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.
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.
Dec 23, 2020
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.
Dec 16, 2020
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.
Dec 9, 2020
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.
Dec 2, 2020
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.
Nov 18, 2020
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.
Nov 11, 2020
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.
Nov 4, 2020
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.
Oct 28, 2020
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.
Oct 21, 2020