Mentorship Breakfasts

Mentorship Breakfasts

OPEN Silicon Valley Monthly Breakfasts provides a terrific opportunity for entrepreneurs and industry professionals to meet with Experts in their respective field, in a relaxed, informal setting, to build relationships and get valuable Business and Career feedback. Participatants deliver an elevator pitch for 30 to 60 seconds, and the guest mentor provides immediate feedback, enabling fast, effective, accessible mentoring and relationship development.

Like some other OPEN events, the partipating in Monthly Breakfasts is available to  to all OPEN SV members free of charge. If you are currently not a member and would like to become one click here .  If you are interested in hosting or attending a breakfast event please email the Mentorship committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




OPEN-SV Mentor Breakfast and AAM, with Rehan Jalil

Rehan Jalil is an Entrepreneur, Investor and Limited Partner in technology venture funds.  He is the President and CEO of Elastica, the the leader in Data Science Powered Cloud App Security.  



OPEN-SV Mentor Breakfast with Naeem Zafar

Naeem Zafar chose San Jose’s “A Bill of Fare”, where he has been frequenting for almost 15 years, to be the venue for his Mentor Breakfast event. They definitely serve one of the best waffles.

OPEN Silicon Valley Monthly Mentorship Breakfasts provide a terrific opportunity for entrepreneurs and industry professionals to meet with experts in their respective field, in a relaxed, informal setting, to build relationships and get valuable business and career feedback. Participants deliver an elevator pitch for 30 to 60 seconds, and the guest mentor provides immediate feedback, enabling fast, effective, accessible mentoring and relationship development. 

Nazim Karimi

What: Mentorship Breakfast with Nazim Kareemi When: 8:15AM, Friday, Nov 30th, 2012 Where: To Be Announced the day before the event to attendees only – Sunnyvale, CA

Nazim Karimi hosted his mentorship breakfast in Sunnyvale, CA for OPEN SV members. Being a seasoned, serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur, he shared with us nuggets on startups and options in their initial funding. He has guided OPEN SV members with their startups. Nazim's experience encompasses starting, acquiring, managing and exiting several startups. (For a complete bio, please refer to OPEN SV's website or Nazim Karimi's LinkedIn profile).

Ashar Aziz

What: Mentorship Breakfast with Ashar Aziz of FireEye
When: 8:30AM, Friday, Feb 15, 2013
Mentor: Ashar Aziz, Founder, Vice Chairman of the Board, CTO, and Chief Strategy Officer of FireEye

Ashar Aziz invited OPEN-SV Mentorship breakfast at a restaurant near his Milpitas office on a crisp Friday morning. This event drew a lot of interest and was over-subscribed.

What: Mentorship Breakfast with Malika Junaid When: Friday, May 25th, 2012 Where: Palo Alto, CA Malika invited OPEN-SV members for breakfast at her office in Palo Alto, CA. She is a partner in her architectural firm that deals in commercial, residential and interior designing. Malika graduated in Arcitecture from LSU. After diligence, she had picked the school because LSU graduates also get their practice license that is required for designing commercial buildings and 3+ storied residentials. After getting married, she moved back to the US. She was hired by Chip Jessup – who is now partner in their firm (

Mentor: Zulki Khan Date: Nov 17, 2011 Location: NexLogic, San Jose, CA Zulki Khan is the founder and CEO of NexLogic Technologies primarily invoved in PCB designing, fabrication and manufacturing with list of fortune 100 clients. Prior to founding NexLogic, Zulki was General Manager for Imagineering, Inc., Schaumburg, IL. He graduated in 1988 in Electrical Engineering from N.E.D University, Karachi. He then received his MBA from University of Iowa, Iowa City. Zulki told OPEN-SV attendees he learned both engineering and business aspects of PCB business at Imagineering where he setup off-shore design center, organized marketing and sales channels, and established customer relationships. After a leave of absence, he considered position in corporate, but decided to venture into PCB business on his own.

What: Mentorship Breakfast w/ Arif Jamjua When: Where: Arif Janjua invited the OPEN-SV members for OPEN Mentor Breakfast at Palo Alto Hill Golf and County Club. The topic was, “An insider’s view into Management Consulting”. This event proved to be a great opportunity to learn about management consulting, managing career options after college, and about adding valued credentials for yourself. Arif told us briefly about his own career transitions -- starting out with degrees in EE complementing by an MBA from Haas. He told us about his technical, marketing, business development, and consulting experiences at Gemini, AT Kearney, Gould Electronics, Saraide (acquired by Infospace), iDrive, Strategic Decisions Group, and last six years at Boston Consulting Group. Arif said he will consider leading another mobile tech startup changing the world. With his vast experience in technical and management consulting,

What: Mentorship Breakfast with Zia Yusuf When: 8:30AM, Friday, May 13th 2011 Where: Main Street Café, Los Altos, CA Zia Yusuf invited five OPEN SV members for a mentor breakfast event at a café in small Los Altos’s downtown. Zia is the President and CEO of Streetline, Inc that is revolutionizing the way we find parking especially in busy downtown areas. Their technology helps cities grow “smart” with smart-parking infrastructure that plays for the advantage of user and enforcement. Zia jokingly said, “I'm in parking business.” He joined the startup firm a year ago after ten years at SAP AG as an Executive Vice President. At SAP, he had the opportunity to work with many well-known corporate leaders. Zia was included as a success story and in a book by Jeffrey Pfeffer’s. He told, Pfeffer wanted to study how people became successful despite not having the background in the core business.

What: Mentor Breakfast with Nadir Ali President of Sysorex When: January, 28th, 2011 Where: Al Fornaio, Palo Alto Nadir Ali invited OPEN-SV members for a Mentor Breakfast on Jan 28th at Al Fornaio in Palo Alto. Nadir talked about his experience in clothing industry providing clothing for retailers such as Nordstrom, as a government contractor providing computers to US Govt, and Verticalnet B2B Sales and Marketing director. He sold the business to a partner and went back to working as a government contractor. As a US Govt contractor, they provided KSA telecom, data, enterprise software, off-the-shelf solutions and customized solution. For small businesses or individuals seeking govt contracts, Nadir Ali suggests first building relationship with prime or sub-contractors with security clearance already working with the government. Since usually govt contracts are given to multiple vendors, a new company needs to take responsibility of specific function as sub-contractor, build portfolio, develop references and get to know the project managers in DC. Past experience with sub-contracts will be important to bid for govt projects. He listed several sources of information on getting leads on govt contracts and RFPs. Some of those resources are available as subscription (eg, and GSA schedule can be used to find about Govt contracts. There are challenges in govt contract that pose barrier to entry. DoD clearance, required for the contracts, is though not easy to get and is available only on need-basis, and expires. The company must be headed by US citizens and only non-security work can be outsourced. Govt contracts require years of history. For international projects, local partners in the region, where the project is located, can be partners. Going forward Nadir thinks there will be opportunities with Federal govt especially in Clean-Tech, new national medical database, mobile arena, and old-style Systems Integrators. For opportunities in the mobile apps space, consider becoming a Telecom Council member (Liz Kerton leads it). It provides an avenues to network with representatives from SKA, Swiss Telecom, BT.

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