There was electricity coming out of the California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference last week at the San Diego State University Lavin Center. Many senior entrepreneurship faculty spoke an an array of topics, each special in their own way. Your editor’s favorite was a Q and A session between retiring Alex DeNoble, Ph.D chair of the Aztec program and his long-time collaborator, Brian Dovey, a venture capitalist.
Left Brian Dovery, Alex DeNoble
Brian Dovey is Co-Dean of the Kauffman Fellows Program and has been a Partner of Domain Associates since 1988. Since joining Domain, he has served as Chairman of Athena Neurosciences, Creative BioMolecules, and Univax Biologics and on the Board of Directors of some 30+ additional companies. He served as Co-Dean of the Kauffman Fellows Program and has been a Partner of Domain Associates since 1988. Prior to Domain, Mr. Dovey spent six years at Rorer Group (now Sanofi Aventis as a result of subsequent mergers). As President of Rorer from 1986 to 1988, he was the primary architect of this Fortune 500 company’s strategic shift to pharmaceuticals that resulted in a doubling of annual sales to approximately $1 billion.
Mr. Dovey has served as both President and Chairman of the National Venture Capital Association. He is Chair of the Wistar Institute, a leader in preclinical bio-medical research in the non-profit sector. He is Trustee Emeritus of Germantown Academy and a former Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.
Having made his connection, we posed this question, “What is your advice for motivating students to desire a startup? His answer is based on hundreds of startups and worth noting -“Don’t struggle waiting for the perfect idea. 5 guys is an “average” idea and Zappos a “bad” idea but we’ll executed. So go for it. Second don’t be afraid of failure. VCs and most employers like to see some blooded people. A bad project doesn’t mean a bad person.”