NWEN Breakfast Buzz: Funding, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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Who: What keeps you up at night? How to fund your business tops the list for many entrepreneurs, and never more than in 2010. Hit with a barrage of funding (or not so much funding) options, how do you choose: bootstrapping, debt, angel and VC financing, other? What better way than to hear from those who have been there and done that. Join us as our panel of successful entrepreneurs shares their own sometimes very different views on the above, and answer your questions as well! Featuring Dan Shapiro, Founder and former CEO, Ontela (now Photobucket), Charles Seybold, LiquidPlanner, and Robbie Cape, Cozi.


Dan Shapiro, Ontela
Dan is the former CEO and co-founder of Ontela, which merged with Photobucket in December of 2009. He currently holds a seat on the board of directors at the newly formed Photobucket Corporation. Prior to founding Ontela, Dan managed development of the RealArcade service at RealNetworks, enabling thousands of end-users to play classic games such as Monopoly, Scrabble and Rollercoaster Tycoon on their desktops. He arrived at RealNetworks by way of Wildseed, where he managed software development for the Identity Cellular Phone, from the modem to the Linux platform to the user interface. Dan started his career at Microsoft, where he was responsible for Windows XP user interface components, the critically acclaimed Windows PowerToys, Windows 2000 Storage Management, and consumer storage in Windows 98. Dan is a frequent speaker and serves on the Board of Directors of the Washington Technology Industry Association. He has been awarded six patents, and received his B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College.


Charles Seybold, LiquidPlanner
Charles co-founded LiquidPlanner with Jason Carlson in March 2006. For over 25 years, Charles has been building software tools in one form or another. He has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a front-line software engineer for over 10 years before moving into program management, and later executive management. Charles gained his Internet experience as part of the core Expedia development team as the company grew from startup to e-commerce giant. Watching some of the smartest people in the world struggle with managing process and projects led Charles to the realization that dramatically better tools were needed to address today’s project realities. Within the eye of that brainstorm, the idea for LiquidPlanner was born.

Robbie Cape, Cozi
Robbie is the CEO of Cozi (www.cozi.com); he co-founded the company in 2005. Robbie brings 17 years of experience designing software, building teams, and managing software businesses. Robbie’s 12 years “pre-Cozi” were spent at Microsoft. In his most recent experience at Microsoft, Robbie grew a new business to add annuity software service value to the Software Assurance subscription program. The majority of Robbie’s experience is in the roles of program manager, product unit manager, and general manager of the Microsoft Money business. Robbie ushered the Money business to profitability with revenues of more than $65 million and put Microsoft Money on the map as a formidable competitor to Intuit’s Quicken. Robbie has a deep love for building businesses, products, and teams that build high-quality, simple software consistently and on time. Robbie holds a B.A. in Science and Engineering from Princeton University. He lives in the suburbs of Seattle with his wife, Bonnie, and their three children, Benjamin, Noah, and Dalia. An interesting factoid about Robbie: he knits.