Friday, July 16, 1999
Interview with Sunil Mehrotra, founder of KnowledgeLinks
Sunil Mehrotra is the CEO of KnowledgeLink (http://www.knowledgelinks.com), a Westlake Village based, VC-backed e-commerce provider in the consumer audio space. He was formerly executive VP at Harman International and before that General Manager at RCA.
BK: What made you decide to become an entrepreneur, and why did you start KnowledgeLink?
SM: I have always been an entrepreneur within larger companies. I have built businesses within larger companies, launched new products and brands. I thrive on change. Five years ago when Internet was still experimental, I was consumed by the novelty of it and how it had the potential for changing many aspects of our lives. This lead me to start my company KnoweledgeLINK in 1996.
BK: Did you find it difficult to find venture financing here in Southern California? If so, why, if not, any comments...
SM: Yes, Southern California does not yet have the culture of Sand Hill Road. This makes it a little harder for entrepreneurs in this area. However, even since I started seriously looking for financing last year the climate is changing. There is more venture financing flowing in this area, especially in this corridor.
BK: What sort of advice would you give other entrepreneurs here trying to start up their own high tech venture?
SM: For enterpreneurs starting out a mentor or a "god father", who has done this before is a must. There is so much more to launching a start-up than just having a good idea. The whole process of forming a Board, raising funds, filing for patents etc. That a good mentor can help in those areas which the enterpreneur is not experienced in.