Fremont Startup Grind Digest: Andrew Ponec and Preetish Nijhawan

Feb 04, 2016

Shilpi Sharma

Startup Grind Fremont Chapter Director

At the first Startup Grind event of the New Year on January 19th, Preetish Nijhawan, Managing Director of Cervin Ventures talked about his experiences as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Nijhawan shared many of his funny, painful, and interesting personal stories about funding startups.

At the end, he provided three lessons that entrepreneurs across all industries can apply:

1. Be wary of building a business where you have to educate the market

2. Reduce your burn rate in order to maximize your flexibility

3. Learn more from your failures then successes

During the audience Q&A portion of the event, Nijhawan brought up a semi-controversial idea stating that not all startups must have (or should have) VC funding. He encouraged entrepreneurs to think about lifestyle oriented companies that allow for more autonomy without the stresses of public reporting, IPO paperwork, or corporate board management. Sorry you missed it? No worries, there is another one coming up!

Join us on February 18th to talk with our youngest entrepreneur yet, Andrew Ponec, Cofounder of Dragonfly Systems, about renewable energy, Cleantech incubation, and startups. Dragonfly System created small electronic devices to improve efficiency and reduce installation costs for large commercial and utility-scale solar power installations. Dragonfly Systems was acquired in 2014 by SunPower Corporation, a US-based solar company, and is currently ramping up the production of the Dragonfly devices. Ponec was also named to Forbes “30 under 30” list in 2014 for his work in solar energy, and is currently focusing on smart buildings, and affordable housing technologies.

Get your tickets here.

It is never too early to mark your calendar for the next StartupGrind event!

On March 15, 2016, Fremont Grind will feature Aaron Carpenter, Chief Customer Officer at HubNami, a social media management startup.

You can follow Startup Grind Fremont on Twitter, @FremontGrind and Facebook at Startup Grind Fremont.


If you have any question or suggestions for guest speakers, send an email to Shilpi Sharma, Co-founder & CEO of Kvantum, and Chapter Director for Startupgrind Fremont.



Category: Startups

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Welcome to our blog – Takes from Silicon Valley East! Our view is slightly different here on the east side of the bay – from the Mission Peak backdrop to the advanced manufacturing companies that dot our boulevards. As we become more urban and strive to interpret the business issues affecting our innovation economy, we want to share with you our observations, insights, photos, arguments, agreements, inspirations and CEO interviews – and here on our blog is exactly where we plan to do this.

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