Looking for Mentors in NYC

As you may know, I’m involved with a non-profit called BUILD.  I was a mentor when I used to live in the Bay Area and it was a very rewarding experience during my four years with them.  In addition, I joined the NYC board of BUILD in January, to help them launch here.

The mission of the organization: Through entrepreneurship-based, experiential learning, BUILD ignites the potential of youth in under-resourced communities and equips them for high school, college and career success.

Some of the students who are enrolled in BUILD have no aspirations to attend college, we want to change that.  If it wasn’t for the students’ involvement in BUILD, they might not have graduated from high school.  As a mentor, you have the ability to positively impact the path that these students are on.

BUILD was founded in 1999 and it is finally launching in NYC, having proved out their programming/model in the Bay Area, Boston and in D.C.

This upcoming October ’16, 500 local high school Freshman will be enrolling in the BUILD program.

We need 100 mentors to support these 500 students.  As of now, we have 50 mentors committed and need another 50.

There is a significant time commitment by the mentors:

  1. Program goes the entire school year, October ’16 to May ’17
  2. One hour per week (some weeks off due to holidays/vacation breaks)
  3. Sessions are in the afternoon at the students’ schools (locations are in Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn)

Who are out Mentors?  They are professionals who are dedicated to serving the students and have the flexibility in their work schedule to spend time with them once a week.  Mentors are providing guidance from a business/life perspective, you don’t need to have a technical or startup background to participate.

If you want to get more information about become a mentor, visit the mentor site or if you feel you are ready to apply to be a mentor, email Miranda Bellizia at mbellizia@build.org .

Thank you for reading this far.

 

#BlackLivesMatter

I’ve been following (& supporting) the #BlackLivesMatter (or BLM) movement for some time.

The data around the number of civilians who are killed by police is very clear and is alarming.  The data around the disproportionate number of black people who are killed by police is very clear and is alarming (see chart below).  The topic shouldn’t be controversial or divisive, they are facts and we need to be in action if we want to see the numbers decline.

This post includes action items for people who are conscious of the issue of black people being killed by cops at disproportionate rate (see below) and you haven’t done anything about it but are thinking about getting involved.

  1. If you are on social media (Facebook and/or Twitter), share articles on what is occurring.  Many people are silent on this topic.  While this seems like a trivial thing, sharing news has a viral aspect to it and the more people read about what is happening, the larger the odds of someone new becoming conscious of this issue as well.
  2.  Donate money.  There is typically a crowd funding site running a campaign to raise money for the families of those who are killed by police.  Even $5 can go along way, when aggregated among thousands of other donors, it becomes a meaningful amount for the families that are impacted.
  3.  Attend a BLM rally that is happening in your city.  These rallies are typically spontaneous, the way I find about them is typically via twitter.   If you are on twitter, you need to follow some other conscious individuals in your community, the best way to do that is do an advance search on twitter, filtering by location and the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag.  I’ve participated in several rallies in NYC, they are peaceful and are welcoming of anyone who wants to participate.
  4. Get familiar with Campaign Zero .
  5. Vote for politicians who are also conscious of this issue and will implement some of the recommendations outlined by Campaign Zero.

If there are other action items that I should add, please let me know, as I’m still looking to do more on my end.

See this chart, I hope you are aware of it, if not, I hope it makes an impact on you.

police_shooting_by_race.0.png

 

 

 

How Do I Unfollow Everyone On Twitter ?

From time to time, I need to do some twitter spring cleaning.  Here is a link that describes how to easily do this: http://lifehacker.com/use-a-script-to-clear-out-your-twitter-feed-and-start-f-827264023 Once you do this, this is how I recommend you rebuild your twitter follows: https://shaigoldman.com/2015/01/02/how-do-i-rebuild-my-twitter-feed/

Last Day at SVB

As a background, I joined SVB upon graduating from Santa Clara University, my first month on the job was November 2001.  For those who recall, this was a terrible time for our country, we had the stock market collapse in March/April 2000 and was followed up by the tragic events of September 11, 2001.  The Bay Area economy was in terrible shape as the market downturn impacted tech companies, which was the main driver of local jobs.

Fortunately, SVB one of few companies that was actively hiring.  Ruth Ann Haro (RIP – a wonderful Woman & Mother & SVBer) took a chance on me and that was the beginning of my great experience here.  (See the picture on left of my first business card at SVB)

As I look back at my time at SVB, WE accomplished so many things:

  • We opened offices in four global markets: India, China, UK and Israel
  • We raised millions of dollars for various non-profits, mostly recently we raised $600K for Best Buddies; the amount time, energy and money that the employees/executives contribute to non-profits is really amazing, other companies should be as active
  • One non-profit in particular that we support, BUILD, caught my attention and I volunteered there for four years. I had the chance to positively impact young students and those students also made a positive impact on my life
  • Our stock price has gone up from ~$26 to ~$60
  • Loans / Deposits grew from $1.7B / $3.2B then to $7.2B / $17.4B now
  • We were ranked by Fortune as one of the best places to work
  • Most recently, I’m proud of what our NYC office has accomplished, becoming an integral part of the tech community and doubling the number of clients (startups & VC/PE firms) that we support

There were so many colleagues that were a pleasure to work with including nine managers that I had a chance to learn from.  What really got me out of bed though, was working with innovative startups and the investors that support them.  The startup community (globally) is a special one and I can’t see myself ever leaving this ecosystem.

Hiring a Summer Intern in NYC

There is an amazing paid internship opportunity for an undergraduate student in NYC.

The last three interns that I have hired are now working full-time at well known firms, specifically SV Angel, Andreessen Horowitz and LivePerson.

The ideal candidate who have this background:

  • Undergraduate student, either a current Junior or Senior, preferably a student with a business major
  • Student MUST be passionate about entrepreneurship/startup community
  • Student MUST be somewhat active in social media, Twitter/Tumblr/Blogging
  • Preferably a student from either NYU or Columbia
  • MUST be able to work at least 10 hours a week while in school, up to 40 hours per week during the summer
  • Previous work experience is a MUST
  • Start date is ASAP

Role:

  • Working with me and the early stage startup team at the Silicon Valley Bank NYC office
  • Attend various startup events
  • Work on various projects, typically ones that focus on VC funding data/trends
  • Update CRM system with client data
  • Full-time during the Summer, at least 10 hours/week while in school
  • Assuming there is an interest by both parties, the internship can lead to a full-time position upon graduation

If interested:

Please find a mutual connection and get an introduction, leverage LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.  With the introduction, please attach a resume AND a cover letter.

Measuring Business Relationships

How do you measure the value of your business relationships?  I hear a lot of people in the business world say “yeah, I know that guy/gal”, I’m sure you say the same thing or have heard others say this.  I always wonder what it means to “know” someone from a business perspective, so I created a range of 0 to 5 to measure the strength of a business relationship.  I find that a strength of a relationships is tightly correlated to the amount of time you spend together.
  • 0 – the person doesn’t know who you are or your emails land in their spam filter 🙂
  • 1 – the person will answer your emails within a one week period and/or will remember your name when you run into them at events
  • 2 – you grab coffee with this person a couple times of year
  • 3- you grab lunch with this person a couple times a year
  • 4 – you grab dinner with this person a couple times a year
  • 5- you are actually friends, meaning you spend time together on weekends, going to sporting events, golfing, vacations, etc
Most of the people who say “I know this person”, their relationship falls in the 1 or 2 category.  How strong are your business relationships?

An Auto Bailout?

This entire financial crisis is getting much worse and is far from over.  In the last few weeks there is an increasing discussion that the U.S. needs to bailout the big three U.S. auto manufactures; GM, Ford, Chrysler.  According to reports, the U.S. auto industry involves 1 out of 10 workers and that more than 3 million jobs will be jeopardy if these corporations are out of business.

Here is the issue, while these companies are responsible for so many jobs, they are doing an awful job at running their businesses and this potential bailout will not solve their core problem of inefficiency, poor performance, poor prouct quality, lack of new technology adoption/creation.  These car companies have been failing for several years now, so this is not a new challenge, but a challenge that has been significantly enhanced in the last few months.  You could argue that we are bailing out banks and other financial industries, so we should do the same with the big three.   The big difference is that the financial institutions are in an industry that was growing, have well educated and experience employees, and have mostly been acquired by other institutions.  The bailout of the financial services is really a correction for lack of federal oversight of mortgage backed securities and very loose mortgage underwriting guidelines; these two items can be corrected in the very near future.

If there is bailout of the big three auto companies, the big question is how are they going to fix the broader more complex issues?  There has to be a strategic plan that is provided to the fed indicating a drastically new approach to a long term sustainability of their companies.  They need to focus on how they are going to be investing significant funds in new technology (hybrid, fuel cell, biofuel, electic, etc).   Specifically, they need to provide a game plan on how they are going to compete with Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Japanese auto manufactures, who are continue to increase their market share in the U.S.  Based on an event I recently attended, Shai Agassi CEO and Founder of Better Place, indicated that he provided an opportunity to several U.S. auto manufactures to be involved in his company and these unnamed companies declined to participate and Nissan/Renault made the commitment and looking really smart for doing so.

I don’t believe the management teams of the big three have the vision and aptitude to turn their companies in a new direction in a short amount of time.  If we do bailout these companies, it will certainly help our current financial condition by providing a bandage, but will not solve the multitude of problem these auto companies face and the money they might receive will certainly not solve their main challenges.

A long term solution for the more than 3 million auto employees: bailout funds need to fund training for the soon to be laid off auto employees to translate their current skill set to other manufacturing positions in other industries, specifically, solar (panels), wind (turbines), and electric utilities (new smart/automated grid).

Declining U.S. market share and increasing foreign market share:

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/flowchart/2008/6/9/how-toyota-could-become-the-us-sales-champ.html

U.S. Market Share by Manufacturer

May 2007 May 2008
GM 23.8% 19.3%
Toyota 17.2 18.4
Ford 16.5 15.4
Chrysler 12.8 10.7
Honda 9.3 12.0
Nissan 6.0 7.2
Hyundai 4.6 5.6
BMW (includes Mini) 2.0 2.3
Volkswagen (includes Audi) 2.0 2.2
Mercedes (includes Smart) 1.4 1.8