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boom among Internet-software startups there. Mendelson was one of four co-founders of TechStars, a startup accelerator program that has expanded from Boulder to Seattle, Boston, New York, and beyond. Mendelson told me recently that TechStars has proven to be model that is relatively easy to franchise, so one question that will likely be raised is whether a similar low-cost accelerator program could work in San Diego.
Joining Mendelson for the discussion will be Scott Kupor, a partner and chief operating officer at Andreesen Horowitz. He will be bringing insights he’s gleaned from the Menlo Park, CA-based venture firm’s investments in such Internet startups as Pinterest, RockMelt, Zynga, Twitter, and Facebook. Rounding out the session will be Chuck McDermott, a general partner in the Boston office of RockPort Capital who is focused on venture investments in cleantech, environmental sustainability, and renewable energy.
In a literal twist, some of these rock stars of innovation also plan to take the stage at the downtown San Diego Hard Rock Hotel for a VC jam session set for the evening of March 28. RockPort Capital’s McDermott will be leading the Chuck McDermott Band in a show hosted by Bill Walton, the San Diego basketball legend and a lifelong Grateful Dead fan. The Foundry Group’s Mendelson, who is lead vocalist of the band Soul Patch, plans to chime in as needed, along with David Cremin of DFJ Frontier.
Just what this mélange of cross-cultural, generation-spanning musicians will sound like is anybody’s guess. I’m thinking, though, that the young entrepreneurs who work at the vanguard of innovation will say it sounds pretty good. Did I say pretty good? I meant really good. Really, really good.
The jam session and hard rock networking event are included as part of the Rock Stars of Innovation Summit. Again, you can get your tickets and more information here. But you better act fast, because it’s unlikely these rock stars will ever play together again.