Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders

Synopsis

Each week, experienced entrepreneurs and innovators come to Stanford University to candidly share lessons theyve learned while developing, launching and scaling disruptive ideas. The Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series is produced by Stanford eCorner during fall, winter and spring quarters. ETL is supported by the venture capital firm DFJ.

Episodes

  • Beverly Parenti  Chris Redlitz (The Last Mile) and Ray Harts (Healthy Hearts Institute) - Growing a Social Venture

    Beverly Parenti & Chris Redlitz (The Last Mile) and Ray Harts (Healthy Hearts Institute) - Growing a Social Venture

    08/07/2020 Duration: 47min

    Beverly Parenti and Chris Redlitz are the co-founders of The Last Mile, an organization that aims to break the cycle of incarceration by providing education and career training opportunities in prisons. Founded in 2010 at San Quentin State Prison, The Last Mile has become one of the most requested prison education programs in the United States. In this talk, joined by former TLM student and Healthy Hearts Institute founder Ray Harts, they discuss how to build and grow social ventures that make a difference.

  • Joe DeSimone (Carbon) - The Case for Convergence

    Joe DeSimone (Carbon) - The Case for Convergence

    01/07/2020 Duration: 47min

    Joe DeSimone is the founder and executive chairman of Carbon, a global company that is driving the evolution of 3D printing from a prototyping tool into a scalable manufacturing technology. As a professor at the University of North Carolina, DeSimone made scientific breakthroughs in areas including green chemistry, medical devices, and nanotechnology, also co-founding several companies based on his research. In 2016 President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honor in the U.S. for achievement and leadership in advancing technological progress. In this talk, he explores how diverse teams, perspectives and specialties can drive innovations in both technologies and business models.

  • Julie Zhuo (Inspirit) - How to Learn from Users

    Julie Zhuo (Inspirit) - How to Learn from Users

    24/06/2020 Duration: 46min

    Julie Zhuo is the co-founder of Inspirit, an advisory firm that partners with fast-scaling tech companies to build and scale products that people love. Prior to founding Inspirit, she was the VP of design and research for the Facebook app, and helped scale the service from 8 million users to over 2 billion. She is also the author of The Making of a Manager, a field guide for new managers that was named one of Amazon's Best Business and Leadership Books of 2019. In this talk, she focuses on how to channel user feedback into impactful product decisions, and also shares some powerful lessons about how to become a successful manager.

  • ETL Returns on June 24!

    ETL Returns on June 24!

    12/06/2020 Duration: 01min

    For the first time ever, we're extending our ETL series into the summer! We’ll be inviting some of our most impactful past ETL speakers to reflect on clips from their previous ETL talks, explore how they’re responding to the current moment, and point out strategies that remain as powerful as ever. Our summer season kicks off on Wednesday, June 24 with Inspirit founder Julie Zhuo. Later on we’ll hear from innovators like Stockton mayor Michael Tubbs, Beverly Parenti and Chris Redlitz (co-founders of the prison reform nonprofit The Last Mile) and Ann Miura-Ko (founding partner at the VC firm Floodgate). Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to get new episodes delivered straight to you every Wednesday!

  • Kevin Systrom (Instagram) - How Instagram Scaled

    Kevin Systrom (Instagram) - How Instagram Scaled

    03/06/2020 Duration: 47min

    Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram, first spoke at ETL in 2011, just seven months after Instagram launched. Here, he returns to ETL nine years later to draw some new insights about the startup's rocket-like growth. In an interview with Stanford professor of the practice and STVP faculty director Tina Seelig, Systrom reflects on the lessons he’s learned during the course of that journey, and also talks about his work on Rt.live, a new platform that aims to model the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Alexi Robichaux (BetterUp) - Uncompromising Values

    Alexi Robichaux (BetterUp) - Uncompromising Values

    27/05/2020 Duration: 51min

    Alexi Robichaux is the co-founder and CEO of BetterUp, a mobile-based platform that brings personalized professional coaching to employees at all levels. In this talk, Robichaux speaks with Stanford lecturer Toby Corey about the motivations that drove him to found BetterUp, and reflects on key values, strategies and pivots that have helped sustain the venture’s mission-driven growth.

  • Ethan Brown (Beyond Meat) - Reimagining Meat

    Ethan Brown (Beyond Meat) - Reimagining Meat

    22/05/2020 Duration: 50min

    Ethan Brown is the founder, president and CEO of Beyond Meat. In this talk, Stanford lecturer Toby Corey interviews Brown about how his company has redefined “meat.” Brown shares some of the key lessons learned from Beyond Meat’s startup story and explores some of the pivotal moments of his journey from idea to IPO.

  • Andy Karsner (X) - Designing for Natural Security

    Andy Karsner (X) - Designing for Natural Security

    13/05/2020 Duration: 47min

    Andy Karsner is a senior strategist and “Space Cowboy” at X, the “moonshot factory” at Alphabet (Google’s parent company). He has spent two decades driving renewable energy innovation and other climate solutions, including serving as the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy from 2005 to 2008. In this talk, Emily Ma, Food Systems Lead at X, interviews Karsner about the nation’s preeminent natural security challenges and explores where he finds the greatest hope for designing solutions.

  • Joseph Tsai (Alibaba Group) - From Alibaba to the NBA

    Joseph Tsai (Alibaba Group) - From Alibaba to the NBA

    06/05/2020 Duration: 46min

    Joseph Tsai is a co-founder and the executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group, a global Internet technology company based in China. He is also the owner of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and the WNBA’s New York Liberty, along with several other sports and sports media companies. In this conversation with Stanford professor Tom Byers, Tsai tells stories and shares strategies from a career that has built many important bridges between China and North America.

  • Amy Francetic (Buoyant Ventures) - The Evolution of Clean Tech Investing

    Amy Francetic (Buoyant Ventures) - The Evolution of Clean Tech Investing

    29/04/2020 Duration: 49min

    Amy Francetic is the founder and managing partner of Buoyant Ventures, a venture fund that invests in digital climate solutions. In this talk, delivered on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Francetic sheds light on the evolution of the clean tech market and shares why now, more than ever, is an opportune time to invest in clean energy and energy efficiency.

  • Heidi Roizen (Threshold Ventures) - Leadership in a Crisis

    Heidi Roizen (Threshold Ventures) - Leadership in a Crisis

    22/04/2020 Duration: 45min

    Heidi Roizen, now a partner at Threshold Ventures, spent time as the CEO and co-founder of T/Maker and the VP of Worldwide Developer Relations at Apple before pursuing a career in venture capital. Along the way, she’s experienced several significant disruptions, including the dot-com crash of the early 2000s and the subsequent Great Recession. In this talk, delivered amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she shares ten concepts that can guide leaders in times of crisis.

  • Annie Kadavy (Redpoint Ventures) - Venture Capital Decisionmaking

    Annie Kadavy (Redpoint Ventures) - Venture Capital Decisionmaking

    15/04/2020 Duration: 44min

    What does a venture capitalist actually do day-to-day, and how do they make decisions? Annie Kadavy is a managing director at Redpoint Ventures, and in this conversation with Stanford professor of the practice Tina Seelig, she shares what her job looks like, then presents five mini-case studies looking at how VCs scope investments and manage companies.

  • ETL returns April 15!

    ETL returns April 15!

    08/04/2020 Duration: 51s

    A new season of the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders series starts on April 15! While ETL won’t be a live, in-person event during this time of social distancing, we’ll be connecting with speakers digitally and sharing the conversations on our podcast as usual. And we have some great speakers lined up! We’ll kick off with Redpoint Ventures managing partner Annie Kadavy, then hear from innovators like Beyond Meat founder Ethan Brown, Alibaba executive vice chairman Joe Tsai, and clean energy thought leader Andy Karsner. And we’ll end the season with Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to get new episodes delivered straight to you every Wednesday

  • Ravi Belani (Stanford University) - Building Billion Dollar Businesses

    Ravi Belani (Stanford University) - Building Billion Dollar Businesses

    11/03/2020 Duration: 43min

    As a lecturer in Stanford’s Department of Management Science and Engineering, Ravi Belani regularly teaches MS&E 472, the Stanford course associated with the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders series. He is also the managing director of Alchemist Accelerator, an accelerator program that focuses on enterprise businesses and has funded startups like LaunchDarkly, Rigetti Computing and Zipongo. Before Alchemist, he spent four years as an associate at the VC firm DFJ. There, he was instrumental in backing the company that later became Twitch, which was acquired by Amazon for $970 million in 2014. In this talk, he draws on his keen observations of the Silicon Valley ecosystem to identify the factors that align to create the most transformational venture-scale businesses.

  • Mark Gainey (Strava) - How Strava Found its Niche

    Mark Gainey (Strava) - How Strava Found its Niche

    04/03/2020 Duration: 49min

    Mark Gainey is the co-founder and executive chairman of Strava, a platform where more than 50 million athletes around the world track their workouts and compare their stats. In this talk, he explains the “inch wide, mile deep” strategy that informed both Strava and his previous startup, Kana Communications. He explores how, by first focusing intently on the niche category of passionate road cyclists, Strava earned a credibility that ultimately allowed the company to scale into many other sports.

  • Mar Hershenson (Pear VC) - Strategies for Student Entrepreneurs

    Mar Hershenson (Pear VC) - Strategies for Student Entrepreneurs

    26/02/2020 Duration: 46min

    Mar Hershenson co-founded Pear VC in 2013, and under her watch the firm has made seed and pre-seed investments in category-defining companies like DropBox, Gusto, DoorDash and Branch Metrics. Along the way, she’s spent a significant amount of time mentoring student-entrepreneurs. In this talk, she focuses on some of the most common questions and concerns she hears from student entrepreneurs, offering insights she’s gained both as a serial startup founder and as a seed-stage VC investor.

  • Omar Tawakol (Voicea) - The Future of Voice

    Omar Tawakol (Voicea) - The Future of Voice

    19/02/2020 Duration: 48min

    Backed by corporate investors that included Cisco, Google, Microsoft and Salesforce, Omar Tawakol founded Voicea in 2017, and served as the company’s CEO until its acquisition by Cisco in September 2019. Voicea’s core offering was EVA, an  in-meeting AI assistant that transcribed meetings, generated highlights, and pushed relevant meeting content to productivity tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams. EVA is now being rolled into Cisco’s Webex Assistant, and Tawakol is currently the VP and GM of the Cisco Contact Center. In this talk, he explores the strategies he employed as he scaled Voicea and landed it at Cisco. He also draws on his experience building BlueKai, a data exchange and data management platform company he founded in 2007 and sold to Oracle in 2014, and draws contrasts between the two very different B2B business models.

  • Kate Rosenbluth (Cala Health) - A Needs-Based Innovation Framework

    Kate Rosenbluth (Cala Health) - A Needs-Based Innovation Framework

    12/02/2020 Duration: 49min

    As a Stanford Biodesign Innovation Fellow, Kate Rosenbluth was captivated by the unmet need to treat hand tremors. She discovered that the site of deep brain stimulation was accessible through the peripheral nerves in the wrist, and teamed up with Scott Delp, director of the Stanford Neuromuscular Biomechanics Lab, to found Cala Health, where she is now the chief scientific officer. The company’s wearable neuromodulation therapies merge neuroscience research with cutting-edge technology to deliver individualized peripheral nerve stimulation. Here, she presents a framework for “needs-based innovation,” and explores how she emphasized a needs-based approach in the context of Cala Health.

  • Kulveer Taggar (Zeus Living) - Scaling with Purpose

    Kulveer Taggar (Zeus Living) - Scaling with Purpose

    05/02/2020 Duration: 51min

    Kulveer Taggar is the co-founder and CEO of Zeus Living, a tech-driven property management company focused on disrupting the corporate housing market. The company raised a $55 million Series B round in December 2019, and has hosted more than 17,000 residents in its furnished units. In this talk, he explores how thinking on a scale of decades rather than just a few years has impacted his company’s culture and strategy.

  • Melinda Thomas (Octave Bioscience) - The Courage to Begin

    Melinda Thomas (Octave Bioscience) - The Courage to Begin

    29/01/2020 Duration: 42min

    Drawing on her experience launching and leading health companies like CardioDx and ParAllele, Melinda Thomas co-founded Octave Bioscience in 2014. Octave is developing a care management platform for neurodegenerative diseases, starting with multiple sclerosis, and aims to improve patient management decisions and create better outcomes while also lowering costs. In this talk, Thomas offers strategies for building deep, skills-driven entrepreneurial confidence.

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