Are You, Were You, Will You Be Ready for IPO?
Late last January, on the heels of BG Medicine and Elixir Pharmaceuticals pulling their planned initial public offerings, I moderated a panel at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium examining the IPO climate and separating myth from reality (IPOs, for instance, are NOT exit events).
The panel was offered by the MIT Enterprise Forum. My knowledgeable, and entertaining guests, included Jonathan Bush, Jr., chairman and CEO of Athenahealth; Gail Goodman, president and CEO of Constant Contact; Jonathan “Jono” Goldstein, managing director of TA Associates; and Bruce Evans, managing partner of Summit Partners. Both Athenahealth and Constant Contact made their public market debuts last fall.
We talked IPO, we talked SPO, we talked lockups, and we talked growth private equity. There were tales of road-show perks—private jets, fine scotch, and black sedans—and the question of who really pays for them. And, of course, we heard about startup and growth travails, from both the entrepreneur and the investor sides. I wrote about one aspect of the evening shortly thereafter, when I outlined Bush’s five things to know about going public in, IPO Advice from the President’s Cousin—Strike That—IPO Advice From a CEO to Whom the President is Related.
But now the whole show is available on the MIT Enterprise Forum site, along with other video podcasts of events the group has put on. Check it out. Take these veterans’ advice to heart. And when the IPO market does turn around, may you be ready.