How to Pick Winners at an Early Stage

On November 4, Sheila Herrling, the Case Foundation’s senior vice president of social innovation, joined the S&R Foundation’s Illuminate event to discuss how to assess risk and find winners in early-stage startups.

Moderated by Ryan Ross, program manager for the Halcyon Incubator, the panel included Sheila, Tien Wong, Todd Klein and Yanev Suiss. Together, they engaged in a robust discussion on picking “winners” at an early stage—including how they deal with the lack of data in early-stage investing, the need for diversifying the geography of venture capital investments, leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs of color and women entrepreneurs and more.

Below is a video of the entire conversation. The first question, and Sheila’s opening statement, begins at the 4:18 minute mark.

Here is a little more about the distinguished panelists featured in the video:

Sheila Herrling
Sheila Herrling, senior vice president for social innovation at Case Foundation, leads the foundation’s efforts to develop and implement mission-driven domestic and international initiatives, expand tech for good platforms, leverage partnerships, promote entrepreneurial approaches to social change, and build a robust portfolio of social and impact investments.

Tien Wong
Mr. Tien Wong is chairman and CEO of Tech 2000, Inc., a Virginia-based EdTech company providing e-learning, learning analytics and mobile sales enablement software to Fortune 500, education and government clients. An active angel investor, he is also chairman of Opus8, Inc., a private investment and consulting firm which helps private equity and venture capital funds raise capital overseas.

Todd Klein
Mr. Klein is a successful private equity investor and author who focuses on identifying, investing in and helping build transformative companies – those that not only succeed but transform their industries, their markets and the world around them. During his career he has been involved in financing over 130 venture and growth stage companies.

Yanev Suissa
Yanev is the founder of SineWave Ventures, a new venture capital fund focused on connecting the top technology companies of the top VC firms to access the public sector.