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John Roos is the chief executive officer of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and a member of the Executive Management Committee and Policy Committee. Prior to becoming CEO in February 2005, John had been the firm's
managing director of professional services. He has been a partner at the firm since 1988. John's corporate practice focuses on the representation of growth companies in the corporate finance and securities areas. He represents both
privately held and public companies across a broad range of industries, including electronics, computers and software, and life sciences. He has represented many major Silicon Valley companies during mergers and acquisitions, initial
public offerings, strategic alliances, and joint ventures. He also has represented numerous start-up and early-stage companies in venture capital financings and other private placements of securities. John has an undergraduate degree from
Stanford University and J.D. from Stanford Law School. Courtesy of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Directors and Officers (DandO) insurance is a term often heard in companies forming their first boards of directors or bolstering current boards. This expert lays out, in question-and-answer format, key issues for entrepreneurs to consider when buying DandO insurance.
This instructional document provides a succinct explanation of how to conduct proper board minutes. This document stresses, for example, that board minutes are legal documents that show an organization's compliance with its required functions.
This finance expert explains the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) legislation and how it impacts both public and private companies as well as boards of directors. This author shows the upside and downside of SOX compliance and asserts private companies aiming to grow (and go public) should take steps to become SOX-compliant early on.
Gil Penchina recently agreed to become CEO of Wikia, a start-up founded by Jimmy Wales, the creator of Wikipedia. Wikia is a community site built on open-source software that allows anyone to contribute to guides on
subjects as diverse as star trek, pet diabetes and travel guides. Wikia operates under the GFDL Free content license and is positioned to become the first sustainable business built around the vision of free content. Prior to Wikia, Mr.
Penchina was an 8-year veteran of eBay. Mr. Penchina worked in Europe, directing eBay's presence in Southern Europe, and oversaw the company's expansion efforts in Eastern Europe. Previously he was responsible for launching sites in Hong
Kong and Singapore, and for the company's entry into India. Mr. Penchina also played a role in eBay's entry into South Korea and China. Mr. Penchina came to eBay in 1998, first working in business development and then running the mergers
and acquisitions department. In 2001 he was named vice president of business development where he built business and marketing relationships for eBay with a number of the top brands in the U.S.A including Microsoft, AOL, Disney and Yahoo.
Mr. Penchina began his career at General Electric in 1991, first in manufacturing and later in marketing on GE's corporate staff. He has worked as a management consultant at Bain & Co and an Internet entrepreneur, creating a content,
commerce and community vertical for business travelers. An active angel investor, he has investments or advisory roles with many internet startups including: Linkedin, Flock, Wink, Vamoose, Become, Feedster, Koders, Voicestar, Reify and
Betzip. A native of Amherst, Massachusetts, he holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Business. Courtesy of Wikia
An international expert in agricultural biotechnology and biopesticide science and business, Pam Marrone, Ph.D., is founder and former Chairman/CEO of AgraQuest Inc. which she established in Davis, CA in 1995. She
recently left AgraQuest to start Marrone Organic Innovations, Inc. which is focused on finding solutions to unmet market needs, especially weed control for organic farmers. AgraQuest researches, develops and markets environmentally
friendly, natural products for farm, home and public health pest management. Marrone's interest in this area began as a child, blossomed into a Ph.D. in entomology, and took flight in 1983 when she became head of the Insect Biology group
for Monsanto Agricultural Co. In 1990, Marrone became president of Entotech, a Davis-based biopesticide subsidiary of Danish company Novo Nordisk. She launched AgraQuest after Entotech was sold to Abbott Laboratories. AgraQuest discovered
Serenade, for controlling diseases of fruits and vegetables, and began selling the biofungicide in late 2000. Marrone and AgraQuest won the 2003 Presidential Green Chemistry award (small business) for the discovery and commercialization of
Serenade and a 2004 Red Herring Top 100 company award. The company also has several other products either in development or on the market. Marrone has raised more than $50 million through private equity investments to fund AgraQuest's
operations. Amid the post-September 11 stock market sell-off, Marrone postponed the company's initial public offering until the window opens again for new biotech investments. Marrone received a BS in entomology from Cornell University and
her Ph.D. from North Carolina State University. Courtesy of Hoover Institution
Selling your business is similar to raising capital. The difference: you're selling the whole company. Selling your company, like raising money, includes preparing the business plan, financials, cash-flow projections, and demonstration of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance practices.
To develop a solid IP protection strategy, accumulate patent protection on as many of the unique and novel aspects of your product as possible. Approach the challenge of creating a patent strategy by considering all the components of your product, such as its design, its use, and its manufacture.
Going international requires careful thought and planning. This article poses a set of questions (by category) for entrepreneurs to answer to prepare them for going abroad for customers and sales. Questions include market and channel issues, product translation and localization, and IP protection.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Web site contains a comprehensive guide, QandA: Small Business and the SEC, that provides a basic understanding about the various ways companies can become public and what securities laws apply.
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