Meet Our Speakers
In This Section
The following is a list of guest speakers — founders and leaders of
business and non-business enterprises — who have participated in
L&S 5 since the course's inception.
Joan Blades, MoveOn.org and MomsRising.org
Co-founder in 1987 of Berkeley Systems, a San Francisco Bay area software company known for marketing the After Dark screensaver. After selling Berkeley Systems in 1997 for $13.8 million, Blades and Boyd founded the liberal political group MoveOn.org.
Steve Blank, retired entrepreneur and private investor
Steve Blank has founded or participated in eight Silicon Valley startups since 1978, including E.piphany, a successful CRM company. He is the author of “Four Steps to the Epiphany,” a how-to book for bringing products to market.
Dan Buettner, Blue Zones
National Geographic explorer Dan Buettner parlayed long-distance cycling into life as a public adventurer. His New York Times bestseller, “Blue Zones,” chronicles his search for those places on the planet where people live the longest.
Rob Chandra, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners
Rob Chandra is a Partner in Bessemer's Menlo Park office. Since entering the venture capital industry in 1996, Rob has been involved with 21 early-stage investments that have gone public or been acquired by public companies.
Mario Chiodo, Chiodo Art Development
Chiodo Art Development, with lead sculptor Mario Chiodo, is a consortium of artisans who collaborate with designers and architects to produce artworks that enhance themes, tell stories, beautify a development, and spark imagination.
Dave Evans, Evans and Associates
An experienced Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Dave Evans traces his professional roots to the early days at Apple (where he was a key leader of the efforts to bring to life the mouse and wysiwyg printing) and EA.
Mike Fleiss, Next Entertainment
Having achieved runaway success in the television medium as one of the most prolific creators/executive producers of prime time television in a generation, top reality producer Mike Fleiss and his company, Next Entertainment, are also busy feature filmmakers.
Trip Hawkins, Digital Chocolate
The founder of Electronics Arts, home of the wildly successful John Madden Football, Trip Hawkins has spent 20 years building computer game companies such as EA, 3DO and, now, Digital Chocolate.
Jeff Housenbold, Shutterfly
As Shutterfly’s President & CEO, Jeffrey Housenbold leads the Company’s strategic direction and growth. Jeffrey is a new-media visionary with a successful track record of building online consumer franchises by artfully combining commerce and community.
Jonathan Hull, Writer and Entrepreneur, WereYouThere.com
After a career as a former TIME magazine bureau chief in Jerusalem and Chicago and a bestselling novelist, Hull launched WereYouThere.com to create a site to create conversations about the moments in life that matter, while building a fascinating social archive of the experiences that shape our lives - and history.
Lata Krishnan, Co-Founder, Shah Capital Partners
Co-founder of SMART Modular, founding president of America-India Foundation, and CFO of Shah Capital Partners, Lata Krishnan has leveraged her entrepreneurial success into a career in venture capital and philanthropy, where she is on the board of several foundations.
Selina Lo, Ruckus Wireless
CEO Selina Lo’s company sells cutting-edge equipment to relatively staid cable operators. Her management style and search for internal allies in the firms she meets with help her team keep growing.
Sylvia Paull, Gracenet
Sylvia Paull is a leading Silicon Valley public relations entrepreneur. She founded Gracenet, a networking group for women in high tech with chapters in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and is also on the advisory board of BlogHer.
Jasper Rine, Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development, UC Berkeley
Professor Rine’s hugely popular teaching style led to a million-dollar grant to incorporate the excitement of research into undergraduate education. Jasper is also founder of several start-ups, including Acacia Biosciences, which is now part of Merck.
Eric Scroggins, Teach for America
As executive director, Eric Scroggins hopes to make Teach for America an inspiration to a generation of teachers by having them work in disadvantaged communities at the very beginning of their career.
Mark Sherman, General Partner, Battery Ventures
Ellen Siminoff, Chairman of the Board, Efficient Frontier
The founding executive at Yahoo!, Ellen Siminoff spent six years building the company, including its initial investment in Google. She is chairman of Efficient Frontier, which uses Wall Street-style algorithms to dominate the ad keyword placement market, and a co-founder of Shmoop.
Tomye Tierney, Vice President and General Manager, Genzyme
Dirk Thye, M.D., CEREXA, Inc., Senior Vice President, Drug Development
Co-founder of several biotech companies, Dirk Thye is an expert in anti-infective research. He has led clinical development teams at Cerexa, Peninsula Pharmaceuticals, and Vicuron Pharmaceuticals.
Alisa Yaffa, Entrepreneur
Alisa Yaffa was the business co-founder and chairman of the board of Synplicity, which she took public in October 2000 and sold to Synopsys in May 2008 for $227M. Ms. Yaffa holds the distinction of being the first woman co-founder, CEO, and chairman of the board of a U.S. Electronic Design Automation company.