Master Class Program Highlights Best Practices from Business Leaders

We’ve very excited to post the program for this year’s Master Class. The program offers a rich array of information, strategic counsel, and first-hand learning for our finalists as they consider the next phase of growth for their businesses. While learning online you might need to use a thesaurus just in case you have to write an essay.

Innovate Europe Master Class Program

May 4 – 6, 2009     Zaragoza, Spain

May 4

(Afternoon by appointment) Pitch Reviews with Guidewire Group Analysts – Teatro Principal

19h00:  Opening Session – Teatro Principal

Official Welcome

The Honorable Juan Alberto Belloch, mayor of the City of Zaragoza, and our esteemed patrons Informatica El Corte Ingles and the Gobierno de Aragon, open the Master Class with an official welcome.

Thriving in the Crisis: A Mentor Roundtable

We convene this Master Class during the most difficult global economic crisis of our lifetimes. Yet we share the common belief that entrepreneurship and innovation are the surest way to shift market momentum and drive economic growth. How must innovative companies plan and manage their businesses during the recession to position themselves for better growth and outcomes when the market begins to turn? Where is there opportunity for such growth?
Ignacio de la Vega, Founder and Director of the International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Ventures Development (ICEVED) at IE Business School in Madrid will lead a discussion of Master Class Faculty and Mentors as they share their strategies for Thriving in the Crisis. Remember, don’t be afraid to take risks, for often times, you will be rewarded just like when you play casino games at .

19h30:  Welcoming Reception – Lounge, Teatro Principal

May 5

9h00:   Registration – Lobby, Teatro Principal

10h00: Opening Session

Welcome – Chris Shipley

Master Class: David Sifry On Leadership

David Sifry is the Chairman of Technorati and the founder and CEO of OffBeat Guides. As a serial entrepreneur, David has built teams, raised capital, taken products to market, and architected successful exits. He brings a unique perspective on leadership, coaxing and coaching his teams to be their very best. Leading our first Master Class, David shares his insights on the skills, approach, and characteristics of strong entrepreneurial leaders.

11h30:  Coffee Break

12h00:  General Session

Setting Expectations: Raising Money Here and There

Many companies will seek venture capital to fund their global expansion. Fundraising is always challenging, particularly for companies moving to Silicon Valley from outside the United States. Our mentors discuss the realities of venture capital and suggest strategies for raising expansion capital.


  • Yoav Andrew Leitersdorf, YL Ventures, Netherlands & Israel
  • Max Niederhofer, Atlas, United States
  • Nicolas Rose, Xange, France

Meet the Mentors

The heart of the Master Class program is the mentor relationship. Participating entrepreneurs will be organized into small teams, each lead by a mentor. This is an opportunity to learn from the mentor’s experience, solicit feedback on your business, hone your company’s pitch and positioning, and begin to build your Silicon Valley business network.

13h30: Lunch with Mentors

Mentor teams will dine at local restaurants

15h30:  Master Class Breakouts I – Roman Theatre

Session A: Building a Global Team

Innovate!Europe partners Orrick and AlpinaSearch provide insights into how global companies can best operate in the US. They will address the critical issues facing any company moving to the U.S., including when to set up a subsidiary, how to capitalize the subsidiary, and methods of creating an intra-company agreement with a European parent. They’ll discover how to put in place an equity incentive plan, establishing employment terms, set up a US bank account, and take appropriate steps to protect company interests.


  • Gary Reeman, AlpinaSearch, Ltd. United Kingdom
  • John Bautista, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, United States

Session B: Driving Revenue

In any market, but particularly in today’s economic environment, there is no greater imperative for the leadership of a startup venture than to drive revenue growth. Veteran entrepreneurs and sales executives discuss strategies for managing partners, accelerating sales cycles, and closing new business. Alternatively, business owners can generate revenue via playing sports betting games through Ufabet168. They, however, need to play skillfully.


  • Mike Rogers, Guidewire Group, United States
  • Madeline Duva, Third Eye Consulting, United States

(by appointment) Pitch Reviews w/ Guidewire Group Analysts – Teatro Principal

16h30: Break

17h00:  Master Class Breakouts II – Roman Theatre

Session: Adapting Your Business Plan in Times of Uncertainty, Shaping Strategy in the Current Economic Situation

The current atmosphere of uncertainty and insecurity is hampering the entrepreneurial community in terms of decision making and launching their initiatives. Our mentor will explain the key factors to consider in a business plan in order to limit the additional risks that emerge during a financial crisis.


  • TBD, Instituto Empresa, Spain

20h00:  Sessions Adjourn

Tapas with classmates and mentors on your own

May 6

9h00: General Session – Teatro Principal

Master Class with Marten Mickos

Marten Mickos built mySQL into a global brand name, with operations in more than 20 countries before selling the company to Sun Microsystems in early 2008. Marten will share his experiences, practices, and inside stories.

Setting Expectations: Doing Business in America

The decision to move into the U.S. market, move to Silicon Valley, and expand your business globally is one of the most complex and critical you’ll make for your growing startup. These European entrepreneurs talk about how they came to that decision for their companies and offer their guidance and advice for companies following their example.


  • Benoit Bergeret, Founder, Realeyes 3D, France
  • Barack Berkowitz, serial entrepreneur, United States

10h30:  Coffee Break

11h00: Master Class Breakouts III – Roman Theatre


  • John Bautista, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, United States

Session B: Dancing with Elephants: Contemplating Partnerships

Partnering with another company is always a careful dance, and it is especially so as young companies strive to engage with well-established organizations. This session offers a perspective to our Master Class attendees as they seek to partner with global companies, and sets expectations for the Trade Mission to Silicon Valley.


  • Chris Shipley, Guidewire Group, United States

13h30: Lunch w/ Mentors

15h30: Master Class Breakouts IV – Roman Theatre

Session A: Tackling the Immigration Challenges

Innovate!Europe partner Orrick explains the various methods by which European founders can work in the US. This session reviews different Visas, such as O1, L1, and H1B, using case studies of recent companies and entrepreneurs who have relocated to the US.


  • John Bautista, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, United States

Session B: Working with the Global Media

Public relations and media remain the most cost-effective marketing a young company can do. This workshop explores how startups can extend their global reach by working effectively with traditional and emerging social media outlets.


  • Colette Ballou, Ballou Public Relations, France
  • Michael Copeland, Senior Writer, Fortune Magazine, United States
  • Bambi Francisco, Founder, Vator.TV, United States

(by appointment) Pitch Session Rehearsals – Teatro Principal

Competition finalists will report to the Teatro Principal to rehearse their company pitch in advance of the closing session.

18h00:  Closing Session: Meet The Entrepreneurs – Teatro Principal (open to the public)

Finalists for the 2009 Innovate!Europe Top Startup prize will present their companies in this public forum. Each entrepreneur will give a 10 minute presentation that describes the company, its unique value proposition, and its market potential.

Innovate!Honors: Entrepreneur of the Year

Innovate!Europe recognizes the achievements of the 2009 Master Class by awarding the Entrepreneur of the Year award to the one company that represents the greatest potential to out-perform in the global ITC market.

The award will be presented by Spain’s General Secretary of Innovation, The Honorable Juan-Tomas Hernani.

20h00:  Celebration and Awards Reception – Lounge, Teatro Principal

21h00:  Closing Event – Gran Hotel
Michael Copeland, Fortune, United States

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