McClure's mission is to invest in 500 companies through his Silicon Valley accelerator and venture firm 500 Startups, and the firm is close to that goal today (Crunchbase names 429 portfolio companies). His personal portfolio of 250 investments includes Mint.com, Slideshare, TaskRabbit and MakerBot. McClure is a former vice president of marketing at PayPal, and programmer at Microsoft and Intel. He taught the nation's first class on Facebook and social networking at Stanford University in 2007. And he previously ran Founders Fund, a Silicon Valley incubator and angel investment firm.
McClure makes his first visit to the Triangle March 27th as part of Bull City Venture Partners' Entrepreneurs Series. It's quite the feat considering McClure told me in April at Google Demo Day that he's much more focused globally and in major U.S. markets than in regions like the Triangle. The talk (which is already sold out) is one of two in the next two weeks spotlighting major investors from outside the region.
Though the average deal for Sagent is in the $30 million to $40 million range, Smith's talk is on the big picture of raising capital. Details and registration are here.
The organizers of these events have a purpose beyond providing education and entertainment—they're providing access too. For the most promising companies and eager entrepreneurs, events like these are an opportunity to ask the right questions and peak the interest of people with a network and influence far beyond the Triangle.