Reminder: Successful Consulting Engagements With Startups at IEEE-CNSV Tue-May-21

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Consulting Business, Events, skmurphy

Quick reminder:  I will be moderating a panel on “Successful Consulting Engagements with Startups” at the May 21 IEEE-CNSV meeting. I volunteered to pull this panel together after a long thread on the CNSV e-mail list June about the topic.

I have been fortunate to attract three knowledgeable and experienced engineers to take part in the panel, two are also serial entrepreneurs:

  • Chris Apple, Software Consultant at Apple Enterprises
    Chris Apple founded Apple Enterprises in 1981; he specializes in embedded firmware, control software and application software. He develops the embedded product, the PC control application, the manufacturing and calibration application and even the installer: he takes a concept and makes it a product.
  • Kip Brown, PE, Principal at CMBJR Consulting, Inc.
    Kip Clyde Brown, PE is a Professional Engineer with IC design experience in analog and mixed signal. In addition to his consulting experience he does expert witness work and is an at-large director of IEEE-CNSV. He has also founded three startups and will be able to provide insights from both sides of the table on the topic of startups hiring consultants.
  • Arthur Keller Ph.D., Managing Partner at Minerva Consulting
    Dr. Arthur M. Keller is Managing Partner of Minerva Consulting. Dr. Keller serves as an expert witness on patent infringement cases and as advisor to startups. He has served on the board of several startups, including Persistence Software, where he was Chief Technical Advisor prior to its IPO. He has also co-founded several startups, including Mergent Systems, which was acquired by Commerce One.

The four of us had a dry run on Friday and I learned a lot from the stories and lessons learned that were shared. There were often multiple perspectives on key issues, but each engineer’s opinion was based on three decades of experience  as consultants or entrepreneurs.

We have structured it as a very interactive session both among the panel members and with the audience. Whether you are thinking about doing a consulting engagement with a startup or are in a startup  wrestling with options for how to hire a consultant you will get an overview of how to look at the issues and some practical lessons learned.

Startups often need a consultant’s expertise but their limited resources can make for riskier and more complex fee arrangements than larger companies. A panel of three consultants–two of whom are also serial entrepreneurs who have founded technology startups–will offer their perspective on the practical realities of working for startups. This session will outline important tips and issues to consider if you are exploring investing your time working as a consultant for a startup. The panel will share their rules of thumb and stories from the trenches. Consultants and technology entrepreneurs are invited to take part in a candid discussion.

 

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