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Mentor Comments for Mike Digman

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Fellow: Michael Digman, ECE
Mentor: Oliver Guinan, VP Ground Systems
Company: Skybox Imaging
Location: Mountain View, CA

"In his first weeks at Skybox, Michael developed a key piece of technology that was used as part of our fundraising process. The technology was demonstrated to our board of directors and key potential investors. Michael went on to sit in on term sheet negotiations with potential investors. This allowed Michael to gain deep insight into how a startup raises money and how potential investors evaluate and value a startup company.

Michael spent some time working with various components of our hardware stack. He particularly impressed with his enthusiasm for taking on technically difficult issues. Michael asked the right questions and helped to develop key elements of the Skybox production system. Michael worked with the Marketing, Products and Sales departments to gain insight into how customers will use Skybox products and how new product requirements are conceived.

Michael joined Skybox at a key time in the company's development as we prepared to move from a planning to a development phase and raise a series C fundraising round. Michael impressed in his first few weeks as he developed a key piece of software in our fundraising technical demo. We were so impressed with the quality of Michael's work that we had him improve this code up to a production ready level. As part of the fundraising process, Michael had the opportunity to sit in on real life term-sheet negotiation. This was a wonderful opportunity to determine how and why a company gets funded. Michael presented a number of interesting and insightful questions during this process.

We challenged Michael to explore some of the more difficult technical problems that we had not yet evaluated. Michael was not intimidated by any of the problems and he relished the opportunity to apply his education in the real world.

Preventing other managers from stealing Michael to work on their projects was one of the most difficult tasks of my summer. This is a measure of the reputation that Michael created for himself in a short time.

Michael joined a team with very high standards and he surpassed them. Skybox is better for having Michael on the team. He will be the standard against which future summer hires will be judged."