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Venture capitalists to speak on September 15

by Melissa Paulsen, Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

September 10, 2005

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Notre Dame’s Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Mendoza College of Business will present Panel Discussion – Advice from Entrepreneurial Experts to be held on Thursday, September 15, 2005 from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Jordan Auditorium with pizza and networking opportunities to follow in the Mendoza Atrium.

The panel will be moderated by Tom Mendoza, President of Network Appliance (NetApp), who speaks extensively about corporate culture and leadership and is a major benefactor of the College. Tom Mendoza will be joined on the panel by by James Lau and David Hitz, Co-Founders of NetApp. In 1992 Hitz and Lau had a desire to simplify storage the way Cisco simplified networking. Since its inception in 1992 and subsequent launch, NetApp has achieved $1.6 Billion in revenues for FY2005 and now employs 3,900 people worldwide.

The panel will also feature Notre Dame alumni: Gary Gigot, General Partner of Frazier Technology Ventures; Tom Crotty, General Partner of Battery Ventures; and Tim Connors, General Partner of US Venture Partners. All three are prominent venture capitalists with extensive experience working with start-up companies.

The panelists will discuss topics such as recognizing new business opportunities and surrounding oneself with the people and skills necessary to ensure a successful venture and launch. The panelists will also offer advice to enterprising entrepreneurs, including answering the question, “What do you know now that you wish you knew then?”

Entrepreneurial-minded students from across the University should consider attending this event, including all those interested in participating in the Gigot Center’s Business Plan Competitions. The topics discussed will not only impact those considering launching new ventures, but will offer noteworthy advice and information to anyone considering a career in business and/or technology.