Alchemist Series

Register Online


If you would like to get priviliged access to VC's, the Alchemist Series is offering a service for select university alums to get quick reviews. Please fill out the form here:


Helen Poldsam                                                                                415-265-6822                                                            Alchemist Series

Ethel Chen                                                                  650-289-2283                                                                   Alchemist Series


Wednesday November 17, 2010 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM PST

Add to my calendar 


UC Hastings College of the Law 
200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Driving Directions 

Alchemist Series Event: Creating the Right Founding Team

The Alchemist Series: A Six Part Speaker Series to accelerate the transformation of hackers into entrepreneurs.

Regardless of the type of a business you are starting, deciding which people to bring on board to execute your vision is one of the most critical steps to take. We are going to discuss the vital aspects of creating the founding team that will make and not break your company. Please join us for the second chapter of The Alchemist Series where we provide a toolkit to become the founder of the next startup that everybody is talking about.

Our panelists are:

Stewart Alsop (Partner at Alsop Louie Partners)

Ethan Anderson  (CEO and Co-Founder, Redbeacon)

Drew Houston (CEO and Co-founder, Dropbox)

Victoria Ransom (CEO and Founder, Wildfire Interactive, Inc.)

The panel is moderated by Ravi Belani (Startup advisor and seed investor)


Stewart AlsopStewart Alsop is a Partner at Alsop Louie Partners. He was a general partner with New Enterprise Associates and led that firm’s investments in companies such as TiVo, Portola Communications (sold to Netscape), Netcentives, Glu Mobile, and Xfire. During that time, he also wrote a column for Fortune. Before he became an investor, Stewart was a business editor and pundit. He was Editor in Chief of InfoWorld, a weekly newspaper for information-technology professionals. He also published PC Letter, a fortnightly newsletter for computer industry insiders, and produced the Agenda and Demo conferences for executives of companies in the computer industry. Way back when he was young(er), he learned to be an editor at Inc. magazine, where he was executive editor.

Ethan AndersonEthan Anderson is an experienced Internet executive and CEO & Cofounder of Redbeacon, a website that enables consumers to get price quotes and book appointments for local services.  Redbeacon won the grand prize at both the TechCrunch50 competition and Silicon Alley Insider’s Startup 2010.  Prior to Redbeacon, Ethan was a Product Manager at Google where he was responsible for launching and managing the Google Video product internationally.  He was also Google’s first Product Manager for the fast growing Southeast Asian emerging markets, and a Product Manager on Google Image Search, the top image search product in the world.  Before joining Google, Ethan worked in a number of internet strategy and marketing roles at The Clorox Company,, and McKinsey & Company.  Ethan graduated with Honors from Harvard Business School and Magna Cum Laude from Duke University, where he earned a BA in Economics and Public Policy Studies.

Drew HoustonDrew Houston is the co-founder and CEO of Dropbox, the leading way to store and share files online. Dropbox helps millions of people across the world to access and share their important files from any computer or the web. The company was launched at the TechCrunch50 conference in 2008 and is backed by Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, and Amidzad. Drew was named one of the top “Twentysomething Entrepreneurs” by BusinessWeek in April 2008. Before starting Dropbox, he co-founded an online SAT prep company called Accolade and held a variety of engineering roles in other startups since age 14. He received his S.B. in computer science from MIT.

Victoria Ransom

Victoria Ransom is passionate about growing and marketing innovative companies and has been an entrepreneur since her early twenties. She has developed three companies, all of which are successfully operating today. As CEO, Victoria has led Wildfire Interactive, Inc. to profitability in just one year and has built a client list that includes major brands and agencies including Facebook, Pepsi, Unilever, Sony, AT&T, Ogilvy, Publicis and Fleishman Hillard. Thousands of small and medium-size businesses all use Wildfire's turnkey marketing solutions. Wildfire is a two-time winner of the fbFund; investors include Facebook, Accel Partners and the Founder's Fund. Prior to founding Wildfire Interactive, Inc. in the summer of 2008, Victoria was a student at Harvard Business School where she obtained an MBA. Prior to business school, Victoria co-founded a global adventure travel company, Access Travel, Ltd., that operates today in 16 countries. She also spent two years as an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley in New York.

In addition to her MBA, Victoria has a bachelor of arts degree from Macalester College where she graduated Suma Cum Laude. In her capacity as an entrepreneur, Victoria has been featured in several publications including The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine and Dow Jones VentureWire. 


Ravi BelaniRavi Belani is an advisor and seed investor in startups, including Komli, Justin.TV, Badgeville, Ondeego, Redux, and Booshaka. Ravi formerly spent six years as part of the internet investment team at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, where he led investments and served as a board member or observer on numerous companies, including Pubmatic, Vizu, and Yield Software. Prior to Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Ravi worked in product management at software startup Zaplet (acquired by MetricStream) and enterprise software company Extensity (IPOd then acquired by GEAC). Ravi has also worked as a management consultant at McKinsey and Company's San Francisco office, at Medtronic on wireless communication technologies for remote patient monitoring ,and in equity research at Bridgewater Associates.


Ravi is a Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi graduate of Stanford University, holding a BS with Distinction and MS in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management. Ravi also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. As a Board Fellow at Harvard, Ravi served the Global Board of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs). Ravi is also a graduate of the Kauffman Fellows Program.

The Alchemist Series

The Alchemist Series is targeted at young alums of Ivy League / Ivy League caliber universities with Computer Science and Engineering backgrounds.

The events are panel-driven discussions exploring significant milestones in the trajectory of the development of a business. The intent is to provide a toolkit to accelerate the progress over the six sessions.

The events will be held in the evenings on the 4th Wednesday of the months of September, November, January, March, May, and July from 2010– 2011. The venue host is UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.

'Alchemist Series' is a mark used in commerce by Belani Associates, LLC, all rights reserved. Content copyright 2010. Belani Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.