The invisible co-founder
Wiley Cerilli has played nearly every role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The serial entrepreneur has been a founder, CEO, and a Venture Partner at First Round Capital. In 2012, after Constant Contact acquired his two-year old startup, Single Platform, for $100 million, he decided to buy new socks. He also decided that he would continue working with Gunderson Dettmer on his future ventures.
“Single Platform was my first go at being a sole founder and it was great to have an invisible co-founder in Gunderson Dettmer. They offered a perspective from experience that was confident but unbiased. Regardless of our financing rounds, they presented options and opportunities in ways that allowed me to focus on key decision-making in spite of lots of ambient noise and distractions.
When doing a first round, some people try to negotiate when you don’t need to. Gunderson Dettmer doesn’t advocate squeezing for the sake of squeezing—they know what’s best for both sides and want to get there as efficiently as possible. By the time you’re doing later rounds, they understand the business as strategists and they provide perspective from experience that a maturing company requires even if, by then, you have in-house counsel."
Wiley envisions his new venture, Good Uncle, as a blueprint for the way that restaurants will operate in the future. He creates exclusive partnerships with exceptional chefs and restaurants nationwide, selects their most in-demand dishes, develops strict and accepted protocols for replicating them, and then delivers them from local commercial kitchens. Examples include Joe’s Pizza, the #1 ranked pizza by Zagat and Ess-a-bagel, a NYC staple and often-craved taste of home. It’s a complicated business at the intersection of tech and consumer markets that requires creative counsel.
"It is hard to find consistency in a market that’s consistently inconsistent. I know that Gunderson lawyers are always consistent. When you’re a serial entrepreneur, working with a firm like Gunderson is invaluable. They know me. They know the competitive tech market. And they know the venture market. As a founder, that gives me a kind of ‘super-powers’ advantage.”
“Regardless of our financing rounds, they presented options and opportunities in ways that allowed me to focus on key decision-making in spite of lots of ambient noise and distractions.”