Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Teaching Educators In India To Teach Entrepreneurship

This article offers a glimpse into a wonderful partnership between the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) and the National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) to encourage entrepreneurship education throughout all of India. This article talks about one of several initiatives we have together: the Entrepreneurship Educators Course (EEC) to enhance the efficiency of Indian entrepreneurs.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Stanford Was Named Today by Fortune as One of America's Best Colleges for Entrepreneurs

The Stanford Technology Ventures Program was named as one of 25 top programs for undergrads.

Here’s what they said about us. (Note: The reference to a lack of formal curriculum is misleading, considering we offer at least 20 courses for undergrads.)

“With its extensive network of Silicon Valley contacts and successful integration of entrepreneurship into its engineering program, Stanford wins rave reviews from entrepreneurship professors nationwide. Even though it does not have a formal undergraduate curriculum on the subject, the school fosters entrepreneurship through organizations such as the Business Association of Stanford Engineering Students, which connects both undergrads and grad students across campus at networking and educational events. "We teach students the skills that help them take their ideas out of the lab and into the real world to make a global impact," says Tina Seelig, Executive Director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. Entrepreneurship Week, launched this year at Stanford, featured a contest to create value out of a pad of Post-Its.”

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Entrepreneur’s Podcast Spotlight: Entrepreneurship Visionary and Author Carl Schramm

The Positive Impact of Entrepreneurship in the American Economy

Carl J. Schramm, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Listen to this inspirational podcast of Carl Schramm talking about the vital role of entrepreneurship in the changing economy. For example, half of the U.S. jobs created in 2007 are from firms less than five years old. Though focused on the American economy, his points apply across the world.

Friday, August 10, 2007

STVP Faculty Chosen as Sloan Industries Fellow

We are very pleased to announce that STVP’s Riitta Katila, Assistant Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, has been chosen as a Sloan Industry Studies Fellow, 2007-2009.

Sloan Industry Studies Fellowships are intended to enhance the careers of the very best young faculty members in the interdisciplinary field of Industry Studies. Awarded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, these fellowships support the development of industry studies, a multidisciplinary field of research on industries that is grounded in direct observation.

Awards are made to scholars who show the most outstanding promise of making important contributions to understanding the complex systems of companies, product and labor markets, institutions and their interactions that shape the multifaceted environment of modern industrial enterprises.

Sloan Industry Studies Fellows, once chosen, are free to pursue any direction of original investigation in industry studies, subject to an expectation that they will establish or maintain close working relationships within a chosen industry.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Entreprenuer's Podcast Spotlight: Interview with Legendary NFL Quarterback Steve Young

Negotiations On and Off the Field

Stan Christensen interviews Steve Young, Former NFL Quarterback

Steve Young, former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, was named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XXIX and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005. He’s also a lawyer and entrepreneur. Here he describes the lessons he's learned in negotiating with teammates, agents, and in his personal life. Interviewed as a guest in STVP instructor Stan Christensen's Negotiations course, Young provides insight through humorous anecdotes across a broad range of experience.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

STVP-AlwaysOn Stanford Summit Coverage - Part 3

Day Three of the conference has proven to be just as interesting as the other two.

Highlight #1: How to Get Acquired By One of the Big Players

If your exit strategy is acquisition by one of the big technology brands, you’ll want to listen to the archive of “Who do the Big Brands Want to Eat to Grow Their Businesses? The panel consisted of Google, Microsoft, Intel, IAC and Cisco. Panelists offered some great advice and practical tips on how to engage in discussions with them. Entrepreneurs will find this one so useful that I’ll probably do a separate posting based on detailed notes I took during this session, so stay tuned.

Go here to watch and learn for yourself. -- View Archive --

Highlight #2: How Students Created Enterprises From a Pack of Post-Its in Four Days

Tina Seelig, Executive Director, Stanford Technology Ventures Program, gave a wonderful talk on Entrepreneurship as an Extreme Sport.” -- View Archive --

Her main point: Yes, entrepreneurship can be taught. And she proved it by sharing the outcomes of a global competition held during national Entrepreneurship Week last year. Student teams around the world had four days to create as much value as possible from a pack of Post-It Notes®. Again, this one warrants its own posting at a future date, but suffice it to say that the stories were pretty fascinating. So fascinating, in fact, that a feature-length documentary shot during the competition is due for broadcast sometime this fall or winter.

She talked about what some of the more creative, ambitious teams accomplished and showed some video clips of their stories. She also played the brief promotional trailer for the film, which you can view yourself.

Other Highlights

Pretty much every session was fascinating, but a couple that you might especially want to check out are:

The New News -- View Archive --

Moderator: Andreas Kluth, Technology Correspondent, The Economist
Ann Grimes, Acting Dir., Graduate Program in Journalism, Stanford University
Alan Warms, CEO, BuzzTracker
Chris Tolles, CEO, Topix
Dan Cohen, CEO, Pageflakes

Social Networking 3.0 -- View archive --
Moderator: Charlene Li, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research
Travis Katz, SVP, MySpace International
Dustin Moskovitz, Co-Founder, Facebook
Rich Rosenblatt, CEO, Demand Media
Gina Bianchini, CEO, Ning
Karl Jacob, CEO, Wallop

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

STVP-AlwasyOn Stanford Summit Coverage - Part 2

I'm here at the Stanford Summit Day 2. STVP hosts this technology trends conference with AlwaysOn. It was a non-stop parade of high-tech celebrities. Here are a few highlights from today.

View the program/agenda here.

View any presentation in full via the webcast archive here.

The Rise of Virtual Worlds

Just go see this session for yourself in the archives. Philip Rosedale, CEO of Linden Lab, opened with a demonstration of Second Life. If you aren't familiar with what Second Life is, you soon will be. It's fast becoming a household name on the order of You Tube. (Beyond the mere fun of creating an alternate existence, it's very tempting to go out there and start a business as an extra income stream! And now that I think about it, this could be a place for young entrepreneurs to go test their skills.) The panel discussion was also very interesting. There was a very compelling discussion about how virtual worlds will go mainstream, what drivers could affect that, and interesting behaviors of their users. The panel consisted of:
  • Irving Wladawsky-Berger, VP, IBM
  • Philip Rosedale, CEO, Linden Lab
  • Craig Sherman, CEO, Gaia Online
  • Chris Melissinos, Chief Gaming Officer, Sun Microsystems

Why Aren't VCs Happy?

This panel discussion was interesting. It started with a brief presentation by Paul Deninger, Vice Chairman, Jeffries & Company, who argued as to why VCs shouldn't be happy right now. He offered up many statistics to support his point of view. He also addressed what he considers a myth: That
the IPO market is back. In his view, it may feel like it's back compared to the crash, but it's still way behind the average pre-bubble level in the 1990s. He also said that about 90% of the current deals are M&A, and the majority of those are being done by only ten huge companies ($100 billion market cap). He noted that twice as much money is being poured into companies, yet the number of exits is the same ("exit" defined as an IPO or $100+ million merger or acquisition). He said that industry is mortgaging its future by selling its best companies too early.

With that, the rest of this impressive panel joined him on stage. The full panel consisted of:

  • Mark Stevens, Managing Partner, Fenwick & West
  • Roger McNamee, Partner, Elevation Partners
  • Erik Straser, General Partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures
  • Paul Deninger, Vice Chairman, Jefferies & Company
  • Bill Gurley, General Partner, Benchmark Capital
There was a lot of point/counterpoint during this discussion. Again, it's worth watching this one online, especially if you'd like a quick primer on capital market dynamics and interrelationships as they relate to new ventures. A few of the many viewpoints the panelists expressed:

  • Gurley sees a real problem: few executives willing to run public companies because of Sarbanes-Oxley
  • Straser sees an abundance of inexpensive money; the challenge is companies around the world taking advantage of it in a productive manner
  • McNamee argues that today's environment (low IPO count) is the norm vs. what was going on in the '90s (not the norm); it doesn't make sense to use the volume of the '90s as the bar
  • Companies on the leading edge of technology are of big interest for M&A right now
  • Another driver of M&A is that younger companies are easier to integrate; you also get more network effects with young Internet companies
  • McNamee says that in the near-term, we're going to "vaporize" a LOT of venture money, private equity money and public money first, then there will be a bull market (natural cycle)
  • Sarbanes-Oxley: Government is going to have to loosen up the enforcement in order to enable U.S. companies to compete in today's truly global capital markets
  • This is a great time to be an entrepreneur - just be prepared to bootstrap it for awhile and eventually the market will be right for accepting money and putting it to work
John McCain

Regardless of one's politics, it was interesting to hear John McCain's views up close and personal (in my case, about 20 feet away, to be more precise). He was in town for a fundraiser and came by the conference to share his position on some key issues and take questions from the audience. Up on the stage for a full hour, he was fully engaged and also expressed his appreciation for the impact that members of the audience have on the world through their contributions to technology.