The v100 - Signal Peak Ventures Top 100 Venture Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurship can be challenging. Mentors, networks, and resources can make a significant difference in startup success. There is a need for an organization for entrepreneurs that gives them the ability to share, collaborate, and partner to maximize the chance of success. The Signal Peak Ventures Top 100 Venture Entrepreneurs, or v100 exists to help fill this need in our region.
The v100 has been designed to help entrepreneurs and Signal Peak Ventures locate and cultivate relationships among top entrepreneurs and companies in the region. Members of the v100 are chosen through a peer-nominated and peer-selected process.
A unique feature of the v100 is self-direction. Although Signal Peak has taken initial steps to organize this elite executive community, the direction of the community is determined by its members. Members have the opportunity to share their insights and opinions in shaping the community as they see most fit.
The v100 provides benefits to entrepreneurs, to Signal Peak, and to the region as a whole. Members of the v100 benefit from the unique exposure and validation derived from peer recognition. They also benefit from increased networking and dialogue with their peers and with Signal Peak's partners. Signal Peak benefits from increased access to the top entrepreneurial talent in the region, and an increased understanding of the entrepreneurial environment. Finally, the community benefits from the synergy that is created by bringing together so many talented and successful individuals.
Organization of the v100 began in November of 2003, when top members of the Utah business community were asked by a Signal Peak Ventures team to nominate the top 100 venture entrepreneurs in Utah. Sources contacted include entrepreneurs, accountants, attorneys, investment banks, and business associations and publications. University technology transfer offices and alumni networks, as well as regional research facilities were also contacted. These nominators were asked to nominate those entrepreneurs who best met the following criteria:
- Individuals who would be most likely to lead a successful venture in the next 5-7 years in IT or Biotech industries.
- Individuals both with or without current involvement in a startup
- Individuals with ties to the region (but not required to be Utah residents)
- Individuals who would be the CEO/CTO of a new venture.
In total, more than 200 professionals were petitioned for nominations, yielding the names of more than 300 successful entrepreneurs. Those 300 nominees were then contacted and invited to vote for their peers through a confidential online survey. They were asked to base their selections on the criteria listed above.
The v|100 Community
2004 marks the inaugural year of the v100. Members of the v100 are part of a community that fosters collaboration and provides advantages in building and growing companies.
The shape of the community depends on the desires of the members themselves. Initial discussions with several members of the v100 indicated that the following benefits were of particular interest:
- Member dialogue – Entrepreneurs expressed an interest in identifying and communicating with peers who have relevant experience in similar situations, which might provide insight around important issues.
- Networking and development – Entrepreneurship can be a lonely business. Social networking provides opportunities to create lasting relationships. The v100 community will provide many opportunities for collaboration, partnering, and the exchange of business ideas. Round table discussions and access to experts will enhance entrepreneurial skills and business awareness.
- Access to Signal Peak Ventures – Members of the v100 have indicated a strong interest in increased interaction with vSpring Partners. Topics identified in discussion include: exploring new business ideas, team building and recruiting, and fundraising strategies.