LAUNCH "Office Hours with Angels and Entrepreneurs"

Our second stage at the LAUNCH Festival is where you can have an intimate 30-minute discussion with people who have the expertise to address the biggest challenges you're facing right now, like building a team, raising money, perfecting a product and coping with the highs and lows of entrepreneurial life. Jason Nazar and Andrew Warner have agreed to moderate these discussions.

Cyan Banister
Cyan Banister is the founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of Zivity, a subscription and voting based artist-fan interaction platform for models, photographers and video artists. Since launching at TechCrunch40 in 2007, Zivity has raised $8M. Her angel investments include Topsy, OtherInbox, Powerset, Uber, Tagged, Space-X, Slide and EcoMom, and she is a consultant to several celebrities. Cyan is also a contributing writer at TechCrunch and host of "Speaking of..." on TechCrunch TV where she interviews founders and investors to show the human side of the tech business.

David Cohen
TechStars co-founder and CEO David Cohen has made the Boulder-based accelerator the heart of the local tech community as well as led its expansion to three cities, shared its successful model with innovation-hungry cities worldwide, and co-authored the instant classic "Do More Faster." Prior to TechStars, he founded several software and web technology companies. As an angel he has made about 170 investments in companies including Uber, Twilio, Sendgrid and Groupme. Conversation hint: he loves tennis (Andre Agassi is his favorite pro), and was previously the best (4.5 level) amateur player in Colorado.

"Every angel investor is a winner, right? You hear that all the time...only 10 to 20% are actually winners. Most people who play the angel investing game are going to lose, and just remember that as an entrepreneur." -- Presentation at Ignite Boulder on what angel investors are thinking.

Tony Conrad
Both an entrepreneur and a VC, Tony Conrad has founded two companies that AOL eventually acquired: and Sphere. As a founding venture partner at True Ventures, he has invested in 30+ early stage technology companies, most notably Automattic, Milk, Typekit and MakerBot. He says his biggest missed opportunity was ZocDoc, which has raised nearly $100M to date. We find it hard to believe that this globetrotter, who has lived in Europe and Asia, grew up in a small farming community in Indiana.

Brad Gerstner
Brad Gerstner is founder and CEO of Altimeter Capital Management, a Boston-based hedge fund focused on internet, technology, travel, leisure, and hospitality. He is also the founder and chairman of Room 77, a hotel search engine that won Best Overall at LAUNCH '11. He has made over 40 private deals, including Zillow, Orbitz, Farecast, ITA, Silver Rail, Nor 1, Room 77, Trover, Real Self, Ostrovok, Fundly and Hotel Tonight. His biggest missed opportunity was Groupon. Outside of work, he loves adventure sports -- but you might be surprised to know he's a pilot too.

Dave Goldberg
Dave Goldberg, the CEO of SurveyMonkey, is a successful entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and technology and music industry executive. He founded and sold music-related content site LAUNCH Media to Yahoo! in 2001, serving as VP and GM of Yahoo! Music for a number of years before becoming an entrepreneur in residence with Benchmark Capital. As an angel he has invested in 20 startups over the last four years, including Peixe Urbano, Nextdoor, Small Demons and 99Designs. His biggest missed opportunity was Siri. But he's one of the few tech entrepreneurs who can say he started his first company before Netscape and Yahoo were founded.

Rob Hayes
Rob is a Managing Partner at First Round Capital where he runs the San Francisco office. Rob has led investments in companies such as (acquired by Intuit), HomeRun (acquired by Rearden Commerce), Uber, TaskRabbit,AppFog, Get Satisfaction, and DNAnexus. Previously, Rob was at Omidyar Network where he led most of their initial venture capital deals and later built and ran the technology investing group. Before that, Rob was at Palm where he started up their corporate venture fund and managed the strategy effort around Palm OS that led to the spinout of PalmSource.

Tony Hsieh
Tony Hsieh is a baller in his own right. In 1999, at age 24, he sold LinkExchange, an online advertising network he co-founded, to Microsoft for $265M. Since becoming CEO of Zappos in 2000, the company has grown from almost nothing to over $1B in gross merchandise sales annually; Amazon acquired Zappos in 2009 for $850M. Tony is also the author of the New York Times best-seller Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose, in which he reveals how his failed attempt to become the "number one worm seller in the world" at age 9 sparked his entrepreneurial spirit. Now he runs a company that, not surprisingly, has ranked on Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list for the last three years.

Jason Nazar [ moderator ]
Jason Nazar is the co-founder and CEO of, which provides the best quality and largest selection of documents and resources for small businesses. He was previously a partner at Venture LLC, a venture consulting group where he helped grow dozens of companies. He holds a JD/MBA from Pepperdine University and a BA from UC Santa Barbara. Like us, you might be surprised to know that Jason was a suicide hotline counselor (no deaths on his watch!) and a stage hypnotist.

Peter Pham
Peter is a partner at Science Inc, a new incubator in Los Angeles. Most recently he was a second-time entrepreneur in residence at Trinity Ventures identifying great LA companies to invest in. He co-founded and served as president of Color, which is exploring the future of mobile and social interactions through proximity, and before that was CEO of BillShrink. While VP of business development at Photobucket, he helped drive growth to 61M users and led its $300M acquisition in 2007 by Fox Interactive Media, a division of News Corp.

Katie Rae
Katie Rae is the managing director of TechStars in Boston and a founder of Project 11, a firm that invests in and assists early-stage startups. Most recently she was the Head of Product for Microsoft Startup Labs, an early-stage product development lab focused on collaboration, location-based services and social applications, where concepts were tested for consumer enthusiasm. Before that she was SVP of Product at Eons, a business focused on new products for the 50+ community. Katie pioneered early freemium business models at Lycos for the Tripod and Angelfire communities.

Naval Ravikant
It's not hyperbole to say that Naval Ravikant has blown up the angel-investing space with AngelList, which has attracted over 13K startups and 2.5K investors and led to at least 1K individual investments. Before co-founding AngelList, he co-founded Genoa Corp, Epinions and As an angel he's made 20 active and 30 passive investments, including Twitter, but he's most involved with SnapLogic, HeyZap, Context Logic and a few others. His biggest missed opportunities: Twilio and Dropbox. Don't forget, though, that he's still busting his butt as an entrepreneur with AngelList!

"Silicon Valley, like any magnet place, like Hollywood or New York, will attract a lot of very good talkers, and you have to separate them out from the do-ers. The way you do that is by looking at what they've built and how much they've managed to accomplish with very little resources." -- Interview with GigaOM.

Andrew Warner [ moderator ]
Andrew Warner runs Mixergy, a project where proven entrepreneurs teach how they built their businesses. Participants include the founders of LivingSocial, 37signals, Sun Microsystems, Y Combinator and LinkedIn, though he notes he gets the least amount of traffic for his most meaningful interviewees: founders of failed companies. Andrew previously built Bradford & Reed, a $30+ million a year online greeting card company. In case you were wondering, Andrew plans to continue interviewing founders until he dies -- "and then I plan to interview Andrew Carnegie in heaven," he says.

Andrea Zurek
Andrea Zurek is an ex-Googler sales-whiz turned angel and founding partner for XG Ventures, which invests in and advises early-stage startups -- some of them acquired by Google. Her investments include Posterous, TwitVid, MyLikes and BackType. While at Google, where she was one of the original sales people, Andrea built and managed the West Coast sales region, leading over 30 sales people with annual bookings of $100M+. She is also on the board of Santa Clara University's Business School.