The First 2 Years: From Ideas to a Funded, Viable Start-up


The session will discuss key areas a start-up should focus on during
the first two years of its life. From fleshing out the idea, to
validating the market, to getting the first pilot customer and to
building out the team of key employees, stakeholders and investors.
Where should an entrepreneurial team direct their energies? What are
the common pitfalls?

The speaker will also walk through scenarios and experiences from the
two venture-funded startups he founded and led as its CEO before their
acquisition by Commerce One and by IBM.

Vice President and Global Solutions Leader
Manoj Saxena is the Vice President and Global Solutions Leader for IBM Global Business Services (GBS). His responsibilities include leading the worldwide strategy, development, alliances, go-to-market management and integration of asset-based solutions for IBM’s multi-billion dollar Global Solutions business. Manoj is an accomplished CEO and serial entrepreneur who has successfully founded, managed, and sold two venture-backed software companies within a five year span: Webify, an emerging leader in industry-specific SOA middleware, was acquired by IBM in 2006 and Commerce One bought Exterprise, a business process collaboration software company in 2001. Previously, he was a Business Unit leader with 3M Company. A frequent speaker at industry and business conferences, Manoj is the recipient of multiple awards including “Entrepreneur of the Year” and “IT Technologist of the Year”. He serves on the Advisory Board of Global Giving which is pioneering an innovative global marketplace for philanthropy and on Michigan State University’s Center for Venture Capital, Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Finance. Manoj was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award by Michigan State University, from where he had received his MBA in 1989. He also holds a Masters in Management Studies Degree from the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India.