My name is Antony Passemard. Originally from France I came to the US in 2007 to study for an MBA at Haas (UC Berkeley). I have really been enjoying my time here, through an attempt at a B2B collaboration startup called effecteev, which won the best Tech Bplan at the UC Berkeley Business Plan competition in 2009, but also through my time running Yahoo Travel North America and my past few years at Salesforce. I will certainly talk a lot about what I have seen, heard and learned.
Before coming to Haas, I was an entrepreneur. after graduating with a Master degree in Computer Sciences from EFREI (link) in 1998, I have been focused on developing my skills to be able to start a business.. The opportunity came up in 2001 and I co-founded, with 3 other partners, my first company INTEGRITY. This company was a Value Added Reseller (VAR) around network security solutions (Checkpoint, Juniper, Fortinet, Cisco, Sophos, etc…). We opened our doors on September 11th, 2001 (tough) and after much lessons learned and some good business, we unfortunately had to closed them in the summer of 2005.
At the end of 2005, I joined the funding team of INIFLUX a small startup in Paris providing services around Open Sources solutions. I took a general management role and helped growing the company from $300K in revenue to close $1.3M while enjoying a very fun work environment thanks to Eric Paumerat and Benjamin Devichi, the founders of INIFLUX. INIFLUX is still on track to become more than a small business and I warmly recommend them for any IT services you would need in Paris.
During my two years at Haas, I have been very involved in the various entrepreneurship programs, obtaining a Certificate in Entrepreneurship at my graduation. I have been the Manager of the Venture Lab for the Center of Entrepreneurship and Technology (CET) for one year, and held a role of Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) for an undergraduate entrepreneurship class for a couple of semesters. during those semesters I worked closely with amazing professors: Iklhaq Sidhu and John Burgstone from whom I have learned a lot. I have been an organizer of the UC Berkeley business plan competition 08 responsible for Mentorship (finding mentors for participating team reaching the semi-final) and reached the final stage of the BPlan competition 2009 with my company ulteamail, now known as Effecteev. I also initiated the new program that Haas has launched this year: The Venture Launch Pad which seemed to be a missing link between wannabe entrepreneurs and the fantastic resources available at Haas. All this involvement was rewarded by the Gloria W award that I received for outstanding leadership in entrepreneurship at Haas.
I still haven’t launched a startup in the “Silicon Valley” sense of the term but I feel that I have valuable insight from INTEGRITY and INIFLUX but also from what I have seen from students and friends.
Today I work at building an ISV ecosystem for Salesforce which lead me to meet dozens of entrepreneurs, especially in the IoT space that I particularly enjoy. I believe that IoT will transform our life in a way we can’t even comprehend right now and I want to be a big part of that.
This blog is about entrepreneurship but more generally about exciting things that happen in technology. I have been focusing more on the Internet of Things lately and will probably keep going in that direction.