Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Announcing the Global Innovation Tournament Winners!!

In support of Global Entrepreneurship Week, which took place in November, STVP organized the Global Innovation Tournament. Students around the world had just four days to create as much value as possible from…water bottles…and convey their results in a short YouTube video.

Winning entries included useful and potentially marketable gadgets, eco-awareness campaigns, an algae bioreactor, art sculptures with a message, and Monty Python-style parodies. Go here for a complete list of global and Stanford winners, including links to their videos. More than 1,200 students from over 50 institutions in more than a dozen countries participated. The Global Innovation Tournament is a fast and furious "Apprentice-style" competition that encourages students to work in teams, challenge assumptions, seize opportunities, and be creative. Most of all, it gives them a taste of what it’s like to be entrepreneurial by creating value from basically nothing (in this case, an object that usually winds up in the garbage), while working with constraints, such as limited time and resources.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kathy Eisenhardt Named Most Influential Management Researcher for Last Quarter Century

We're pleased to announce that, in a study of scholarly influence published in the Journal of Management, STVP Faculty Co-Director, Kathleen Eisenhardt, was named as the most-cited management research author over the last 25 years.

Earlier this year, she was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden. The degree is awarded in recognition of a particularly eminent and substantial professional achievement linked to areas of competence at Chalmers.

She was also a participant in the Nobel Symposium on Organization Theory.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fall 2008 Lineup for Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Lecture Series

Announcing Fall 2008 Lineup for Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Lecture Series

Go here for the Fall lineup of our Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Lecture Series. (If the quarter is over by the time you're reading this, it will point to the archives, so just scroll down to find what you want.) After the talks, you can access full podcasts of these lectures and video clips of selected segments at our Entrepreneurship Corner website.

If you live in the area or are visiting, note that these lectures are open to the public. Get details and updates at the course website: ETL.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov 17-23

Be sure to get involved with Global Entrepreneurship Week. All you have to do is host one event during that week to be considered a "host."

Students: Consider participating in Stanford's Global Innovation Tournament through your local hosts. You can get more info and sign up through the global site above.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Sept 5-6, 2008: West Coast Research Symposium on Technology Entrepreneurship

The 2008 West Coast Research Symposium on Technology Entrepreneurship is being sponsored this year by the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (University of Washington), Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (USC), and Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship (University of Oregon). The theme is "Technology Entrepreneurship: New Ventures and Established Corporations." It will be held September 5-6 on the Stanford campus.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Big News! We've Renamed and Relaunched Our Podcast and Video Site!

Millions of you have used our Educators Corner site over the last few years. Originally designed as a teaching resource for educators, it has become wildly popular among entrepreneurs and others around the world. We've substantially upgraded and redesigned the site and are relaunching it as Entrepreneurship Corner. Check it out! The new URL is

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Stanford Summit, July 22-24

Join us in person or for the live broadcast of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program and AlwaysOn Summit at Stanford: July 22-24, 2008 on campus at Stanford. View the program here.

If you are reading this after the fact, go here to access the archives and watch entire sessions.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

REE Asia Coming to Sydney in June

The Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) is proud to host four annual international conferences for entrepreneurship educators. These conferences are called Roundtables on Entrepreneurship Education (REE). They are designed to stimulate communication and collaboration between business, science, and engineering faculty who teach high-technology entrepreneurship in universities around the world. This year REE Asia is co-hosted by MGSM Macquarie University's Graduate School of Management in Sydney, Australia. Come join us, June 18-20. You can get info prior to June at After June, go here for conference materials and archives.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making

This is a very interesting talk. Listen to the podcast or view short video clips on our Educators Corner website. David Rothkopf, CEO of Garten Rothkopf and author of Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They are Making, mulls over the research in his latest social macroeconomic book. He walks through a wealth of trends and statistics on the ever-broadening gap between rich and poor, and how true global influence is the product of a shockingly small handful of global players.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Announcing Spring 2008 Lineup for Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Lecture Series

Go here for the Spring lineup of our Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Lecture Series. (If the quarter is over by the time you're reading this, it will point to the archives, so just scroll down to find what you want.) After the talks, you can access full podcasts of these lectures and video clips of selected segments at our Educators Corner website.

If you live in the area or are visiting, note that these lectures are open to the public. Get details and updates at the course website: ETL.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

May I Have Your Attention Please?

E-Week panel discusses media attention, the CEO profile, and why the product is most important

The business of business journalism has been described as a three-legged stool: a platform created by journalists, business insiders and public relations professionals.

On Tuesday February 26, Stanford Journalism Professor Ann Grimes joined members of all three groups for an E-Week panel discussion about what entrepreneur need to know endeavors how to get -- and when to avoid -- media coverage.

"Our guests approach [the media process] from different angles," Grimes said. "That's an important dynamic for you moguls in the making to understand as you embark on launching your new ventures."

The panel was featured journalist Quentin Hardy, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief of Forbes Magazine, analyst Charlene Li, vice president and principal analyst for Forrester Research, and PR agent Margit Wennmachers, co-founder of OutCast Communications.

"The company you work for has a character is the world, it has a narrative.

The group touched on a variety of topics, and discussed how companies can manage their public image. Using local start-ups like Facebook and Google, they talked about how to get the media spotlight and what to do when it gets too hot.

"The company you start or work for has a kind of character in the world," Hardy told the audience in Bishop Auditorium. "The CEO often embodies the character of the company."

"I'm sorry about that," he joked.

As an example of the CEO profile, the group discussed a recent 60 minutes piece on Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. Panelists Li and Wennmachers were both involved in the project -- with the former appearing in front of the camera and the latter working behind it.

They talked about how the process is a dynamic one, with interests and input varying among participants.

"Months earlier, 60 minutes wouldn't have made any sense," Wennmachers said. "Who's watching 60 minutes? That's where there's growth happening -- that wasn't true six months or a year before."

The panelists stressed that while communication skills are important for pitching a product to consumers, having a good product worth consuming is still the bottom line.

"It's really hard -- without any case studies and any customers -- to say why we need to pay attention to you," said Li.

Although it was evident that the panelists shared differing perspectives about business media and entrepreneurship coverage, they were collegial about any discrepancies.

"There's a famous love-hate relationship," Wennmachers said. "But there's codependency."

Friday, February 29, 2008

Rubber bands, relativity, and real lessons for entrepreneurs

In a week of events buzzing with entrepreneurial spirit, we've seen solutions to obesity, heard tips on handling media attention, and learned about social ventures. Those attending the closing ceremonies for E-Week tonight saw the creativity of their fellow students in a model of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, a new way to raise money for breast cancer research, and...ShoeBands, "the latest in footwear adhesion."

These ideas (and many more) came in for this year's Innovation Tournament. The challenge: create as much value as possible using rubber bands.

Yes, rubber bands.

Big-time venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and technology writers judged the contest, and so students from around the world took it as an opportunity to show off their chops as entrepreneurs—and have fun at the same time. Take this example from a group with an idea for raising awareness about locally-grown food by tracking produce online:

Another group decided to create a "wishing tree" on the Stanford campus. Able to take from the flop profound lessons about success, the team earned the distinction of Biggest Failure—as well as a promise to have their video shown in business classes for years to come. "Like true entrepreneurs," they said, "we resorted to seeding the tree ourselves."

You can find more than a hundred video entries from the tournament on YouTube. Check Guy Kawasaki's blog for his take on the most innovative idea.

Beyond Borders: Global Entrepreneurship

Launching a startup is a challenge in itself. First you have to find the right players for the team, outline the perfect business model, then tackle the challenge of acquiring capital for your emerging business. Yet taking a startup global is an entirely different--if not infinitely more difficult--endeavor.

Today's panel included three seasoned entrepreneurs--all Silicon Valley natives--who successfully created a startup and took it international. Panelists Will Chen, Dr. Robert Lee, and Gadi Maier each shared tales of their startups' beginnings, hard times, and what they encountered when they took the leap to go global.

Fresh off a flight from China, Chen kicked off the discussion by describing the day-to-day life of an entrepreneur. He showed a picture of a man standing off the edge of a cliff and compared it to his experience as a young entrepreneur in Silicon Valley.

"You look out over the cliff, and it's exhilarating. It looks like a lot of fun. But sometimes you want to jump off," Chen said with a laugh.

Chen knows this experience firsthand. He founded Billpoint, Inc., which pioneered person-to-person payments, and grew his small startup from three people to 70 employees. Ebay later acquired the startup. Now, Chen is the CEO and founder of Accelergy Corporation, a R&D technology company that operates in both the US and China.

China has a very different business structure than Silicon Valley, according to Chen. Silicon Valley proudly boasts success stories of "two men in a garage" who later grew their businesses into worldwide companies. Yet in China, the story begins with 50 men who live together in a house. Though the set up is different, the goal is similar: everyone is working together to dream up the next big thing.

China is extremely innovative, competitive and fast-paced, Chen said. To navigate in this foreign marketplace, novice global entrepreneurs must have an understanding of another region's local markets and dedicate enough time for face-to-face communication with international employees.

Dr. Robert Lee found a way for his startup to address this communication challenge. Lee, who is the CEO and Chairman of Achievo Corporation, set up six satellite centers in China to work in conjunction with the company's headquarters in San Ramon, California."We want to be very close to our customers so that we're very local wherever we operate," Lee said.

Achievo is a government automation software company that serves global clients. The majority of its revenue--56 percent--comes from Japan. Meanwhile, 22 percent is from North America, 17 percent is from Europe, and 5 percent is from China.

Similar to Achievo's clientele, its employees are also spread out across the globe. 73 percent are from China and 16 percent are from North America, with other employees located in Germany, Canada, and the US."We are the living example of a flat world, if you will, in terms of our business model," Lee said.

Yet Gaudi Maier, CEO and President of Israel-based FraudSciences Corporation, also noted that experience is a crucial key to fostering a successful startup. Although a young group of team members bring a lot of energy to the table, nothing can replace the experience one spends in the corporate world.

"Getting a perspective of how a major corporation thinks is extremely invaluable," said Maier. "Having worked inside those companies, you have a little bit of an inside view into what's going to happen [in the future.]"

Lee agreed, but added that having past immersion in global markets is one of the most invaluable tools for a startup that is planning to expand internationally.

"The only way is to be there [abroad], suck it all in," said Lee. He later added, "One challenge [Americans] have culturally is that we think we have a god-given right to be at the top of the food chain. That is a very dangerous assumption."

So what's an emerging entrepreneur to do during this chaotic economic period in the US, when the threat of a recession is looming just around the corner?

Fear not, the three panelists answered. Venture capitalists are particularly keen to find the next big startup during sluggish economic periods--but their expectations will more stringent.

"In slow times, the bar does get higher," Chen said. "You have to look at different regions and see what works best."

China is currently an attractive option for startups, according to Chen.

Startups must be ready to answer fundamental business questions to pass the altered standards of venture capital firms.

"Why should someone give you $1000? You have to tell your story," said Chen. "It's about your idea, it's about your team, it's about your market. Can you change something? Don't let venture guys tell you it's not a good idea unless you really believe it."

And although each panelist has come out on top, they've experienced their own share of failures also. It's all a part of the entrepreneurship game, the three admitted.

"Knowing how to fail and pick yourself up is one of the unique strengths we have in this Valley," Lee said. "Sometimes you gotta look at it and laugh at yourself, and consider it part of your human experience."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's Your Turn to Tackle Obesity

Today's "Innovating for Health" panel on Pediatric Obesity was quite the eye-opener. Dr. Thomas Krummel, a surgeon at Stanford Hospital, moderated a discussion among a diverse panel of experts and then solicited ideas from a crowd of Stanford entrepreneurs. The panel tackled childhood obesity from medical, venture capital, entrepreneurial and behavioral angles and by all accounts, the disease is a growing problem (no pun intended) and the situation looks bleak.

According to one panel expert, Dr. Thomas Robinson, a Professor of Pediatrics at the Med School, 20% of today's children are obese and 1 out of every 3 children born today will have obesity-related diabetes at some point in their lifetime. That risk is even higher for African-American girls and Hispanic boys. Of those segments, 1 of every 2 children born today will get diabetes.

And the price tag for pediatric obesity related illnesses? A staggering $98 to $129 billion in annual health care costs. To many in the audience, that was a big Debbie Downer, but to other panelists, that's called opportunity.

Dana Mead, a panelist and life sciences venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins, said there are currently about 50 companies addressing obesity, but the realities of the illness simply make it an unattractive investment for venture capitalists.

For one, investors acknowledge there is no panacea for obesity. Nobody believes one medical solution will work for all patients. Secondly, Mead said that the reality of the market is that only 10% of health care dollars currently go to preventative medicine. The combination of these two factors is one big red flag for Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

The entrepreneurial landscape didn't look much more obesity-friendly. Tom Fogarty, the renowned cardiovascular surgeon, inventor, entrepreneur and vintner, says today's entrepreneurs are not prepared to devote the kind of persistent innovation necessary to tackle childhood obesity.

Direct quote: "Today's entrepreneurs are like flies on horse s---. They jump around from one challenge to another. That does not lead to innovation."

Current medical approaches to childhood obesity are few. Dr. Craig Albanese, a pediatric surgeon and panelist, says that "Gastric bypass is the current gold standard. But it's a tool, not a cure." Albanese told the audience of entrepreneurs he believed the ideal surgical procedure for childhood obesity would be one that is reversible, done early enough to affect behavior, one that doesn't affect growth or development, is minimally invasive and can be coupled with a (what is now a non-existent) pharmaceutical remedy. In short, a medical miracle.

Finally Kristin Richmond, Founder and CEO of Revolution Foods, and Pat Christen, President and CEO of HopeLabs, spoke to some of the efforts to tackle childhood obesity from a behavioral standpoint. Richmond's company has partnered with Whole Foods and Clover (among others) to bring healthy meals to over 40 schools and 75 after-school programs in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. By Richmond's estimate, Revolution Foods, is reaching 10,000 students, 75% of which belong to low-income households and making a daily positive impact.

Christen spoke to HopeLab's first initiative to address obesity, called Ruckus Nation- a worldwide competition to generate product ideas to get kids more physically active. A staggering 400 teams from 37 countries have participated in the competition and winners will be announced March 17th, at an event in San Francisco.

For e-week, the panel is asking Stanford students and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to submit an idea that will help reduce pediatric obesity. If you have an idea, submit it by 1 pm on Friday, February 29th, to

Winners will be announced at the eWeek Innovation Tournament, from 5:00- 6:30 pm at Arrillaga Alumni Center (McCaw Hall).

Friday, February 22, 2008

Your Friends May Be Movie Stars!

Entrepreneurship Week starts in just a couple of hours. Definitely plan to come see the movie -- you may be in it! You may see friends in it! It's all part of our big Kickoff event at 4:00 today in Memorial Auditorium. Get there early for good seats and prizes.

Here's a preview on the Stanford University home page. It should be up there for at least the week:

I've seen the movie -- it's GREAT! You'll laugh hard, you may get choked up here and there, and you'll definitely come away inspired.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Guy Kawasaki on Entrepreneurship Week

Here's what Guy Kawasaki has to say about Entrepreneurship Week at Stanford.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Robert Scoble Has Joined Judging Panel

Innovation Tournament participants: Robert Scoble has joined our judging panel, so get ready. Robert is a highly respected technical evangelist, blogger (Scobleizer), and co-author of Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers.

Scroll down for a previous post listing our other judges. What a panel!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Amazing Prizes for Innovation Tournament

WOW!! I wish I could compete! This collection of prizes for the Innovation Tournament during Entrepreneurship Week, Feb 22-29, is just incredible.

Stanford students are eligible to win experiential prizes such as:

Handmade guitar plus an afternoon with Deloitte's Financial Advisory Services Partner

A day of sailing on the San Francisco Bay on a 36' yacht provided and skippered by Club Nautique

Box seats to Sharks game - Donated by Deloitte

Dinner party at Teresa Briggs' home with Deloitte Silicon Valley Leadership (she is the Managing Partner of Deloitte's Silicon Valley practice)

Meet Deloitte's Global leaders, hear Al Gore speak in person, and enjoy cocktails and dinner at Deloitte's World Meeting at Stanford University

Lunch and Deathball at Tim Draper's House

Dinner at Google with Kevin Systrom (Google Analytics)

The renowned Guy Kawasaki will blog about the most innovative submission

Become a VC for a Day with Highland Capital Partner

Shadow an ER Doctor, who is also a VC

Have lunch with Orbit Baby Founders (also Stanford alums)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Prestigious Judging Panel for Innovation Tournament

The Innovation Tournament is all in good fun, but that hasn't stopped us from gathering a pretty tough crowd to judge the entries. Judges include:

Jeff Hawkins - Founder Palm/Handspring/Numenta

Lee Gomes - Technology Writer, Wall Street Journal

Vance Vanier - MD and VC – Mohr Davidow Ventures

Fern Mandelbaum – VC, Monitor Ventures

Elizabeth McCleneghan – VC, Menlo Ventures

Kevin Systrom - Google

Michael Dearing - former SVP & General Merchandise Manager for eBay

Teresa Briggs, Managing Partner, Silicon Valley, Deloitte

Peggy Burke - CEO/Founder 1185 Design

Evan Tana – Loopt co-founder – first mobile social mapping service on a major US carrier; recent deal with CBS

Friday, February 8, 2008

Want to Find Out What It's Like to Be in a Start-Up?

If you want to get a taste of what it's like to be part of a start-up, sign up for the Innovation Tournament, an Apprentice-style student competition. Teams will be given an everyday object and challenged to create as much value as possible in five days. Last year it was Post-It Notes. What will it be this year? The mystery item will be revealed on Friday, Feb 22, at the kickoff event for Entrepreneurship Week at Stanford.

Hint to Stanford students: You'll get a slight advantage over other teams by attending the kickoff event. Get details here.

Monday, February 4, 2008

How Do Those Start-Ups Get Such Amazing Press?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

How to Build a Successful Company

Serial entrepreneur Mitch Kapor speaks about the fundamental principles of building successful companies by drawing on his experience as creator of Lotus 1-2-3, Chairman of Second Life, Founder of Foxmarks and a wealth of technical and social entrepreneurship knowledge. This is a guy who's been around the block a few times, so definitely listen to what he has to say.

Here's the 55 minute podcast. You can also view video clips at the STVP Educators Corner website.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mark Your Calendar: Social Ventures Session During Entrepreneurship Week

During Entrepreneurship Week at Stanford, there's going to be a really interesting panel discussion on how to get your social venture funded. It happens on Sunday, Feb 24, as part of Entrepreneurship Week at Stanford. Get the details at

Kriss Deiglmeier, Executive Director of the Center for Social Innovation, Stanford Graduate School of Business, will moderate.

Panelists include two leading funders of social entrepreneurs and two of their grantees:

  • Jenny Shilling Stein, Executive Director of the Draper Richards Foundation
  • Jessica Jackley Flannery, Co-Founder and Director of Business Development of
  • Amy Clark, Ashoka, Global Fellows Program Leader
  • Suzanne McKechnie Klahr, Ashoka Fellow and Founder of BUILD

The event is open to all, with no registration required although you should plan to arrive early. I suspect it's going to be standing room only.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

DFJ Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series Winter Lineup

Here is the lineup for the winter quarter of the Draper Fisher Jurvetson Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders lecture series. Podcasts will be available for download on the STVP Educators Corner website immediately following the lecture. Video clips are usually available on the site within a few weeks.


Mitch Kapor, Founder, Foxmarks and Lotus Software


Ron Conway, Founder, Angel Investors LP

Mike Maples, Founder, Maples Investments


Jesse Fink, Co-Founder, MissionPoint Capital Partners and Priceline

Steve Blank, Stanford Professor and Serial Entrepreneur


Christine Benninger, President, Humane Society Silicon Valley


Brett Crosby, Group PMM, Google Analytics


Mir Imran, Chairman of the Board, InCube Labs


Debra Dunn, Former HP Senior Vice President of Coprorate Affairs

Jay Cohen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassoy, Founders, B Corporation


Ken Wilcox, CEO, Silicon Valley Bank Financial Group

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Check Out the New Entrepreneurship Week Website

We recently rolled out a new website for Entrepreneurship Week with major enhancements and content updates to the last version you may have seen before the holidays. Please check it out to learn about the overall schedule, details on each event, and information about the exciting Innovation Tournament.

We will continue to make updates and will soon add speaker information, so check back regularly.

Monday, January 7, 2008

How to Become a Coach in "Coaches on Call" Program

We primarily sign up coaches on an invitation basis, but we do encourage people to nominate themselves or others for consideration. If you think you are interested and don't currently have a relationship with STVP, you can learn more here and then contact Christina Harvett. Please email her your area of expertise, professional bio, and links to your company website and any other online resources that might help us learn more about you.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Stanford "Coaches On Call" - Winter Lineup

Happy New Year!

In case you weren't already aware, the Stanford Entrepreneurship Network (SEN) offers a "Coaches On Call" business mentoring program for all Stanford students. Here is a brief overview of the program, how to sign up, and the winter quarter lineup.

Coaches On Call is a mentoring program for any students at any school within Stanford. Seasoned professionals hold “office hours" and meet with students one-on-one to offer advice on specific issues related to business plans, intellectual property issues or anything else you want to discuss with the coach. We provide coaches in a variety of specialty areas. The only real rule is that you can't ask for a job -- that's not what they're here for.

Sign-up Procedure for Students

Go here to see a list of coaches and their available time slots. Also prepare a short write-up as to why you want to see the coach. Email the time slot request and write-up to to Christina Harvett, who manages the sign-ups and scheduling.

Winter Lineup

We would like to gratefully acknowledge Deloitte for its generous sponsorship of the "Coaches on Call" program, as well as all other SEN activities.