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Join us live as we bring industry influencers center stage to share what it takes to become a disruptor.

When: Wednesdays, 4:30 - 5:20 pm

Where: NVIDIA Auditorium, Stanford University

Audience: Open to the public

Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Sam Yam, Co-Founder & CTO, Patreon

In 2013, Sam Yam teamed up with his former Stanford roommate Jack Conte to create Patreon, a platform that connects content creators with members who provide recurring revenue. As co-founder and CTO, Yam has built Patreon into a service that has funded more than one hundred thousand creatives, channelling an estimated one billion dollars to musicians, podcasters, and artists of all kinds. This appearance by Sam Yam is part of the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders series. Join us live as we…

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Sam Yam
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Melinda Thomas, Co-Founder & COO, Octave Bioscience

Drawing on her experience starting 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. The company aims to improve patient management decisions and create better outcomes while also lowering costs. Prior to co-founding Octave, Thomas served as the inaugural Entrepreneur in Residence for New York City, solving problems for the city’s aspiring entrepreneurs, and as chair of the board for…

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Melinda Thomas
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Kulveer Taggar, Co-Founder & CEO, Zeus Living

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 already hosted more than 17,000 residents in its furnished units. Two years after earning his master’s degree in policy, philosophy and economics from Oxford University, Taggar moved from Great Britain to the US to launch Auctomatic, a web-based tool for online auction sellers. At…

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Kulveer Taggar
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Kate Rosenbluth, Founder & Chief Scientific Officer, Cala Health

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. Cala Health…

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Kate Rosenbluth
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Omar Tawakol, Founder, Voicea

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 is EVA, the most widely adopted in-meeting AI assistant. EVA records and transcribes meetings, generates highlights, and pushes relevant meeting content to productivity tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams. Prior to launching Voicea, Tawakol was the founder and CEO of BlueKai, a data exchange and data…

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Omar Tawakol
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Mar Hershenson, Managing Partner, Pear VC

Mar Hershenson co-founded Pear VC in 2013, and the firm has since made seed and pre-seed investments in category-defining companies like DropBox, Gusto, DoorDash and Branch Metrics. Before she moved into venture investing, Hershenson earned a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford, and leveraged that technical background to co-found three startups in the mobile/e-commerce, enterprise software, and semiconductor industries. She has been recognized by MIT Technology Review as a Top Innovator Under 35 and was named a Champion of Innovation…

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Mar Hershenson
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Mark Gainey, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman, Strava

Mark Gainey is the co-founder and executive chairman of Strava, which launched in 2009 as a web platform that allowed cyclists to track their rides via GPS devices. Two years later, Strava had only around 5,000 members, but soon the rise of GPS-enabled mobile phones and wearable fitness trackers kicked the company into high gear. A decade later, propelled by six fundraising rounds that have brought in $41.9 million, Strava has grown into a platform where more than 40 million…

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Mark Gainey
Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Ravi Mhatre, Founding Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners

In 1999, Ravi Mhatre founded Lightspeed Venture Partners, a VC firm that has focused on enterprise IT, mobile, and internet and cloud-based services and applications. The firm’s investments have since spurred more than a dozen companies to acquisition and five to IPO. Recently, Mhatre has broadened his horizons to invest in consumer businesses like Cheddar and Stitch Fix. Before entering venture capital, Mhatre ran a product management group at Silicon Graphics, worked in management consulting at Booz Allen, and spent…

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Ravi Mhatre