April 29, 2016

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EMP receives a Crash Course in Venture Capital

Written by: Michael Olague

Last Friday, the Laval Entrepreneur Mentor Program (EMP) students kicked off another insightful meeting with an appetizing lunch from The Elbow Room, courtesy of the Central Valley Fund. During the course of the meal, mentees discussed the outcome of the Spring 2016 Mentee Mixer, held on Thursday night. Special thanks to the mentees whose contributions resulted in the overall success of the mixer. 

After lunch, Conrad Kimball presented his entrepreneurial journey. Kimball touched on major milestones throughout his life, stressing that family, close personal relationships, and rebounding from failure formed a strong foundation from which he attributes his current success.

Following Kimball, EMP students were pleased to welcome Brad Triebsch, managing partner at the Central Valley Fund (CVF). The Central Valley Fund remains the first successful venture fund operating within the greater Central Valley area. Focusing on small and medium-sized businesses, CVF provides capital used to finance late-stage growth, expansion, acquisitions, ownership transitions and recapitalization. 

When taking on a new client, Triebsch added that CVF tends to focus on growing firms within excess of $10 million in revenue, a minimum $1 million in free cash flow, strong operating history, and experienced management. In his experience, Triebsch stresses geographical proximity as one of CVF’s competitive advantages. “Investment capital likes to be close to its investment,” he said. 

Treibsch left us with not only insightful business lessons but also a piece of life advice. "There are three kinds of people," he said. "Really good people whom you have a symbiotic relationship with, ok people, who are not helpful, but not hurtful, and bad people who always seem to put you in a bad situation. Don't associate with those kinds of people."

EMP would like to thank Brad Triebsch for sharing his knowledge and wisdom of the world of venture capital with the mentees. His advice was conducive and we will carry it with us for years to come.