Case Western Reserve University alumnus, startup founder and venture capitalist Ben Bayat, BS ’02, will discuss different options to finance high-potential companies, from AngelList syndicates to online platforms to angel groups to venture capitalists. Ben will share his view on the benefits and pitfalls of different investment instruments such as SAFEs (Simple Agreement for Future Equity), convertible notes, revenue participation deals and priced rounds; discuss what terms are hot and not in Silicon Valley; and explain how to align sources of financing, investment instruments and financing terms to a company’s stage, industry and business model.

Meet The Expert

Ben Bayat is a venture capitalist with San Francisco-based Illuminate Ventures. He brings more than a dozen years of experience in high-tech product design, engineering management, business development and sales, to his role as a member the firm’s investing team. Ben focuses on originating, evaluating and managing Illuminate’s enterprise SaaS investments. Prior to joining Illuminate, Ben was the head of West Coast sales for IBM’s networking accounts, where he led his division to two consecutive Sales Eminence awards. As IBM’s site executive in Nagasaki, Japan, he led the joint development of Sony’s Playstation 3 microprocessor, earning the CEO-selected Gerstner Award for Client Excellence. Previously, as a founding entrepreneur, Ben led product and sales for an early Industrial IoT startup where he learned the challenges of matching product vision with market realities. He earned his MBA from the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley and a BS in Engineering Physics from Case Western Reserve University.

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Edmonds E-Talks is a series on entrepreneurship for practitioners generously funded by Scott H. Edmonds, Founder and Managing Director of Chatcast, and an MBA graduate of the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve.

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