Entrepreneur to Investor the Hard Way
Step into the bare-knuckle world of a high-tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist and meet Dave Durgin. Dave evolved from engineer to bootstrap businessman to high-tech entrepreneur in a challenging business environment. The knowledge he shares in this book will be an inspiration to fellow entrepreneurs. Deal by deal, small investment to large investment, Dave built a successful portfolio as an angel investor and co-founded a successful venture capital firm. In the process, he honed his model of money and mentoring, as he guided startups and their eager but inexperienced founders. Outside his own businesses, he labored with other visionaries to improve the business environment in his state, New Mexico. This book allows you to get inside the head of a successful entrepreneur and investor and understand how he thinks, how he weighs opportunities, how he copes with adversity. He's clear about his values: people count, and friendships come first. There is practical advice on business plans, marketing, hiring, boards, teams, partners and commercialization. His venture evaluation criteria can help investors and allow entrepreneurs to size up their operations before they seek venture capital. The book also offers a ringside seat in the hidden arena of defense contracting as it expanded during the Cold War. Durgin is frank about why technology transfer, after 30 years, still hasn't lived up to its hype. David L. Durgin grew up in New England and moved to New Mexico in 1961 to join Sandia Laboratory as it ramped up during the Cold War. In 1967 he became one of the first to transfer Sandia technology. His first start-up company didn't survive, but it provided a lifetime of lessons and many credits toward his MBR (Master's in Business Reality). He spent twenty years in defense contracting, building businesses within both BDM International and Booz Allen Hamilton. In the 1980s, with the Cold War winding down, technology transfer looked like a golden life preserver. Durgin and his partners launched Quatro Corporation, the first company in New Mexico to focus on transferring technologies from government laboratories. Quatro started and incubated companies and provided manufacturing and financing for them. In 1996 the partners parted, and Durgin retained the manufacturing and investment entities. Through Quatro and as an angel investor, he built a successful portfolio of 11 companies. In 2003 he and two partners co-founded Verge Fund, the first New Mexico-based venture fund dedicated to financing New Mexico companies. Today Albuquerque, New Mexico has 21 companies that bear his fingerprints and his investments. Sherry Robinson is a long-time New Mexico business journalist, author and award-winning writer.
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