Open Forum 2017 - Keynote Speaker

We are expecting 1000+ attendees, making it the biggest OPEN annual forum to date. We have a great line-up of speakers that will talk about Virtual Reality, AI, Digital Health, Cloud, IoT, Security, Fund Raising, among other topics! We are also very excited to announce keynote speaker for this year:

Tariq M. Shaukat,  President of Google Cloud.

At Google, Tariq is responsible for customer and revenue operations, including sales, customer engineering, support, channel partnerships, and professional services, for the Google Cloud service offerings (G Suite, Google Cloud Platform, Cloud Machine Learning, Android, Chromebooks, Google Maps). Prior to joining Google, Tariq was Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Caesars Entertainment, where he oversaw Marketing, Sales, Information Technology, Analytics, Distribution, and Product across all lines of business, including casino, hotel, restaurants, nightlife, and live entertainment.

Tariq holds a bachelors and masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University, respectively, and a masters degree in Technology and Policy from MIT.

For early bird discount, register now:

Design Thinking Workshop

The Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America (OPEN) and Pakathon are bringing you a Design Thinking Workshop. The workshop will be led by Sarah Adeel, Founder and President of LettuceBee Kids, a social enterprise in Pakistan that teaches street children creativity. We will be using her social enterprise as a case study to help participants understand the challenges and opportunities of setting up a social enterprise in Pakistan. The workshop will conclude with a talk by Waqas Ali, the co-founder of Markhor, which is a YC company that makes modern handcrafted shoes by craftsman in Pakistan

For just $10 come spend a few hours on Sunday January 29th with your friends in San Francisco to learn valuable Design Thinking principles! Lunch and all materials will be provided at this workshop and networking event! 

At this workshop you will :

  • Understand how to apply human-centered design principles to tackle problems in Pakistan and around the world
  • Learn techniques to improve ideation, collaboration and prototyping
  • Apply what you have learned in a Project at the Workshop

12:00 -12:30 Lunch + Networking
12:30 -12:45 Speaker
12:45 - 3:15 Design Thinking Workshop
3:15 - 3:30 Speaker

Date: Sunday January 29, 2017
Time: 12 - 3:30pm (sharp)
Location: Peanut Labs / Research Now Office
180 Montgomery Street Suite 1700, San Francisco, CA 94104

Mentorship Breakfast with the Director of Google Cloud

OPEN Silicon Valley's Ask-Me-Anything Mentoring events provide a terrific opportunity for entrepreneurs and industry professionals to meet with experts in a relaxed and informal setting. Attendees get valuable business advice, career feedback and build relationships!

This OPEN SV Ask-Me-Anything Mentoring event is hosted by Shahla Aly, Senior Business Executive, Google.

  • OPEN-SV members - Free
  • Non-members - $30

When: 8:30AM, Friday, Jan 20, 2017
Where: To Be Announced day before the event to attendees only
(Mountain View, CA)

Join our team - Volunteer Meeting on December 14th

Wednesday December 14th, OPEN Silicon Valley will hold a Volunteer Planning Meeting for our Flagship Conference, OPEN Forum 2017. 

In this meeting we will begin to shape the Conference. We will narrow down on Tracks for the conference, begin planning logistics, and create a list of Speakers that we would like to have at the Conference. 

If you are looking for an exciting opportunity to help put together a world-class conference, this is your chance! We are looking for energetic volunteers with a passion for:

  • Website Development (Wordpress)
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Partnerships / Sponsorships
  • Operations : Event Planning & Logistics
  • Blogger
  • Photography

    If you want to join our exciting team, please RSVP. Dinner will be provided. 

Date: Wednesday December 14th
Time: 6:00 - 8:00pm (sharp)
Location: Plug & Play Tech Center (Sunnyvale, CA)
440 N Wolfe Rd., Sunnyvale, CA 94085
oom: Siera Madre

Clean Energy : The Vision & Reality

The energy sector today is experiencing an unprecedented transformation through the accelerating adoption of distributed and clean energy technologies to meet the challenge of climate change and the reliability requirements for a digitally enabled 21st century. 

Our discussion will provide an overview of the clean energy landscape with a focus on how in the electricity sector corporate customers are leading the way through innovative projects that balance cost, reliability, and sustainability.

Brook Porter, Partner Kleiner Perkins

Asim Hussain, VP Marketing and Customer Experience Bloom Energy

Date: November 17th, 2016
Time: 6p-8p
Location: Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
2550 Hanover Street,  Palo Alto, CA 94304

Explore the Millennial Pakistan

We invite you to embark on a journey to explore the millennial Pakistan on, Sunday October 30th. OPEN Silicon Valley will host this event along with Telenor CEO and Sr. Executives to explore the startup landscape and opportunities in Pakistan. 

Telenor is playing a key role in enabling Pakistan's digital future by journey into the future - providing the basic building blocks such as mobile banking, connectivity and communications. Pakistan is changing rapidly, come join us to find out more about these opportunities!

This event is designed to provide insight to Executives, Investors (VC / Angel), Entrepreneurs, & Business Professionals. So if you are interested in the Startup Landscape and opportunities in Pakistan, this event is for you!

FREE Lunch will be provided at 12pm. 105 members have already registered. We have few seats left. 

Date: Sunday October 30th
Time: 12 - 2p (FREE Lunch Provided)
Location: Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
2550 Hanover Street,  Palo Alto, CA 94304

Mentorship Breakfast w/ Riaz Karamali

This Friday, September 30th, there will be an Ask Me Anything : Mentorship Breakfast hosted by Riaz Karamali, Partner @ Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. The breakfast will be 8:30 - 9:30. Once you register, the location of the event will be emailed to you. 

Riaz has extensive experience in corporate law, venture finance, private equity, strategic mergers and acquisitions and technology transactions. He has worked with hundreds of start-up and emerging companies, guiding them from their pre-founding stages through their angel and venture capital financing rounds, significant commercial contracts and strategic alliances to their ultimate exit transactions. 

OPEN Silicon Valley's Ask-Me-Anything Mentoring events provide terrific opportunity for entrepreneurs and industry professionals to meet with experts in a relaxed, informal setting. They help get valuable business advice, career feedback and build relationships. Participants deliver an elevator pitch for 30 to 60 seconds, and the guest mentor provides immediate feedback, enabling fast, effective, accessible mentoring and relationship development.

8:30AM, Friday, Sept 30th, 2016
Palo Alto, CA
(To Be Announced day before the event to attendees only)

Financial Workshop

This coming Tuesday, September 20th, OPEN Silicon Valley will host a free personal finance workshop sponsored by Total Wealth Solutions. 

Heidi Kaney (VP, T. Rowe Price) , will discuss the following and much more!

  • Balancing priorities and what makes women's finances unique
  • Impact of Financial Decisions to Changing Life Events   
  • How to work withFinancial Professionals  
  • How to pursue Financial Independence

Q&A session:  Heidi Kaney and Imran Jaffer, Chief Wealth Strategist, founder and CEO of Total Wealth Solutions

Date: Tuesday September 20th
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Plug & Play Tech Center (Sunnyvale, CA)
440 N Wolfe Rd., Sunnyvale, CA 94085

OPEN-SV: Ask-Me-Anything with Riaz Karamali

Riaz Karamali invited OPEN-SV members for an Ask-Me-Anything event on a Friday morning in September. There were seven attendees who introduced themselves and asked for advice from Riaz.

Riaz told he currently deals mostly with privately held emerging growth companies -- advising their founders and executives, attending board meetings and advising them on legal issues, venture financings and exit transactions.  He has helped hundreds of companies in their licensing, venture financing, “exit” and M&A activities.

Riaz fielded questions from each attendee encompassing how to create an app-user licensing agreement, equity grants, venture funding, founder relationships and their equity distribution, metrics for a freeware/shareware, and crowd-funding among many others.

Responding to question on how to evaluate and estimate a stock grant offered by a startup as compensation, Riaz mentioned that usually private companies do not disclose complete details of ownership, but a prospective employee should definitely ask for how many shares are in the “fully diluted capitalization” as that will allow you to calculate the percentage of the company you are being offered.  However, in order to estimate how much you might receive in a hypothetical exit transaction, it is important to understand the liquidation preferences of the preferred stock, if any, as those amounts will typically be paid out in advance of any payments to Common stockholders.   To confirm what you are being told, you can ask to review the company’s certificate of incorporation which contains the details of the liquidation preferences.

Riaz provided a high-level overview of the need to incorporate and allocate shares to the founding team in a timely basis.   Often, this includes considering allocating founders stock to folks who helped minimally early on. That explicit allocation avoids possibility of someone seeking a larger share claiming to be “one of the founders” once the startup has become valuable.

Regarding crowd sourcing vs VC funding, Riaz opined that non-equity crowd funding may work better for some products and for better gains without diluting ownership. He also discussed merits of LLC vs a C corporation, and basing in the US vs abroad.

Identifying as an important part of IP, Riaz highlighted the need for  a software startup to own its code versus licensing. He stressed  the need to get “assignment” of code from any outsource providers. Responding to a question about bay area high-tech companies going after employees after they leave to found their own gig, Riaz told us that it is important to understand the actual restrictive agreements at play and the specific facts of the situation.  Investors want to know about venturing founders’ work-overlap with their former employers, so getting proper advice up front is key.

Attendees stayed after the event was officially over and had some time to mingle with host and others present. We thanked Riaz for his time and advice while handling diverse issues succinctly in such a brief period of time.

Arif Shamim
Chair, Membership Services, OPEN-SV