Free Ventures Visits Greylock Partners & Sequoia Capital

We’ve been working hard this semester at Free Ventures, and we’re more excited about our current batch than ever. Last week, we visited Greylock Partners and Sequoia Capital with our teams for a fun-filled day on Sand Hill Road.

Greylock Partners

At Greylock’s office, our teams each gave a pitch on their respective companies to investor Sarah Guo. This was a really great experience for the teams, and they gained valuable feedback from Sarah on both their product and their pitches. The teams got advice from Sarah on how to better prepare for Demo Day and the future. Sitting in the conference room at a large wooden table, it felt like the teams were pitching to raise money from Greylock and having the teams pitch in this atmosphere was a really unique experience.

Sitting in Greylock's awesome conference room!

Sitting in Greylock's awesome conference room!

The teams finished their pitches, and we had a round table Q&A session with Sarah. Questions ranged from “What do investors look for when making an investment” to “How do I become a venture capitalist?”. Overall it was an awesome learning experience, and we can’t wait to come back!


Sequoia Capital

We finished up our visit to Greylock, and headed down the street to Sequoia Capital for lunch with partner Aaref Hilaly. The conversation with Aaref focused mainly on how to build a startup, and he shared a lot of his personal stories about starting his own company. Aaref’s stories were very relatable, and talking with him provided our teams with a lot of inspiration. We were able to get valuable insight on what makes a successful business, and how to stimulate growth.

After we had cleaned our plates, Juliette Perfettini gave us a tour of the office and we got the insider’s look at how a VC firm operates. We saw the office of Sequoia founder Don Valentine, often called the “Grandfather of Silicon Valley venture capital”. Sequoia’s office is beautiful, and we were very lucky to be one of the select few allowed inside. We said our goodbyes, and headed back to the East Bay to prep for Demo Day!

Free Ventures at Sequoia

Free Ventures at Sequoia

Demo Day

Free Ventures’s semi-annual Demo Day is coming up on May 4th from 7–9pm! We have a great panel of judges, an awesome keynote speaker (Prakash Janakiraman — CTO Nextdoor), and amazing teams. We hope to see you there; you can grab your ticket here!

Demo Day is Coming up Fast!

With Demo Day on its way (mark your calendars for May 4th!), the Free Ventures Spring 2015 teams are working late nights. To give you an idea of what they’ve been up to the last few weeks, here are some updates from our teams. Click here to see full descriptions of what our teams are working on. 

Instant eSports is on track to shipping out their core product this early April. The team's been focusing heavily on building the various components required. eSports fan stay tuned for the ultimate eSports experience coming your way!

Wist has a final direction in design for their restaurant facing app. We have a 7 day intensive "hackathon" scheduled for the first week of April which should be all we need to launch our MVP.

With help from FreeV mentors, Improving Outcomes has finalized our HIPAA compliance plan (which wasn't easy!). With some good early feedback we're focused on building out our core features to reach a fully-functional MVP that we can pilot with real providers and patients!

Zypper has spent the last month interviewing IT analysts and vendors about our product. After an exciting pivot, Zypper is diving into the design prototyping process and gearing up for our next challenge - incorporation.

C. Light Technologies has perfected our pitch; whether we're talking to scientists, businesspeople, or my neighbor, we get everyone excited about what we're doing. As a result, our clinician network is booming and we are sitting down with our target customers almost daily. For updates, check us out on Twitter @ClightTech or

Rooster is working on a big version with lots of goodies! Coming up: categorization of Rooster posts, a new FAQ section, a nationally available waiting list sign up and of course: the first unveiling of our cute feathery mascot. Stay tuned.

Keep checking back with our blog to hear more updates from our teams, observations from mentors, insights from the FreeV team, and more! If you have questions or suggestions of blog posts you might want to hear from us, feel free to drop us a line on our Contact page.

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