Serial Entrepreneur & Professor
A retired eight-time serial entrepreneur, Steve’s insight that startups are not small versions of large companies is reshaping the way startups are built and how entrepreneurship is taught. His observation that large companies execute business models, but startups search for them, led him to realize that startups need their own tools, different than those used to manage existing companies. Steve’s first tool for startups, the Customer Development methodology, spawned the Lean Startup movement. The fundamentals of Customer Development are detailed in Blank’s first book, The Four Steps to the Epiphany (2003), which together with his blog, www.steveblank.com, is considered required reading among entrepreneurs, investors and established companies throughout the world. His second book, The Startup Owner’s Manual, was published in March 2012. It is a step-by-step guide to building a successful company that incorporates the best practices, lessons and tips that have swept the startup world since The Four Steps was published. Blank teaches Customer Development and entrepreneurship at Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley Haas Business School and Columbia University, and his Customer Development process is taught at Universities throughout the world. In 2011, he developed the Lean LaunchPad, a hands-on class that integrates Business Model design and Customer Development into practice through fast-paced, real-world customer interaction and business model iteration. In 2011, the National Science Foundation adopted Blank’s class for its Innovation Corps (I-Corps), training teams of the nation’s top scientists and engineers, to take their ideas out of the university lab and into the commercial marketplace. Steve is a prolific writer and speaker who enjoys teaching young entrepreneurs. In 2009, he earned the Stanford University Undergraduate Teaching Award in Management Science and Engineering. In 2010, he earned the Earl F. Cheit Outstanding Teaching Award at U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business. The San Jose Mercury News listed him as one of the 10 Influencers in Silicon Valley. Despite these accolades and many others, Steve says he might well have been voted “least likely to succeed” in his New York City high school class.
Vinod Khosla is an entrepreneur, investor, and technology fan. He is the founder of Khosla Ventures, focused on impactful clean technology and information technology investments. Mr. Khosla was a co-founder of Daisy systems and founding CEO of Sun Microsystems where he pioneered open systems and commercial RISC processors. One of Mr. Khosla’s greatest passions is being a mentor to entrepreneurs, assisting entrepreneurs and helping them build technology based businesses. Mr. Khosla is driven by the desire to make positive impact through scaling alternative energy, achieving petroleum independence, and promoting a pragmatic approach to the environment. He is also passionate about Social Entrepreneurship. Vinod holds a Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering from IIT, New Delhi, a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Travis Kalanick is a successful entrepreneur in the areas of consumer internet, transportation, and enterprise content delivery. His most recent company, Uber, an on-demand black car service, seeks to be “Everyone’s Private Driver” by bringing disruptive technology and business innovation to urban transportation challenges. Prior to Uber, Travis founded Red Swoosh, an enterprise content delivery company that he sold to Akamai Technologies in 2007. Prior companies include Scour, the world’s first p2p search engine where Kalanick also attained the dubious distinction of having been sued for $250 billion. In addition, Kalanick has been an active angel investor in, and advising, kick-ass startups founded by truly awesome entrepreneurs. You can connect with Travis on Twitter @travisk, read his blog, or ask him anything on Formspring
Todd Park is the United States Chief Technology Officer and in this role serves as an Assistant to the President. Todd joined the Administration in August 2009 as Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In this role, he served as a change agent and “entrepreneur-in-residence,” helping HHS harness the power of data, technology, and innovation to improve the health of the nation. Prior to joining HHS, Mr. Park co-founded Athenahealth and co-led its development into one of the most innovative health IT companies in the industry. He also co-founded Castlight, a web-based health care shopping service for consumers. Mr. Park has also served in a volunteer capacity as a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he focused on health IT and health reform policy, and as senior health care advisor to Ashoka, a leading global incubator of social entrepreneurs, where he helped start Healthpoint Services, a venture to bring affordable telehealth, drugs, diagnostics, and clean water to rural India. Mr. Park graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College with an A.B. in economics.
Founder & CEO
Tim O’Reilly is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media. His original business plan was “interesting work for interesting people,” and that’s worked out pretty well. He publishes books, runs conferences, invests in early-stage startups, urges companies to create more value than they capture, and tries to change the world by spreading and amplifying the knowledge of innovators.
Tim is also a partner at O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, a founder and board member of Safari Books Online, and an adviser to Code for America.
Founding Partner, 500 Startups
Dave McClure is a greedy, blood-sucking venture capitalist & the founding partner at 500 Startups, an internet startup seed fund and incubator program in Mountain View, CA. He likes to hang out with entrepreneurs, and occasionally help or invest in their startups if they are foolish enough to let him. Dave has been geeking out in Silicon Valley for over twenty years, and has worked with companies such as PayPal, Mint, Founders Fund, Facebook, LinkedIn, SlideShare, Twilio, Simply Hired, O’Reilly Media, Intel, & Microsoft. Years ago he used to do real work like coding or marketing or running conferences, but these days he mostly does useless stuff like sending lots of email, blogging, and hanging out on Facebook and Twitter. Dave also likes to play ultimate frisbee when his knees don’t hurt.
Co-founder & CTO, HubSpot
Dharmesh is co-founder and CTO of HubSpot. HubSpot provides inbound marketing software that helps businesses attract, convert and engage customers on the web. The company, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts has over 6,000 customers and was ranked the second fastest growing software company in the Inc. 500. HubSpot has raised over $60 million in venture capital. Dharmesh is the co-author of “Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs” published by Wiley in October, 2009. The book has been one of the top 50 marketing books on Amazon for over 2 years. He also authors OnStartups.com, a popular startup blog with over 220,000 members in its online community. He is an active member of the Boston area entrepreneurial community, an angel investor in over 30 startups and a frequent speaker on the topic of startups and inbound marketing. Dharmesh has a B.S. in Computer Science from UAB and an M.S. in the Management of Technology from MIT.
Founder & Executive Director
Jennifer Pahlka is the founder and executive director of Code for America, which is dedicated to the idea that government can work for the people, by the people, in the 21st century. She is an Ashoka fellow, and received the Internet and Society Award from the Oxford Internet Institute in 2012. Government Technology named her one of 2011’s Doers, Dreamers and Drivers in Public Sector Innovation and the Huffington Post named her the top Game Changer in Business and Technology the same year. She is known for her TED talk, Coding a Better Government, and is a frequent speaker. Previously, she ran the Web 2.0 and Gov 2.0 events for TechWeb, in conjunction with O’Reilly Media, and co-chaired the successful Web 2.0 Expo. She is a graduate of Yale University and lives in Oakland, Calif. with her daughter and eight chickens.
Scott Chacon is the CIO of GitHub. He is also the author of the Pro Git book by Apress (progit.org) and the maintainer of the Git homepage (git-scm.com). Scott has presented at dozens of conferences around the world on Git, GitHub and the future of work. Scott is not an actor on Mad Men, and refuses to participate in Karaoke.
The Lean Startup
Eric Ries is the best-selling author of the Lean Startup and the popular entrepreneurship blog Startup Lessons Learned. He previously co-founded and served as Chief Technology Officer of IMVU. In 2007, BusinessWeek named Ries one of the Best Young Entrepreneurs of Tech and in 2009 he was honored with a TechFellow award in the category of Engineering Leadership. He serves on the advisory board of a number of technology startups, and has worked as a consultant to a number of startups, companies, and venture capital firms. In 2010, he became an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School. Eric is the co-author of several books including The Black Art of Java Game Programming (Waite Group Press, 1996). While an undergraduate at Yale Unviersity, he co-founded Catalyst Recruiting. Although Catalyst folded with the dot-com crash, Ries continued his entrepreneurial career as a Senior Software Engineer at There.com, leading efforts in agile software development and user-generated content.
Nicole Lazzaro, the founder (in 1992) and President of XEODesign, Inc., has twenty years expertise in Player Experience Design (PXD) for mass-market entertainment products. Widely recognized as one of the top women working in video games and a pioneering, leading figure in mobile and social games, Fast Company considers Nicole one of the 100 most influential women in high tech, and Gamasutra voted her one of the Top 20 women working in video games. Nicole has spoken at the US State Department, and has been cited by Wired, Fast Company, ABC News, CNN, CNET, The Hollywood Reporter, and Red Herring. She has improved over 100 million player experiences and has worked with EA, Ubisoft, D.I.C.E., Lucas Arts, Disney, PlayFirst, The Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon on such popular franchises as three of the Myst series, Diner Dash, Fusion Fall, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, Jeopardy Online, as well as creativity coaching for the designers of The Sims.
Co-Founder & CEO
Seth is the Product Management Director for the Google+ Platform. Seth joined Google through its acquisition of Meebo, where he was Co-Founder and CEO. Meebo, a consumer Internet company, reached more than half of the U.S. internet population, working to make sites more social and engaging. Sternberg, along with college friends Elaine Wherry and Sandy Jen, started Meebo in 2005. Meebo was installed on more than 8,000 websites including Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, TMZ, Dilbert, and The Washington Examiner. Meebo investors included Sequoia Capital, Khosla Ventures, Time Warner, True Ventures and others. Prior to starting Meebo, Sternberg worked in IBM’s Corporate Development group. In his spare time, Sternberg mentors aspiring entrepreneurs, spends a bunch of time on a bicycle and is an avid pilot. He has spoken at several industry events and has been featured on CNBC, in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and WIRED, among others. Sternberg graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and attended (but ultimately dropped out of) Stanford Business School.
Chief Information Officer
Steven L. VanRoekel, United States Chief Information Officer and Administrator, Office of Electronic Government, Office of Management and Budget
Steven was appointed as the second United States Chief Information Officer by President Obama on August 5th, 2011. In this role, he is spearheading a transformation in the Federal Government’s use of technology by “Innovating with Less”. VanRoekel is driving savings and promoting innovation across the Federal IT portfolio by upgrading our nation’s cyber security capabilities, creating new open data policies, fostering delivery of mobile services to citizens, consolidating data centers, and promoting the Government’s transition to cloud computing. Wired Magazine recently named VanRoekel as one of the United States’ top 10 cloud influencers and thought leaders.
Prior to his position in the White House, Mr. VanRoekel served as the Executive Director of Citizen and Organizational Engagement at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and as Managing Director of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). At the FCC, Mr. VanRoekel oversaw all operational, technical, financial, and human resource aspects of the agency. He also led the FCC’s efforts to introduce new technology and social media into the agency.
Before joining government in 2009, Mr. VanRoekel spent his entire private-sector career at Microsoft Corporation, including a stint as Speech and Strategy Assistant to Bill Gates, the corporation’s co-founder, and most recently as Senior Director of the Windows Server division. He received a B.A. in Management of Information Systems from Iowa State University.
Co-Founder & CEO
Dan Greenberg is the co-founder and CEO of Sharethrough, the leading native video advertising company. Powered by technology built to drive maximum sharing and social impact, Sharethrough’s platform enables major brands to distribute video content across natively-integrated ad placements across the web and beyond. Dan has been at the cutting edge of web video since 2005, bringing together unique expertise in viral engineering, persuasive technology, and native monetization. A Stanford graduate, Dan was recently named to the Forbes “30 Under 30″ list and has been honored as an Ad Age Media Maven. He is a regular speaker at advertising and technology conferences and contributes to industry publications including Forbes, AdAge, and TechCrunch.
Juan Diego Calle
Founder & CEO
Juan Diego Calle, a serial entrepreneur, is the founder and CEO of .CO Internet S.A.S., the registry operator for the .CO top level domain. Under Juan’s leadership, .CO was launched internationally in July of 2010, and has quickly become one of the most successful domain extensions in history, with more than 1 million domain names registered by people and companies in 200 countries worldwide.
At the ripe, old age of 20, Juan co-founded TeRespondo.com, the largest online search advertising network in Latin America. The company operated in USA, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, prior to being acquired by Yahoo, Inc. in 2005. Subsequently, Juan founded FederatedTravel.com, a large, global network of premium travel websites, including popular destination sites like ParisHotels.com, NewYorkHotels.com and LondonHotels.com, among others.
A committed triathlete and increasingly competent first-time Dad—Juan is a voracious learner whose greatest passion is business and entrepreneurship. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner-President Management Program. Prior to that, he had tried, quite unsuccessfully, to study Industrial Engineering and Finance at the University of Miami
Co-Founder & CEO
A travel-obsessed serial entrepreneur, Sam previously founded and was CEO of DealBase.com, a travel deals search engine, and was CEO of TravelPost.com, a hotel reviews site. SideStep acquired TravelPost.com and Sam stayed on as VP of business development until its fortunate acquisition by Kayak. Sam also worked in comparison shopping at Excite, CNET and NexTag. Not at all surprisingly, he was an assistant to Wes Craven on the film Scream. He HotelTonights at the Ace New York.
Entrepreneur and current Chief Technology Officer for ModCloth Udi Nir has built tech’ teams from the ground up and transitioned businesses through rapid scaling cycles when serving senior engineering roles at companies such as maker of Tbps optical routers Kerenix, which he co-founded, eBay-acquired Shopping.com, where he was VP of Engineering during IPO, and eBay, where he co-founded K2, an internal product. Before joining ModCloth, Udi also co-founded Threadsy, maker of the integrated communications service and social marketing tool Swaylo, which was recently acquired by Facebook. Although his Masters of Sciences in Electrical Engineering is from Tel Aviv University, Udi now proudly claims the Bay Area tech industry his new home.
Senior Product Manager
Kevin Hale is the Co-founder of Infinity Box Inc, a Y Combinator seeded company that built Wufoo, an online form builder that was was ranked by Jakob Nielson as one of the best application UIs of 2008 and later acquired by SurveyMonkey in 2011. He now serves as a Senior Product Manager responsible for safeguarding and enhancing the user experience of SurveyMonkey’s products.
Director of Product
Joe Zadeh (a.k.a. “Joebot”) is Director of Product at Airbnb, a community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique spaces around the world. Much of his efforts are focused on keeping engineering and design tightly integrated to enable world-class online and offline experiences. He joined the company as an engineer when the entire product development team worked out of a bedroom in a San Francisco apartment. In a previous life, Joe was a research scientist and holds a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Caltech and a B.S. in Computer Science from Northwestern University.
CEO & Co-Founder
Kathryn Minshew is the CEO & co-founder of The Muse (formerly known as The Daily Muse). Kathryn graduated magna cum laude from Duke University as a Angier B Duke Scholar. In 2010, Kathryn worked in Malawi and Rwanda on vaccine introduction with the Clinton Health Access Initiative. She previously worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. She’s appeared on CNN, Fox, Bloomberg, MSNBC, Fast Company, PBS, Forbes’ 30-Under-30 in Media and INC’s 15 Women to Watch in Tech.
Staff Software Engineer
Ross arrived at Etsy in March 2010, where he was a founding member of the Core Platform Team and, later, the Payments Team. In those three years he’s enjoyed a front-row view of Etsy’s evolution from a successful medium-sized startup to a burgeoning global handmade empire. Ross is responsible for Etsy’s credit card and gift card processing systems, which handle millions of dollars daily. Though he hadn’t practiced continuous deployment prior to Etsy, he now finds it difficult to recall how things got done without it. Previously Ross worked at Yahoo!, helped start Newgrounds.com, and, in his most challenging role, spent a year as a high school teacher. Ross has a B.S. in Math from Drexel University and an M.S. in Computer Science from NYU.
Author, Running Lean
Ash Maurya is the author of “Running Lean: How to Iterate from Plan A to a plan that works” and the founder of Spark59 whose mission is helping entrepreneurs succeed.
Driven by the search for better and faster ways for building successful products, Ash has been rigorously testing Lean Startup techniques for the past 3 years. He serves as a mentor to several accelerators including TechStars, MaRS, Capital Factory, and has worked with companies large and small.
He continues to share his ongoing learning on his blog and by way of workshops and bootcamps that he teaches around the world.
Ash lives in Austin, TX.
Author, The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development
Patrick Vlaskovits is an entrepreneur, author and consultant, and more than anything wishes he were a polymath.
His writing has been featured on Harvard Business Review blog, the Wall Street Journal blog, and The Browser.
Patrick routinely speaks at technology conferences nationally and internationally, including SXSW, GROW Conference, The Turing Festival and The Lean Startup Conference. He co-founded two startups, currently advises multiple technology startups and serves as a mentor for 500 Startups seed fund and startup accelerator. As a principal at Moves the Needle, he counts Fortune 100 companies in his client list.
The Lean Entrepreneur is his second book. The first, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development, is required course text for MBA and undergrad at universities such as the University of Chicago Booth School and Berkeley, he has also guest-lectured at Stanford and UCLA.
For some unknown reason, Patrick holds a Master’s in Economics from UC Santa Barbara. When he has spare time, he can be found on Orange County beaches with his family.
Author, Lean UX
Jeff Gothelf has spent a 14 year career as an interaction designer, Agile practitioner, user experience team leader and blogger. He is one of the leading voices on the topic of Agile UX and Lean UX. In addition, Jeff is the author of the upcoming O’Reilly book (2013), Lean UX: Applying lean principles to improve user experience (www.leanuxbook.com).
Author, Lean Analytics
Alistair has been an entrepreneur, author, and public speaker for nearly 20 years. He’s worked on a variety of topics, from web performance, to big data, to cloud computing, to startups, in that time. In 2001, he co-founded web performance startup Coradiant (acquired by BMC in 2011), and since that time has also launched Rednod, CloudOps, Bitcurrent, Year One Labs, the Bitnorth conference, the International Startup Festival and several other early-stage companies.
Alistair is the chair of O’Reilly’s Strata conference, Cloud Connect, and Interop’s Enterprise Cloud Summit. Lean Analytics is his fourth book on analytics, technology, and entrepreneurship. Alistair lives in Montreal, Canada and tries to mitigate chronic ADD by writing about far too many things at Solve For Interesting. You can yell at him on Twitter as @acroll.
Founder & CEO
Trevor is an entrepreneur and thought leader on Lean Startup methodologies. He’s the Founder & CEO of Lean Startup Machine, an innovation education company that has helped thousands of startup founders and individuals from organizations including Google, Salesforce, News Corp, Intuit, and others, start hundreds of new businesses across six continents.
In his upcoming book, “Build Measure Learn: How to Launch Disruptive Products the Lean Way,” Trevor explains how he’s applied Lean Startup methods with both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to save millions of dollars in wasted efforts.
Owens’s work has been featured in national media outlets including Forbes, Mashable, American Express OPEN Forum, and Business Insider, among others. He also volunteers as a coach for the White House’s Innovation Fellows program and as a featured guest speaker at Princeton & Columbia University.
Chief Product Officer
Prerna Gupta is Chief Product Officer at Smule, the leading developer of social music creation apps, like the #1 hit app Songify, an app that turns speech into music. Smule’s apps have over 90 million downloads and over 950 million songs created to date. Previously, Prerna co-founded Khush, the leading developer of intelligent music apps, and led the company to profitability and acquisition by Smule in 2011. She was also responsible for producing viral videos for her products that have reached over 200 million views. Prior to her foray into entrepreneurship, Prerna worked in consulting at Monitor Group and early-stage venture capital at Summit Partners. She studied Economics at Stanford University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 2004. Prerna was voted one of FastCompany’s Most Influential Women in Technology 2011, and her writing has been featured in the New York Times and TechCrunch. She is also a budding angel investor and Resident Mentor at 500 Startups.
George Kellerman wears many hats. He’s an entrepreneur, investor, consultant and attorney, and he is focused on facilitating the transfer of technology and know-how between the US and Japan. George lived in Japan for over 12 years and he has worked for companies such as Yahoo! Japan, Dell Japan, Zynga Japan, and many others. George currently lives in Cupertino, California, and is working to create a seed fund and incubator for high-tech startups in Japan. George loves surfing, sailing, skateboarding, and rock climbing.
Inbound Marketing Evangelist
Laura Fitton co-authored Twitter for Dummies and founded oneforty.com (acquired by HubSpot) in 2009 when she recognized that software built on Twitter’s API was going to change the world. As an Inbound Marketing Evangelist, she’s excited about showing companies how to grow by helping people buy instead of cramming marketing messages down their throats. Laura is credited with convincing Guy Kawasaki and thousands of tech execs that Twitter would have real business value. She founded the first Twitter for Business consultancy, Pistachio Consulting, in 2008 and has been speaking professionally about the business use of Twitter since 2007.
Parag is Chief Scientist at Smule. He was previously co-founder and CTO of Khush, the leading developer of intelligent music apps, which was acquired by Smule in 2011. He is the former director of the Georgia Tech Music Intelligence Lab, a research institute funded by the National Science Foundation to build intelligent systems that are musically creative. Parag was recently the recipient of the competitive NSF CAREER Award for his research in music prediction. He received a PhD in artificial intelligence and music at Stanford University and a BS in Mathematics from Yale. He has extensive experience managing commercial software development, and is also the founder of BolRecords, an Indian classical music record label. Parag is an actively performing Indian classical musician and electronic music composer.
Laura is a user experience designer and recovering engineer. She writes about Lean UX and product management on her blog, Users Know, and is the author of UX for Lean Startups. She’s given talks and workshops at SXSW, Web 2.0, and The Lean Startup Conference. Before launching her own startup consulting practice, Laura worked with Eric at IMVU, the original Lean Startup, as both an engineer and a designer. She’s been working with tech companies in Silicon Valley for more than 15 years. Laura has an A.B. from Stanford University.
Erin Turner is an entrepreneur and product person in commerce, games, & social media. Currently she is product director at Wildfire (now a division of Google), the leading social media marketing platform. Previously Erin founded and led two startups (Crave and Gigabeat) and spent 8 years in the game industry at Electronic Arts (EA), Kixeye, and Trion Worlds.
Josh is the co-author of “Lean UX” and a founding partner at Neo in NYC. He has been creating great technology products for more than 20 years. A UX design leader, Josh has worked in hardware and software, consumer and enterprise, mobile, web, and desktop. He was head of product design at Wall Street innovator Liquidnet, and lead pioneering interaction design teams at Cooper. He is a founder and past President of the Interaction Design Association.
Co-Founder & CEO
Joshua Baer spends all day worrying about email so that you don’t have to. He is an email marketing pioneer and the Founder of OtherInbox, which was acquired by Return Path in 2011. He has founded or invested in a dozen email startups and you can see his mark on about half of the email messages in your Inbox. Joshua helps people quit their jobs and become entrepreneurs.He brought together 20 others to form the Capital Factory early stage accelerator to mentor and invest in tech startups. Joshua founded his first startup in 1996 in his college dormitory and now teaches a class at the University of Texas for student entrepreneurs. He received Computer Science and Information Decision Systems degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and lives in Austin, TX with his wife and three children.
More speakers to be posted soon!