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Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
6 minutes | 16 days ago
2020 Insight: Start with Just One Thing
In this special micro-episode of ETL, Stanford lecturer Ravi Belani reflects on his key entrepreneurial takeaway from 2020. In a year that defied expectations, he notes that most companies start with good ideas but ultimately fail because founders spread their focus too thin. Belani shares clips from two 2020 ETL talks — one from PlayVS founder and CEO Delane Parnell and one from Zoom founder and CEO Eric Yuan. Both Parnell and Yuan, observes Belani, exemplify the laser focus that drives successful ventures.
5 minutes | a month ago
2020 Insight: Connecting the Dots
In this special micro-episode of ETL, Stanford lecturer Toby Corey reflects on his key entrepreneurial takeaway from 2020. Corey emphasizes that the entrepreneurial journey is a process, particularly when entrepreneurs are presented with extreme challenges or are solving big problems. He shares a clip from the ETL talk “Reimagining Meat,” featuring Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown. Brown shares how his early experiences with animal agriculture, his concern about the connections between meat consumption and climate change, and his interest in the science of building meat from plants culminated in starting Beyond Meat.
5 minutes | a month ago
2020 Insight: A Lens of Racial Equity
In this special micro-episode of ETL, Stanford associate professor Chuck Eesley reflects on his key entrepreneurial takeaway from 2020. In a year that defied expectations and presented entrepreneurs with unique challenges, Eesley stresses that entrepreneurs have a responsibility to create a more diverse and inclusive tech ecosystem. To drive the point home, he shares a clip from the ETL talk “Entrepreneurship and Racial Justice,” featuring OHUB executive director and CEO Rodney Sampson and RUNWAY CEO Jessica Norwood. In this clip, Sampson highlights the importance of viewing entrepreneurship through an antiracist lens.
6 minutes | a month ago
2020 Insight: Infusing Decisions with Principles
In this special micro-episode of ETL, Stanford professor Tom Byers reflects on his key entrepreneurial takeaway from 2020. In a year that defied expectations, Byers underscores that more than ever, entrepreneurs have a responsibility to consider the implications and consequences of their technologies and ideas on society. He shares a clip from Floodgate founding partner Ann Miura-Ko’s 2020 ETL talk “Disruption and Abundance,” in which Miura-Ko emphasizes the importance of responsible tech.
7 minutes | 2 months ago
2020 Insight: Innovating at a Distance
In this special micro-episode of ETL, Stanford professor of the practice Tina Seelig reflects on her key entrepreneurial takeaway from 2020. Seelig observes that, especially in times of great change and uncertainty, entrepreneurs can be empowered by the necessity to innovate. When it comes to COVID-19, the challenges of the pandemic also presented an opportunity to refine remote work. Seelig shares a clip from Digits co-founder Jeff Seibert’s 2020 ETL talk “Making Remote Work Better,” in which he explains how his company has leveraged remote work to drive both efficiency and creative collaboration.
46 minutes | 2 months ago
Sarah Friar (Nextdoor) - Building Better Online Communities
In December 2018, Sarah Friar was named CEO of Nextdoor, the world’s largest private social network for neighborhoods. Prior to leading Nextdoor, she was CFO of Square and SVP of Finance & Strategy at Salesforce. She serves on the boards of Walmart and Slack, and is the co-founder of Ladies Who Launch, a nonprofit that celebrates and empowers women entrepreneurs. In this conversation with Stanford professor Tom Byers, she discusses what attracted her to Nextdoor, and explores how she aims to amplify helpful, neighborly behavior on a social network.
42 minutes | 2 months ago
Ravi Mhatre (Lightspeed Venture Partners) - The Language of Technology
Ravi Mhatre is a founding partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners and focuses primarily on software/cloud infrastructure, applications and internet investments. Before starting Lightspeed, Mhatre was an investor with Bessemer Venture Partners and before entering the venture capital industry, he was with Silicon Graphics, where he was a product manager and later directed the company’s workstation market development efforts. In this conversation with Stanford lecturer Ravi Belani, he explores what a career in VC looks like, and talks about some of the sectors and technologies that he believes are poised to transform the future.
49 minutes | 3 months ago
Jessica Norwood (RUNWAY) and Rodney Sampson (OHUB) - Entrepreneurship and Racial Justice
Jessica Norwood is the founder of RUNWAY, an organization that uses entrepreneurship to close the wealth gap in Black communities by providing pre-seed and friends-and-family capital to fund Black-owned companies. Rodney Sampson is the CEO and executive chairman of Opportunity Hub (OHUB), a multi-campus entrepreneurship center and tech hub that empowers underestimated and under-tapped communities. In this conversation moderated by Stanford associate professor Chuck Eesley, Norwood and Sampson discuss how we can address racial disparities in startup funding, and build a more equitable and inclusive entrepreneurial community.
48 minutes | 3 months ago
Eric Yuan (Zoom) and Santi Subotovksy (Emergence Capital) - Winning a Crowded Market
After growing and leading the team that developed WebEx, Eric Yuan left his role as Corporate Vice President of Engineering at Cisco in 2011 to found Zoom Video Communications. Santiago Subotovsky, a general partner at Emergence Capital, led his firm’s investment in Zoom. In this conversation with Stanford lecturer Ravi Belani, they discuss what drove Zoom and how they built the confidence to launch this new company into an already crowded video conferencing market.
47 minutes | 3 months ago
Sylvia Acevedo (Path to the Stars) - Perseverance Creates Opportunity
An entrepreneur, investor, business leader, and rocket-scientist, Sylvia Acevedo is the author of Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist, which tells the story of her journey from a small town in New Mexico to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Acevedo most recently served as CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. In this conversation with Stanford professor Tina Seelig, she shares how some important early lessons in perseverance built a mindset that allowed her to excel as both a scientist and an entrepreneur.
44 minutes | 3 months ago
George Scangos (Vir Biotechnology) - Making a Difference in Biotech
As the president and CEO of Vir Biotechnology, as well as in his role as head of BIO’s Coronavirus Collaboration Initiative, George Scangos has emerged as a global leader in the fight against COVID-19. In this conversation with Stanford structural biology professor Jody Puglisi, Dr. Scangos explains the challenge of building financially viable therapies for infectious diseases, talks about the current status of COVID-related research, and explores how to build an innovative and meaningful career in biotech.
45 minutes | 4 months ago
Delane Parnell (PlayVS) - Extreme Focus
Delane Parnell is the founder and CEO of PlayVS, which is building the technology infrastructure for high school and college esports leagues. Prior to starting PlayVS, Parnell worked at IncWell Venture Capital, where he became the youngest black venture capitalist in the United States. In this talk, he explores his own journey from undertaking small-scale business as a teenager to building a billion-dollar company. He also explores the complexities of creating a multi-stakeholder business, and addresses how he and his team have responded to racism and gender disparities.
46 minutes | 4 months ago
Shellye Archambeau (Verizon) - Taking Risks and Breaking Barriers
An experienced tech exec, Shellye Archambeau serves on the boards of Verizon and Nordstrom as well as several other companies. She is the former CEO of MetricStream, a Silicon Valley-based governance, risk, and compliance software company that, during her tenure, grew from a fledgling startup into a global market leader. Anticipating the launch of her first book, Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers and Create Success on Your Own Terms (2020), she speaks with Stanford professor Tina Seelig about how to advocate for oneself, find mentors and sponsors, beat imposter syndrome, and build an impactful career.
48 minutes | 5 months ago
Adam Pisoni (Abl) - Innovating for Equity
Adam Pisoni co-founded Yammer in 2008, and oversaw product, analytics, and engineering as the SaaS company scaled to 500 employees and was acquired by Microsoft in 2012 for $1.2 billion. More recently, he has turned his attention to the US education system. Abl, the company he founded in 2015, aims to help all schools move beyond the 20th century model of education. In this talk, he describes how inequities manifest themselves in K-12 education, and explores the roles that innovative social ventures can play in addressing those inequities.
49 minutes | 5 months ago
Ann Miura-Ko (Floodgate) - Disruption and Abundance
Ann Miura-Ko is a lecturer in Stanford’s Department of Management Science and Engineering and a co-founding partner at Floodgate, a VC firm focused on seed-stage investments. A repeat member of the Forbes Midas List and the New York Times Top 20 Venture Capitalists Worldwide, she was one of the first investors in Lyft and Refinery29, and has been an early backer of many others, including Xamarin and Thinkful. Here, she shares her takes on foundational entrepreneurial concepts like “product-market fit” and shares a vision for how bold, even disruptive innovation and shared abundance can co-exist.
47 minutes | 5 months ago
Kevin Weil (Novi) - Improving Product Design
Kevin Weil is the VP of Product for Novi, Facebook’s digital wallet for the Libra payment system. Previously, Weil was VP of Product at Instagram (overseeing consumer, growth, and monetization products) and SVP of Product at Twitter (where he led product development and design across Twitter’s consumer and ad products, as well as Vine and Periscope). In this talk, he explores the mission that drives both Libra and Novi, and shares a number of crucial insights on digital product design.
43 minutes | 6 months ago
Amy Chang (Cisco) - Networking with Curiosity
Amy Chang is an executive vice president at Cisco. Following the acquisition of her startup Accompany by Cisco in 2018, she led Cisco's multi-billion dollar Collaboration business and its Webex portfolio. In this talk, she describes an approach to networking that’s built on affinity and even friendship rather than short-term, transactional goals. She shares how her relationships and network shaped her career as she navigated a path from electrical engineering at Stanford to her current roles at Cisco and on the Proctor & Gamble board, with formative stops at McKinsey, Google, and elsewhere.
47 minutes | 6 months ago
Debbie Sterling (GoldieBlox) - Empowering Girls with STEM
Debbie Sterling is the founder and CEO of GoldieBlox, an award-winning children’s multimedia company known for disrupting the “pink aisle” in toy stores around the world, and challenging gender stereotypes with a girl engineer character. In 2015, Sterling was inducted as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship under the Obama administration and honored by the National Women’s History Museum with a “Living Legacy” Award for her work to empower girls around the world. Here, she explores the strategies, pivots, and mission-driven commitments that have helped GoldieBlox thrive.
48 minutes | 6 months ago
Jeff Seibert (Digits) - Making Remote Work Better
Jeff Seibert is a serial entrepreneur and active angel investor. His current focus is Digits, which he co-founded in 2018 to build modern, intelligent, real-time finance tools for business owners. Seibert previously served as Twitter’s Head of Consumer Product and led the company’s product efforts for iOS, Android and the Web, as well as its Developer and Data platforms. He was also the co-founder and CEO of Crashlytics and the co-founder and COO of Increo. In this talk, he describes the origin of Digits, and particularly focuses on one aspect of the company: its full-throttled embrace of remote work long before COVID-19 made remote work the global default.
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