Lumenetix acquired by ERP Power
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It is our pleasure to introduce Jon Zakin, CEO of GeoTix, one of our Fund II portfolio companies. Prior to taking on this role, Zakin has had a long and successful career in the tech industry as an operating executive, advisor and early-stage investor.
Zakin served as the EVP of Sales and Marketing, EVP of Strategy and Business Development and Board Member of US Robotics. He then joined Ripplewood Holdings as an Industrial Partner and acquired Western Multiplex/Proxim (NASDAQ: WMUX/PROX), becoming their President, CEO and Chairman of the Board. He was a founding partner of Batterson, Cross & Zakin, a Chicago-based venture capital firm. Most recently, he served as President of Masterstream Software, a SaaS company.
Advice for entrepreneurs:
There are lots of people who are smart, but building successful companies is hard. The first magic ingredient needed is passion. If I am not truly passionate, I move on. Second is to look for a good partner that can balance your skill set. It’s much easier, much more fun and much less risky if there is more than one person involved. Think Apple, Facebook, Intel, Microsoft, Google, YouTube, Twitter, etc.
Team building strategies:
An early-stage company needs a unique type of employee, which means it needs a specific selection criterion that recognizes what it takes to succeed and thrive in this environment. It’s easier to teach the requisite knowledge of the job to someone with the right personality than it is to teach the right personal traits to someone with the necessary job knowledge. I look for four traits: aggressiveness and the will to win, comfort with uncertainty because things will change, fearlessness and the confidence to make mistakes, learn and move on, and intellectual horsepower. These traits cannot be taught, but if a person has these traits, they can learn whatever they need to be successful.
What keeps you up at 3 am?
Fear that we are not growing fast enough, and if we don’t get bigger sooner, someone will squash us. Grow or die.
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