Stanford Entrepreneurship Videos
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.
Challenges can seem less intimidating when you see someone you can relate to take them on, explains Sandy Jen, co-founder of senior-care startup Honor. She recalls how witnessing her boyfriend in college embracing entrepreneurship wholeheartedly began to melt the fears and insecurities she grew up with — and emboldened her to become an “unlikely entrepreneur” herself.
Entrepreneur Sandy Jen has lived with self-doubt and insecurities throughout her life: in college, at her first startup, and later as a working mother. But facing the risks she feared each time gave her confidence that a shy, little girl from the suburbs can grow up to improve people’s lives through technology and a passion for impact. She co-founded the senior-care startup Honor, and this is her story.
When you doubt your abilities or expertise, remembering all the hard work you’ve done to date can be a source of confidence, says entrepreneur Sandy Jen. She describes how plagued with doubt she was while launching her first startup, and how she built up a reservoir of courage by taking stock of her accomplishments along the way, which helped her get through especially stressful times.
Sandy Jen, co-founder of senior-care startup Honor, talks about how young entrepreneurs often keep their ideas to themselves so others won’t steal them. But, referencing the metaphor of projects as the “babies” we want to hold tight and protect, Jen notes that all infants love to run around naked. “Ideas don’t grow in a vacuum,” she says. “Ideas only improve if you get feedback.”
Serial entrepreneur Sandy Jen discusses the average length of a startup’s life and how the amount of time and effort it requires means anyone who wants to launch a venture should work on meaningful problems and strive for huge impact. She explains how the adrenaline that sustains the first-time entrepreneur gives way to experience and wisdom the next time around.
There’s no magic formula for balancing work and life for the entrepreneur, but it is possible, says Sandy Jen, co-founder of two tech startups. Herself a mother, Jen describes how she knows numerous entrepreneur parents, including fellow co-founders, who meet their obligations to family and firm by staying passionately focused on their mission.
Aspiring entrepreneurs who worry about the risk of financial loss if they fail should set milestones to measure progress against, advises Sandy Jen, co-founder of senior-care startup Honor. An overall timeline for a new venture can serve as a boundary on how much of your resources you invest — though, the only way to know if a product or service will succeed is to build it and see if people want it, Jen says.
How often do entrepreneurs and corporate leaders think about issues like fairness, accessibility or unseen biases in the technologies they invent and advance? That’s the challenge for companies leading the digital transformation that’s disrupting every aspect of society, says Toni Townes-Whitley, Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector and Industry at Microsoft, in this talk about innovating strategically and responsibly.
Toni Townes-Whitley, Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector and Industry at Microsoft, discusses the changing nature of leadership in the digital age. She cites statistics that estimate, by the year 2020, 5 million jobs will be replaced by automation and that the average person will have more conversations with robots than with their spouse or partner.
Microsoft’s Toni Townes-Whitley, Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector and Industry, describes how the core of what she calls “digital leadership” involves the obligation to consider ethical issues of fairness and privacy, while navigating across all sectors of society and regions of the planet. "This digital leadership conversation says there’s something beyond building cool stuff,” she explains.
The ethical use of technology engenders trust through transparent practices and the protection of privacy, according to Microsoft’s Toni Townes-Whitley, Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector and Industry. She gives examples of how leaders in the digital age should act responsibly, such as by ensuring that automation maximizes efficiencies without destroying people’s dignity.
Toni Townes-Whitley, Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector and Industry at Microsoft, underscores the need for today's leaders to think about how technology can magnify social ills even as it improves business. She cites World Economic Forum forecasts showing that, in the year 2020, the creation of digital jobs will disproportionately displace women because of their high numbers in labor categories that are ripe for disruption.
Renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman shares his passion for translating the complexities of cognition into mind-blowing inventions and educational material for the masses. The public-television host, bestselling author and Stanford adjunct professor speaks with Tina Seelig of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program about his decision to leave the lab and dedicate his life to bringing scientific discoveries into the world.
Neuroscientist David Eagleman demonstrates the flagship product of his startup Neosensory: a vest lined with motors that can translate sensory data into vibrations that the body can feel. In conversation with Stanford Professor of the Practice Tina Seelig, Eagleman explains how his invention can help those who can’t hear experience sound, for a small fraction of the cost of a cochlear implant.
Neuroscientist David Eagleman draws on his deep understanding of the brain’s plasticity and describes a future when humans might be able to control machines with the mind, even over long distances. Eagleman is an educator, entrepreneur and author of fiction and nonfiction, including the international bestsellers “Sum” and “Incognito.” The futuristic vision he details is part of an upcoming book.