Santa Clara University

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Spring Quarter '07 Newsletter

Reflections on Entrepreneurship from Our 2007 Certificate Program Graduates

CIE is proud to announce that our first class of Entrepreneurship Certificate students completes the program this quarter. As a complement to their undergraduate degrees, these ten trailblazers participated in a curriculum including business plan development, financial modeling, development and sales strategies, and examination of the private equity industry.

The opportunity to learn directly from area entrepreneurs is also part of the package, and a draw for many of the program participants. “We have had some of the most successful Silicon Valley veterans from numerous industries, as well as people who are currently working on their own ventures,” says finance major J. Rainer Telles. “It’s very inspiring and educational to see like-minded entrepreneurs who are building their dreams while we are thinking of our own.” 

Entrepreneurship Certificate students put their class work into practice either through development and presentation of a business plan or an internship at a local startup. The former attracted political science and finance double-major Chaz Flexman, who came into the program with a desire to work for himself, an interest in exploring the venture capital industry, and a business idea to pursue. He and project partner David O’Neill have been working to develop their Postal Innovations product, and presented it at the April meeting of the eCouncil.


“The program seemed the right way to explore the opportunity while gaining knowledge on how to go about the process of starting a company,” says Flexman.


Operations and management information systems major David Freddolino values the insight and experience gained during his internship at a San Francisco-based startup, especially as the company began its Series A funding process.


“It was a very exciting time to be working there,” says Freddolino. “I hope that sometime in the near future, I will be starting my own business and can actually practice everything I have learned.” 

Asked to reflect on the most important lesson learned through the Entrepreneurship Certificate program, finance major John Bakewell Barnidge comments that it’s “the realization that hard work, determination, and a creative mind will allow oneself to put no limits on life.”

Marketing major Spencer Smith concurs. “The most important thing I’ve learned is that no idea is too big to tackle.”

Congratulations to the 2007 Entrepreneurship Certificate Recipients


John Bakewell Barnidge, Finance

Paul Butler, Marketing

Chaz Flexman, Political Science & Finance

David Freddolino, OMIS

Justin Gwerder, OMIS

David O’Neill, Finance

David Sherman, Finance

Spencer Smith, Marketing

J. Rainer Telles, Finance

Michael Varost, Studio Art


Checking In with the Silicon Valley Immersion Scholars

Now into their second quarter of internship work and study at SCU, the Silicon Valley Immersion Scholars recently gathered to bring us up-to-date on their experiences. The five Fulbright scholars hail from Italy, and include Abramo Barbaresi, whose focus is non-invasive 3-D measurement; Elisabetta Capezio, specializing in biomedical devices; Valentina Coccoli, researching biomaterials and tissue engineering; Micol Macellari, studying diagnostic genomics; and Emanuele Orgiu, focusing in organic semiconductor sensors. 

On what has surprised them most about Silicon Valley life:

"We’ve been really impressed by the importance of networking in both your personal and professional lives. Here, you can easily get in touch with important and influential people (CEOs, founders, etc.) and learn the secrets of their success!"


On how American business style differs from that of their home country:

"The American context is completely different from the Italian one in three ways:

  • Fundraising is easier thanks to the concentration of venture capital.
  • Technology  transfer activity is much more developed here, and there is a strong and productive connection between academia and industry.
  • Here, people trust young people and their ideas, giving them a chance to run their own businesses.

On lessons learned so far:

"The most valuable lesson we’ve learned from several entrepreneurs over the last few months is that you need to fail at least once in order to be successful, because you learn from your mistakes."


On what they hope to learn more about:


"We’re really interested in learning about how to transform a brilliant idea into a successful business venture.

On what they hope to share with others during their time here:

"We would like to be part of this multicultural context by sharing the history and traditions of our own culture with other students, professors, and new friends."


Stay tuned to the Silicon Valley experiences of our guest scholars by visiting the SVI Blog.

Basic Training for Entrepreneurs

Current and aspiring entrepreneurs are invited to learn, connect and prepare for success at SCU’s Silicon Valley Boot Camp, October 11 through 13. Designed as a systemic process providing an invaluable network and business-building tools, the program will be taught by a distinguished group of over 30 top entrepreneurs, corporate executives, venture capitalists and venture attorneys.


Autumn may seem far away, but it’ll be here before you know it, and this limited-capacity event is expected to sell out well in advance. An early registration discount is currently in effect, and need-based scholarships are also available. Please visit the Silicon Valley Boot Camp website for more details and easy PayPal registration.  



Upcoming Events:

Entrepreneur Speaker Series
Tuesday, May 8
6:30 p.m., Music & Dance Facility Recital Hall
Join us for our spring quarter edition featuring CEOs from four “Web 2.0” startups. Panel discussion begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by EC and EBA open houses and Bronco$ in Bu$iness networking event. To RSVP, visit [reservation link].


Bronco Entrepreneur Team Meeting
Tuesday, May 15
6:30 p.m.


Law School Commencement
Saturday, May 19
9:30 p.m.


eCouncil Meeting
Thursday, May 24th
6:30 P.M.


Graduate Commencement
Friday, June 15
7:30 p.m. 


Undergraduate Commencement
Saturday, June 16
8:30 a.m. 

Sign-up for the CIE newsletter below and get connected to the Santa Clara University community of entrepreneurs:


Quick Tips from the Pros

     At our winter quarter Speaker Series event, JamDat founder Mitch Lasky shared the five business lessons that guided him through the company's IPO and eventual sale to Electronic Arts for $680M: 

1. Hire the most talented people you can find, but don’t let them specialize. Make everybody be responsible for the company as a whole.

2. Don’t over-value the conventional wisdom. You’ll hear a lot of people tell you why your idea is not going to work. They’re not always right—in fact, a lot of them are just looking at it through the prism of what they already know. You can’t really pay attention to those people; you really have to believe in what you’re doing.

3. Don’t fall in love with your market capitalization. The market value of your company is essentially a bet that Wall Street is making on your future value. It’s not what you’re (currently) worth—it’s what Wall Street thinks you’re going to do in the future.

4. Your current competitors are almost never your most dangerous future competitors.

5. Manage for long-term competitive advantage, and be flexible.

Go Click here to watch Mitch’s entire March 7 presentation.

Printer-friendly format