kodak for use on its worldwide network of 70,000 kiosks.
Announcing keynotes for 6th annual eChicago / Free public event Apr 20-21 / Be there!
Announcing keynotes for 6th annual eChicago / Free public event Apr 20-21 / Be there!
Kate Williams email@example.com
Mar 15 (4 days ago)
Librarian-scholar Joyce Latham (University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee) will draw lessons for today from the dynamic and proud history of Chicago Public Library.
Philip Neustrom (Localwiki.org) will explain the explosive success of local wikis in Davis, California and other towns around the world.
Also in the works: Digital Equality: the State of the City/State of the State … how-to workshops … librarians, community workers, broadband builders; students, scholars, activists, and more.
Be there! Free to all but space is limited. Register today at: http://echicago.illinois.edu.
Friday April 20, 2012 and Saturday, April 21
8:30-5 and 8:30-3:30
Student Center East, 750 S Halsted, University of Illinois at Chicago
eChicago is a place where people share what is happening and what could happen to make Chicago not only a digital city, but a more democratic one. Our goal is digital equality, and we connect people who don’t find each other easily in their daily lives: all kinds of librarians with community workers and volunteers; students with professionals; social workers and library people; campus with community; government and grassroots.
Past and continuing organizers and contributors include: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Dominican University Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Chicago/Jane Addams College of Social Work, the Daley Library, and the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, The Arturo Velasquez Institute Digital Workforce Education Society, The Benton Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Public Library, The Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Metropolitan Library System, Partnership for a Connected Illinois, and Skokie Public Library
Assistant Professor, UIUC
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21 -- Save the date!
Register at https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/8707695
Questions and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
Information, Innovation & Inclusion: Building Community Cohesion website
Democracy, Diversity, and the Digital program, poster, background documents, tweets, video of sessions
Building Collaborations and Digital Communities in Chicago and Beyond
Seizing the Broadband Moment program
Cybernavigating our Cultures program, poster, facebook, book
Libraries, Community Technology Centers, and Chicago, Building and Serving Our Communities book, participants
Understanding and Implementing Local Community Use of Information Technology book, participants
Phil Tadros: Front Stage Posse
Front Stage Posse
Philip Tadros email@example.com
Mar 16 (2 days ago)
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Roy Jumbo is trying to change the way music fans enjoy live shows at crowded festivals, like Lollapalooza, Coachella, and Bonnaroo.
So how did Mr. Jumbo go about broadcasting his message to the world? By hiring Doejo, of course!
We are proud to present to you frontstagepass.com.
We knocked out this puppy in less than a week, making us proud and Roy quite happy. Not only did we help him out with that badass landing page, but we designed and coded custom Twitter skin and Facebook pages to boot.
Go check out Front Stage Pass, and join the movement (literally, we developed this neat-o roster---it's like a petition for cooler festivals!)
So, please sign up and be first in line.
Advanced Equities Wells Notice
Advanced Equities Wells Notice
from: Jonathan Disrert email@example.com
date: Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 6:50 PM
subject: Advanced Equities Wells Notice
: Important mainly because of the people in the conversation.
Jonathan Disrert firstname.lastname@example.org
Mar 14 (3 days ago)
Fisker’s Private Fundraisers Face SEC Investigation
Submitted by Paul Chesser on Mon, 03/12/2012 - 11:14
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The Securities and Exchange Commission has notified the brokers who raised most of the private financing for taxpayer-backed electric automaker Fisker Automotive that charges may be brought against them, in connection with a private offering in 2009.
The co-founders of Advanced Equities, Inc., Keith Daubenspeck and Dwight Badger, were served in January with Wells Notices by enforcement staff from the SEC’s Chicago office. The warning informs defendants of the preliminary results of an investigation, and that findings mean a recommendation for a full hearing before the commission is likely. The subjects of the investigation are given the opportunity to submit a response to the allegations before a hearing is commenced. Crain’s Chicago Business first reported the news.
Advanced Equities, also based in the Windy City, has raised venture capital for Fisker. The investment bank specializes in late-stage equity financing, raising funds to “bridge the gap between venture money and traditional corporate finance.” Fisker announced 65 layoffs and a work stoppage at a former General Motors plant in Delaware in early February, after the Department of Energy suspended payments out of its $529 million loan guarantee.
Last month an investor, Daniel Wray, sued Fisker and Advanced Equities for their alleged failure to perform fiduciary duties and for fraud. He alleged that after he bought $210,000 of preferred stock between 2009 and 2011, in January Fisker and Advanced Equities demanded more than $83,000 “due to Fisker’s urgent need for equity capital,” or else he would lose privileges that came with his purchase of earlier stock.
“The lawsuit says Fisker and…Advanced Equities Inc., knew their promises to him were false all along,” reported the Orange County Register. “The suit seeks restitution, compensatory and punitive damages from Fisker and Advanced Equities.”
It is not known whether Wray’s lawsuit or a related complaint was the reason the Wells Notices were served on Daubenspeck and Badger. Advanced Equities’ attorney, Amal Amin, told Crain’s, “It’s confidential and we’re not going to discuss it.” Both of the investment firm’s partners denied wrongdoing.
“I am addressing the (SEC) staff’s concerns, and I am prepared to aggressively defend myself should it become necessary” they each wrote in their respective disclosures.
Daubenspeck and Badger were the subject of a scathing 2008 article in Forbes which accused the company of “foisting junky startups on investors.” The article cited the rapid rise of Advanced Equities in the technology venture capital environment, but accused Daubenspeck and Badger of leaning heavily on the credibility and recognition of bigger firms like Kleiner Perkins to impress investors to buy in on still-shaky tech prospects at later stages.
“The problem with this picture is that in vaulting (Advanced Equities) to its high perch in the VC world, Daubenspeck and Badger have left a wake of aggrieved customers, furious former employees, lawsuits and more than their share of busted startups,” Forbes reported. “At least 18 former clients have filed arbitration complaints accusing the firm of wrongdoing. Separately, six brokers have alleged that AE stiffed them for millions of dollars.”
Has Advanced Equities cast a poor reflection upon Fisker, thus contributing to concerns the Department of Energy might have about the EV-maker’s ability to raise private funds? The reason given when the loan suspension was announced last month was that Fisker – maker of the $102,000 luxury Karma model, which last week inexplicably stopped working during a Consumer Reports test – failed to reach “milestones” in its agreement with DOE.
It seems every week taxpayers learn something new about the clean energy “bets” the Obama administration has demanded they finance – especially Fisker. So far, before the loan was halted, $193 million in public money poured into the maker of an EV that only rich people can afford, who also get a $7,500 tax credit (plus whatever California is handing out lately) per vehicle purchase to boot. The reported numbers vary, but no more than a couple thousand of the Karmas have been delivered to the U.S. market (including to customers Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Gore, and Justin Bieber). We have been asked to subsidize the toys of the affluent.
Beyond that the taxpayer support for Fisker enhanced the stock of its political allies like Kleiner Perkins (where Gore is a senior partner), and also helped pay for connected lobbyists to get the loan, while crony lawyers got paid to work inside DOE to see the loan to completion.
And now we discover The Chicago Way may have been behind Fisker’s private fundraising, and the SEC plans to find out more. This dog has a lot of fleas.
Paul Chesser is an associate fellow for the National Legal and Policy Center.
Tonight: MoMo Chicago: Nokia CES Redux
Tomorrow: Nokia CES Redux
12:14 PM (9 hours ago)
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Title: Nokia CES Redux
When: Mon Mar 19 11pm – Tue Mar 20, 2012 1am (UTC)
Where: Gyro (20 W. Kinzie St, Suite 1400, Chicago, IL 60654)
Who: Meetup Reminder*
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For those that didn't get to CES this year, MoMo Chi is bringing the best of CES directly to you. Nokia – winner of the Best Smartphone of CES with its Lumia 900 – sponsors this month's event. Get hands-on time with Nokia's newest Win...
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Looking forward to the discussion!
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Tarkus Murphy: Below is a first new periodic report about Angel Capital that you may want to share with your readers!
Ron, I hope you are felling better
Mar 16 (2 days ago)
I may have a story to tell about a new rural outpost on the Information Superglacier™ (around May), but in the meantime, below is a first new periodic report about Angel Capital that you may want to share with your readers!
Slàinte! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, sorry you missed the Ides and pi day.
ANGEL CAPITAL EDUCATION FOUNDATION, SILICON VALLEY BANK AND CB INSIGHTS CREATE PARTNERSHIP TO PRODUCE “HALO REPORT”
Quarterly Report Will Detail Angel Investments and Trends for First Time
ANGEL CAPITAL EDUCATION FOUNDATION, SILICON VALLEY BANK
AND CB INSIGHTS CREATE PARTNERSHIP TO PRODUCE “HALO
Quarterly Report Will Detail Angel Investments and Trends for First Time
Embargoed until 12:00am EST February 23, 2011
Kansas City, MO, Santa Clara, CA, New York City, February 23, 2011 – The Angel Capital
Education Foundation (ACEF), Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and CB Insights today announced a
partnership intended to raise awareness of early stage investment activities. Together, the three
organizations will produce a quarterly research report, titled the Halo Report, which will highlight angel
investment activity and trends in the United States and Canada and provide much sought after data that
has not been previously available to entrepreneurs or early stage investors.
By combining CB Insights’ extensive database of private company financings, SVB’s knowledge and
experience in working with startups, and ACEF’s expertise in angel investing, this partnership will offer
an unprecedented level of visibility into early stage investment. The Halo Report will include aggregate
analysis of quarterly investment activity by angels and angel groups and will highlight trends across
topics such as round sizes, location and industry preferences, among others. The transaction details will
also be available in the CB Insights subscription database for users to review and analyze themselves.
CB Insights specializes in gathering and providing data on high growth private companies. CB Insights
CEO and Co-founder, Anand Sanwal, said “Unlike data on VC investments, comprehensive, rigorously
collected data on angel-backed companies and angel investors does not currently exist in any centralized
fashion. We’re looking forward to using our technology and capabilities in partnership with ACEF and
SVB to bring greater visibility to this extremely important segment of early-stage investing and to
ultimately build data-driven tools that help both investors and the startups they support.”
According to Gerald Brady, Head of the Entrepreneur Services Group at SVB, “Angel investors are the
key spark that ignites the entrepreneurial ecosystem, kick-starting the investment capital that drives
innovation and entrepreneurship. Given SVB’s mission to help entrepreneurs succeed, we are thrilled to
be part of this partnership. Together, we will provide more transparency into angel investment activity,
along with rich data and analysis that will help inform entrepreneurs’ decisions, as they produce
innovative new products and build the next generation of exciting new companies.”
In addition, the Halo Report will provide information that is important for our nation’s long term
sustainability, according to Allan May, ACEF Chair. “If new companies are the source of job creation and
innovation as recent data and reports from the Kauffman Foundation and the Small Business
Administration suggest,” May said, “then as the primary source of investment capital for entrepreneurs,
angel investing needs to be well understood. This partnership provides an important step toward our goal
of providing accurate data to help the public understand who angel investors are, how they operate, what
their results are, and how angel investment can impact the economic recovery.”
The first Halo Report is expected to be available in the second half of 2011. Angel groups and individual angel investors interested in including their data in the Halo Report should
contact Sarah Dickey, ACEF Research Manager, for details. She can be reached via 913-894-4700 and
The Angel Capital Education Foundation (ACEF) is a charitable organization devoted to education and
research in the field of angel investing, a growing driver of our entrepreneurial economy. ACEF was
founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The programs of ACEF include educational
workshops and seminars, research projects and reports, and information about angel investing for the
general public. ACEF is affiliated with the Angel Capital Association, the professional association of
angel groups in North America. More information is available at www.angelcapitaleducation.org.
For nearly 30 years, SVB Financial Group (Nasdaq: SIVB) and its subsidiaries, including Silicon Valley
Bank, have been dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed. SVB Financial Group is a financial holding
company that serves companies in the technology, life science, venture capital/private equity and
premium wine industries. Offering diversified financial services through Silicon Valley Bank, SVB
Analytics, SVB Capital, and SVB Private Client Services, SVB Financial Group provides clients with
commercial, investment, international and private banking services. SVB also offers funds management,
broker-dealer services and asset management, as well as the added value of its knowledge and networks
worldwide. More information on SVB can be found at www.svb.com.
CB Insights is a technology and information services firm that offers comprehensive information,
intelligence and insights about private companies that have received venture capital, private equity, angel
or government funding. Its products include the CB Insights database platform which offers structured,
searchable data on companies and investors as well as FundingFlash, a daily email detailing venture
capital, growth equity and angel investment deals. CB Insights is used by leading venture capitalists,
private equity professionals, corporate M&A professionals, angel investors, investment bankers, and
governments. For more information, visit www.cbinsights.com.
Research Manager, ACEF
Silicon Valley Bank
CEO and Co-founder
Something for the Oink Fans
Something for the Oink Fans
Lu Zheng firstname.lastname@example.org via elasticemail.com
Mar 16 (1 day ago)
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Hope you are doing well. My name is Lu Zheng with Taap.it, a mobile app that allows users to rate specific items in stores and restaurants in order to unlock local merchant rewards and win weekly giveaways.
I'm sure you've heard about the discontinuation on Oink and the duress that's caused. Well, this is our little solution to make the world a little less bleak for loyal Oinkers. With a simple, one step Oink-to-Taap Import Tool located at http://taap.it/import-oink, former Oinkers can convert their painstakingly accrued “Oinks” into “Taaps”. In such, participants can then use their new “Taaps” to unlock local deals and earn rewards in weekly contests.
Below is our press release. We'd appreciate if you could help us spread the words, as Oink service is shut down entirely in 2 weeks.
Director of Corporate Strategy
335 West 35th St, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Office: (212) 695 - 4411
Cell: (206) 661 - 6705
Bummed Out About Oink? Taap.it!
Swap Your Expired Oinks to Taaps for Prizes
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY, March 16, 2012 – After Oink announced its sudden discontinuation earlier this week, loyal “Oinkers” have cried out in frustration against the sudden termination. “I feel like … I’ve been used as a giant lab rat,” groaned loyal Oinker Drew C., who asked not to be identified by his last name. “How can you say you are working on updates one day, and then suddenly just pull the plug?
Luckily, New York’s favorite homegrown startup, Taap.it, has offered users a solution to bridge the sudden black hole.
With a simple, one step Oink-to-Taap Import Tool located at http://taap.it/import-oink, former Oinkers can convert their painstakingly accrued “Oinks” into “Taaps”. In such, participants can then use their new “Taaps” to unlock local deals and earn rewards in weekly contests.
Established in late 2011, Taap.it offers a simple interface to rate specific items in stores and restaurants in order to unlock local merchant rewards and win weekly giveaways. With over 5,000 local businesses in the New York City area Taap.it is quickly rising in the ranks of mobile platforms that combine community and commerce in a local setting. Taap.it has more than 4 million items in its database.
Taap.it is currently available for a free download in the Apple app store at http://bit.ly/tvvVNP.
335 West 35th St, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Larry Irwin: The Estate of Efoora Inc. and Efoora, corrected letter
The Estate of Efoora Inc.
Larry Irwin firstname.lastname@example.org
6:44 AM (11 minutes ago)
to csteege, Rick, Bill, Bob, me, slevy, Doug
from: Larry Irwin email@example.com
cc: Rick Fogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Bill Milles <email@example.com>,
Bob Hotchkiss <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Doug Jaeger <email@example.com>
date: Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 6:44 AM
subject: The Estate of Efoora Inc.
: Important mainly because it was sent directly to you.
Dear Ms. Steege,
The Shareholders of Efoora are the victims here, and should, in your mind, be the only real stakeholders. Accepting $50,000 is the same as accepting zero for all practical purposes.
The risk that Varshney is about to commercialize AFTER you let him off for $50,000 is HUGE. How will you feel if his makes a billion dollars AFTER you let him out of his $57,000,000 obligation for $50,000? How would you suggest the Shareholders feel? Should they then get together and go to the Illinois disciplinary people? Would you take that case at arm’s length if you were not now involved.
What is the urgency to do this now, or ever?
Even if Varshney is telling the truth – and there is ample evidence that he is not - why do you care if Applied Biomedical fails? With all due respect, you are not the Trustee for AB, but rather the Estate of Efoora Inc.
With all due respect, I request that you voluntarily withdraw your Motion and let AB succeed or fail on its own, without your inexplicable help. Rick Fogel let Varshney have Efoora’s assets on the condition that he would return the Shareholders’ investment. That was the value the Estate got for giving Varshney control of the assets. It is not your job to relieve the Estate of that value, but rather, to protect it.
Efoora, corrected letter
from: Larry Irwin firstname.lastname@example.org
cc: Richard Fimoff <RFimoff@rsplaw.com>,
Rick Fogel <email@example.com>,
Bill Milles <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Bob Hotchkiss <email@example.com>,
date: Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 4:03 PM
subject: Efoora, corrected letter
: Important mainly because of the words in the message.
Larry Irwin firstname.lastname@example.org
Mar 13 (5 days ago)
to csteege, Richard, Rick, Bill, Bob, me, slevy
Dear Ms. Steege,
I have been told that you were not happy with my below letter. I have also been told that you will “fight like hell” to get your Motion approved. Both of these, if true, are puzzling in the extreme.
First, no one should be happy with $50,000 when the expectation was $57,000,000. If the choice is $50,000 in hand, or rolling the dice for the $57,000,000 in the tree, I am certain that the creditors would rather go for the $57,000,000 in the tree. Second, with all due respect, a reasonable person would expect that a U.S. Trustee would err on the side of caution, which in this case is giving some real consideration to the allegation that Subhash Varshney is about to commercialize, and is just trying to “buy down” his obligation to the creditors – i.e., committing a fraud on the Court.
Again, and the worst case, there seems to be no reason that the Motion could not include a trigger to reinstate the Mr. Fogel’s Asset Purchase Agreement if and when certain financial milestones are met.
I respectfully request that you withdraw your Motion without prejudice to give you time to go to California to inspect the assets of Applied Biomedical, see for yourself what is going on out there, and take under oath testimony. That testimony should include statements from Bob Hotchkiss and David Quirk, as both of whom have stated that Varshney told each of them separately that AB is about to commercialize. There just is no reason to take either Varshney’s or his counsel’s word about this. If, at the end of that process, you still want to give away the position of the victims of Efoora for $50,000, such a tragedy would be far more defensible.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.
Very truly yours,
From: Larry Irwin
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2012 5:08 PM
Cc: Richard Fimoff ; Rick Fogel ; Bill Milles ; Bob Hotchkiss ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Your Efoora Trustee Responsibilities
Dear Ms. Steege,
With respect to the Efoora matter, your actions, inaction, and statements, and in particular, your Motion urging acceptance of the First Amendment to the Asset Purchase Agreement may fall sufficiently short of the normal care and professional standards expected for such work to the extent that they are grossly negligent.
You write that AB is not expected to be able to make payments to the Estate, either at all, or in sufficient amounts to materially benefit the Estate. Without having visited AB and taken under oath testimony from those in a position to know, you cannot possibly know this to be true. You certainly may not accept it on face value. In fact, there are serious indications that is is not true. In any event, this would be a statement that AB’s counsel should make as its advocate, supported by under oath testimony, not one a Trustee should make on her own account. Such action by you may subject you to personal liability, for at minimum, willful blindness. According to two potential witnesses, David Quirk, a close associate of Varshney, and Bob Hotchkiss, who was CEO of Efoora and has remained in close communication with Varshney to this day, AB is very near being able to get FDA approval of Efoora’s blood glucose test, can sell the HIV test outside of the U.S., and is very close to making a giant pot of gold that you would give up for a fishcake. The blood glucose strip market alone is presently $10 Billion per year! Just 5% of that market is $500,000,000 a year! In other words, Varshney is about to make a killing. He should not be permitted to shed his responsibility to the Estate of Efoora Inc., a responsibility that is yours to guard.
You seem to have mistakenly concluded that Efoora’s products were frauds because Grosky committed frauds. Not true. The FBI tested the Efoora glucose monitoring system in 2006 to determine its efficacy and found that it works. Quirk and particularly Hotchkiss maintain that, in various declarations against interest by Varshney, Varshney recently boasted that he has greatly improved the BGM test and has no doubt he will obtain FDA approval. This means that, if you are successful with your First Amendment, you will have helped Varshney defraud the Estate of $57,000,000.
Varshney told you that he cannot get needed capital with the APA in place. This statement was false when made and is false now. First, it is unlikely in the extreme that a lender or investor that would otherwise become involved would not do so because of the APA, if the APA were subordinated. Second, his extremely dubious statement about “not being able to get financing” presents a slippery slope that requires under oath testimony to support or refute. Varshney has made statements that he can in fact get financing, but wants a loan instead so that he does not have to give up equity. With all due respect, it cannot be your job to help Varshney maximize his bottom line if he can succeed and pay Efoora’s shareholders back their investment. This is exactly what seems to be the case, and we as shareholders want more from you.
It is egregious in the extreme, and sounds in fraud, for Varshney to be able to get (possibly subordinated) equity financing, but nonetheless claim he cannot get financing because it does not suit him. Remember, he began this journey as the sole Efoora director. For him to now claim to be “unable” to get financing simply because he wants better financing terms is bad enough. For him to want to shed his APA obligations paints him as a scoundrel. I don’t think a finder of fact will judge that Varshney should be let out of the APA simply because, for example, he can only get equity financing, but he “would rather do it with loans so that he retains more (or all) equity.” The discovery process is designed to uncover these facts, and the Estate deserves discovery.
There is no financial reason for either AB or the Estate that presents a logical argument for this Amendment. Varshney does not need it, and if he were honorable, he would not not want it. The beneficiaries of the Estate are severely harmed by it. Any beneficiary that supports the Amendment “so that he can write Efoora off” is incorrect. Any investor could have written off 100% of their investment long ago, and if that proves to have been premature, have recapture if and when AB pays off. Meanwhile, you would be killing the thousands of people that put all their savings into Efoora and still have hope that AB will succeed, and for what? What is the reason to do this now? $50,000 helps no one. At most, it puts literally pennies into people’s hands.
$50,000 is sufficiently small when compared to $57,000,000 that this discussion, and the necessity for it, is ludicrous. Logic dictates that you “let the $50,000 ride.” Juxtaposed onto the great likelihood that AB will shortly commercialize, and that Varshney is plain and simple lying to you – you are being duped – it becomes actionable.
I researched you. It is obvious from the fact that your peers chose you to be Finance Managing Partner that you are a bright and serious person. This has been confirmed for me by Chicago counsel that you know and respect. I have a dear friend who had your role at a firm even larger than your own, so I get you. However, that you would even consider the Amendment, let alone hurriedly approve it, raises serious questions. You can answer those questions, protect yourself, and honor the hopes and investment of thousands of little people, and more than a few big ones, by withdrawing your Motion, forcing discovery, and permitting the Shareholders sufficient time to do something constructive, which three weeks clearly is not.
What you should be doing is threatening Varshney with not doing enough to commercialize, obtaining under oath testimony to see where he is at today as far as AB’s prospects are concerned, speaking to Bob Hotchkiss and David Quirk about Varshney’s declarations against interest regarding both financing, FDA and marketing prospects, which will prove that Varshney is trying to dupe you, and doing the due diligence required of a Trustee that is truly concerned with maximizes the value of the Estate.
No intelligent and savvy business person would believe that we really need to remove the contingent liability to the Estate in the APA in order to get $3-5,000,000 in order to make $1,000,000,000 or more. The $3,000,000 tail does not need to wag the $57,000,000 dog, when AB stands to make, literally, billions. I know you are smarter than that.
You said that the Court only requires a 21 day notice period, which you did provide. That begs the question, “Why are you in such a rush?” Have you been further duped by Varshney to think that he will withdraw his $50,000 offer? – an offer that does no one any good. In order for you to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, you, as much as us, need to insist on at least a 90 day investigatory period. During this period, Varshney should be forced to disclose all financing contacts he has had, all offers, all supposed turn-downs (if any!) because of the APA obligation, and very specific staging information of all products and prospective products.
Finally, or as Steve Jobs used to say, “Just one more thing.” I do not want to do this, I want to keep the APA in place exactly as Rick Fogel negotiated it for the benefit of the Efoora Shareholders, but if Varshney is not lying, he would have no objection a continuing obligation to give the Shareholders their $57,000,000 if he made a zillion dollars. Guess what? That is exactly the letter and spirit of the APA! The very fact that he is willing to put more money to this shows he believes in it. If he believes in it, that means he will make enough money to honor his APA obligation. He should be permitted, and forced, to do just that.
He believes in it so much that he is trying to make $57,000,000 more than he is supposed to make, because he is that kind of guy. I submit that it is your job to stop him.
cc: Richard M. Fogel, Esquire
Richard Fimoff, Esquire
Susan C. Levy, Esquire
William Milles, President, Efoora Shareholder Legal Fund
Robert Hotchkiss, ex-CEO, Efoora, Inc.
Ronald May, The May Report
Miscellaneous notes (1 message)
#1: Changes at Insignis, Inc. and BridgePortfolio Inc.
Laura Zaroski email@example.com
Mar 16 (2 days ago)
Peter Dietz is no longer with Insignis, Inc. and BridgePortfolio Inc. Please contact Laura Zaroski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 368-3670 and she will arrange for a response to your inquiry.
END OF REPORT