Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
Summary: The DFJ Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Seminar (ETL) is a weekly seminar series on entrepreneurship, co-sponsored by BASES (a student entrepreneurship group), Stanford Technology Ventures Program, and the Department of Management Science and Engineering.
Jane Marie Chen, co-founder and CEO of Embrace Innovations, describes how her social-enterprise startup’s infant warmer for premature and low-birth-weight babies came into the world. She discusses how passion fuels the drive to overcome setbacks big and small, how Embrace has expanded into retail to support its humanitarian efforts, and explains why we should “choose to see the world through the lens of beauty.”
Go to a good college. Be in the Olympics. Work in TV and become a pilot. These were the goals of a 14-year-old girl who grew up in a town tucked into the mountains just east of Los Angeles. That girl went on to compete in three Olympics, become a sports commentator, an airplane pilot and three-time Stanford graduate. Here’s how Bonny Simi, now the president of JetBlue Technology Ventures, did it all.
Distinguished professor and serial entrepreneur Joseph DeSimone discusses the vibrant chemistry that takes place at the intersection of science and the humanities, academia and industry, and within the walls of his 3D manufacturing startup Carbon. He describes how on-demand parts manufacturing could one day eliminate the need for business inventory and even end up in hospitals.
What is the number one cause for failure in early-stage startups? Team issues! In this episode of Stanford Innovation Lab, Tina Seelig interviews executive coach Michael Terrell. Michael is the founder and managing partner of Terrell Leadership Group, and co-author of The Inside Out Effect, which focuses on effective leadership. In this conversation, Michael shares his insights on effective team dynamics, his process for diagnosing team issues, and examples of how he works through team challenges.
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry recalls major chapters from his illustrious career with entrepreneurship educator Steve Blank in a discussion that spans Silicon Valley's evolution, digital technology's emergence and its adoption by the military, to Perry's time in Washington and his deep expertise in world affairs.
Al Ramadan and Dave Peterson, co-founding partners of the category-design firm Play Bigger Advisors, share the science behind the strategies that innovators use to create and dominate product markets. They also discuss the marketing concepts for building a brand and identity, and for inspiring customers to see the world as you’ve framed it.
DJ Kleinbaum, co-founder of Emerald Therapeutics, shares how his company balances growth to drive biotechnology breakthroughs, while supporting a culture that honors fresh-eyes thinking and the sharing of contrarian truths. Kleinbaum also discusses defining what makes your company different, and why "Eroom’s Law" looms large for the future of drug development.
Entrepreneur Minnie Ingersoll talks about how a computer-science degree, an MBA and 11 years at Google prepared her to co-found the online auto marketplace Shift. Calling her startup "a car company with Google DNA," Ingersoll offers insights on opportunity recognition, product management, career-life balance and the importance of traits like humility and patience.
Dharmesh Shah, co-founder and CTO at the marketing and sales software firm HubSpot, distills his 128-slide presentation on company culture down to its essence, describing it as a business's "operating system" that lets people do their best work. Shah says entrepreneurs must create a company culture they love, because one will eventually emerge no matter what.
Civic leader Michael Tubbs shares his story of growing up in the California Central Valley, attending Stanford and going on to become one of the youngest elected officials in U.S. history. The Stockton City Councilman calls on entrepreneurs behind today's biggest tech innovations to also focus on solving society's biggest problems, like poverty, illiteracy and inequality.
Brit Morin, founder and CEO of Brit + Co, describes her path and motivation for launching a platform that aims to inspire women and girls to be creative through compelling content such as videos, online classes and do-it-yourself kits. Morin explains how creativity is sparked by rekindling that playful spirit from our youth and stems from the primal instinct to make things.
Rebecca Lynn, partner and founder at Canvas Ventures, shares her unlikely journey from the humble farming town of her childhood to the hotbed of technology innovation, fueled by engineering talent, entrepreneurial drive and solid guidance from mentors. Lynn describes her strategy for investing and observations about the world of venture capital.
Intuit Co-Founder Scott Cook describes how the financial software company went from struggling startup to runaway market leader by staying focused on the customer and iterating and embracing surprises along the way. In a free-form talk guided by audience questions, Cook shares advice on leadership, perseverance and professional growth.
Lyndon Rive, Co-Founder and CEO of SolarCity, and Tim Draper, founding parter of the venture capital firm DFJ, discuss the clean-energy company's mission to save the planet while exploring the many aspects of its business, from the science of solar power to the need for better government incentives and policies.
James Beshara, CEO and co-founder of mobile-crowdfunding platform Tilt, breathes new life into tired cliches, explaining the insights and inspiration they hold for entrepreneurs. Beshara, who has pushed the crowdfunding envelope since 2007, shares his belief in the power of the collective and seeing beyond individual data points to understand larger trends in behavior and business.