Press Release 01-28-2013


Beverly Hills, CA — January 28, 2013.  Stephen Meade will be speaking at USC this Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 7:30 pm. Stephen has partnered with Seth Shapiro, who leads a special joint program between USC’s Marshall School of Business and School of Cinema.

The presentation, titled “Entrepreneurship and Funding” will include Stephen Meade, Dimitri Villard, and 45 of Shapiro’s “super sharp” students. They will discuss what to expect and how to prepare for the rapid rise Los Angeles start-ups, incubators, and media tech companies.

Mr. Meade offers his expertise on entrepreneurship, venture capitalism, technology, and finance. Students will also get to hear Stephen’s valuable advice on successful relationship and business building.

Stephen Meade is joined by Dimitri Villard, a seasoned businessman who has specialized in international finance, film production, and biotechnology. Seth Shapiro will host the class, and is himself a renown leader in digital media business strategy, Adjunct Professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and Research Fellow at the Annenberg Innovation Lab. Together, Meade, Villard and Shapiro are sure to lead an exciting and thoughtful discussion.

Please see Shapiro’s brief below!



Once again, the news is full of breathless reports of the raising of millions by startups, fueled by stories like Instagram’s and the romance of California entrepreneurship and capital formation. 


This time, there’s a new focus on LA, particularly its media tech and incubator scenes.  


How and why does one start a media tech company? What are the appropriate criteria and measure of success?  What should one think about when evaluating a job opportunity at a newco? How do venture capital and private equity work? What can an entrepreneur expect from them – and what does it cost to get it?


DIMITRI VILLARD  graduated with a B.A. from Harvard University and has a M.S. from China International Medical University. Early in his career, he was a Vice President and Director of Havenfield Corporation, a New York investment banking firm where he specialized in international finance. Since 1980, he has produced a number of motion pictures. Among his producing credits are In Love And War, directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Sandra Bullock and Chris O’Donnell (New Line); Once Bitten, starring Jim Carrey and Lauren Hutton (Goldwyn); and Flight of the Navigator (Disney). From 1993 to 1996, he was a Managing Director of Laidlaw & Co., a New York investment bank. In 1997 he became a Director of Société Générale Investment Banking. In 1999 he co-founded and became CEO of Pivotal BioSciences, Inc., a biotechnology company developing oncology drugs in association with senior faculty of the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. In 2009 he became CEO of Peer Media Technologies, Inc., an Internet technology public company that provides anti-piracy and business intelligence services to the entertainment industry. As a member of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Tech Coast Angels, the largest private venture capital investment group in California, the Harvard Business School Angels, and as a Mentor at the Founder Institute, he has been active in identifying, mentoring, and leading investments in a number of early stage high technology ventures.


STEPHEN MEADE is an American entrepreneur, executive and business founder who is passionate about creating companies that make a difference in the world.  In the past 20 years, he has created, incubated and architected 9 successful technology-based companies.  He founded Big Bamboo, LLC in 2005 to serve as the incubator for ideas worth building a team around and bringing to market.  From having the 4th ever Infomercial in the late 80’s to VirtualSellers, started in 1996, which was a pioneer ecommerce transaction processing company and was the first online master merchant and offered 6 online payment options, each company is based around solving a unique problem.  Recent company Cenoplex, a mobile messaging platform,  is the first company in the world to insert a four second audio message in the sequencing gap of a mobile phone call. Still others are more serious, such as My WetRock, having a tremendous environmental impact by saving a targeted 50 Billion Gallons of water per year, and educating millions of children about conservation.  He currently guides the future of companies including My WetRock, Inc. (Environmental Consumer Product) RONAStar (internal eBay for large companies to save money by redeploying their own idle assets), ComCom (a private labeled transaction platform for affinity groups), OrionNation (anti-facebook platform for the entertainment industry), and others.  Mr. Meade is a seasoned business leader who speaks frequently on the art of networking at executive leadership conferences startup communities around the world.


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