Current Trends in Entrepreneurial Finance

Please join Silicon Vikings and Babson College for an event that will bring together experts on various aspects of financing new and growing ventures. This discussion will be of interest to investors, intermediaries, and both for-profit and social entrepreneurs. We will focus on who is getting funding and how, as well as what entrepreneurs can do to maximize the value of their organizations through funding choices and financial strategy. The session will be interactive, with plenty of time for Q&A as well as networking.

Please join us at 5:30 pm for networking with lighter food and drinks.

5:30 – 6:00         Registration/Networking
6:00 – 7:15         Panel/Q&A
7:15 – 8:00         Networking/Social



Jacob Donnelly, Senior Vice President, New Island Capital


Jacob.jpg Jacob is responsible for private equity investments in the areas of alternative energy and the environment.  Prior to joining New Island Capital, Jacob was an associate at FloDesign Wind Turbine and also worked with IGNIA Partners; a $100M for-profit impact-investing fund based in Mexico. Previously Jacob was the co-founder of Farm Builders, where he helped launch the company, including receiving an Echoing Green Fellowship award and a major controlling-stake investment from Buchanan Renewables. Jacob began his career as a management consultant.  He earned a B.S. from Babson College, a MPA-ID from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a MBA from the Harvard Business School.


jon.jpg Jon execute investment banking deals for small cap and middle market clients including mergers and acquisitions (M&A), debt financing, and equity capital raise. Areas of focus include special situations and complex capitalizations including mezzanine debt, private placement convertibles, equity warrants, and negotiated secondary offerings of venture capital and private equity held transactions.

Woodside Capital Partners (WCP) is a leading global independent investment bank delivering strategic and financial advice to emerging growth companies. WCP is the Silicon Valley headquarters of M&A International Inc., a global mergers and acquisitions alliance.



Lili Balfour is the founder and CEO of the SoMa-based financial advisory firm, Atelier Advisors, creator of Lean Finance for Startups, Finance Boot Camp for Entrepreneurs, and How to Crowd Fund a Million Dollars, author of Master the Finance Game, and host of the Finance for Entrepreneurs broadcast on Spreecast.

After spending fifteen years in investment management and investment banking, she decided to develop a firm to cater to the specific needs of early-stage companies. At Atelier Advisors, Lili advises leading brands across industries: from tech to consumer goods. In the past, she has advised over 100 brands, including:

Bag, Borrow, or Steal, Visual IQ, Alpha Theory, Derivix, Practice Fusion, Peeled Snacks, Sustainable Minds, Firescope, Chix 6, Duchess Marden, Erin Fetherston, Eckart Tolle, and Stuart Skorman (founder of, Elephant Pharmacy, Hungry Minds, and Clerk Dogs (sold to Netflix)).

Read her blog here



Richard Bliss, Associate Professor of Finance Division at Babson College


Dr. Bliss is an Associate Professor of Finance Division at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. He has been involved in corporate and entrepreneurial finance since 1987, with industry experience that includes time at Touche Ross & Company in New York as a consultant, and senior financial positions at Van Camp Seafood Company and Safety One, Inc., a specialty chemicals start-up. He teaches at the undergraduate, MBA, and executive levels, specializing in the areas of Entrepreneurial Finance, Sustainability, and Corporate Financial Strategy.

Most recently, Dr. Bliss is a member of the Babson team helping to develop and deliver the curriculum for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, a US$500 million initiative designed to create jobs and spur economic activity through greater access to business education, mentors, networks and financial capital. The initiative is currently active in more than 20 cities across the United States and in the UK has reached almost 3,000 small businesses since 2010.

With publications in the areas of corporate finance, entrepreneurship, and banking, Dr. Bliss has an active research agenda. His book, Entrepreneurial Finance: Strategy, Valuation & Deal Structure, co-authored with Janet Kiholm-Smith and Richard L. Smith, was published in April 2011 by the Stanford University Press.

Dr. Bliss holds a Ph.D. in Finance and M.A. in Economics from Indiana University. He has also received his M.B.A. in Finance/Real Estate from Indiana University and graduated with honors from Rutgers University, earning a B.S. degree in Engineering and a B.A. degree in Economics.


Event sponsor & host:








Main sponsors to Silicon Vikings:


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Creative Partner to Silicon Vikings:





Thu, May 1, 2014
5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
(GMT-0700) US/Pacific

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Babson College
135 Main Street
San Francisco

3rd floor