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Dr. Diamandis is the Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, which awarded the $10,000,000 Ansari X PRIZE for private spaceflight. Diamandis is focused on building the X PRIZE Foundation into a world-class prize
institute. The X PRIZE is now developing X PRIZEs in Genomics, Automotive, Education, Medicine, Energy, and Social fields. He is also an international leader in the commercial space arena, having founded and run many of the sector's
leading entrepreneurial companies. Diamandis serves as the CEO of Zero Gravity Corporation, a commercial space company developing private, FAA-certified parabolic flights utilizing Boeing 727-200 aircraft. In addition, he is the chairman
and co-founder of the Rocket Racing League. Diamandis is a co-founder and director of Space Adventures, the company that brokered the launches of four private citizens to the International Space Station. In 1987, Diamandis co-founded the
International Space University (ISU), where he served as the University's first managing director. Today he is a trustee of the $30M ISU, based in Strasbourg, France. Prior to ISU, Diamandis was chairman of Students for the Exploration and
Development of Space (SEDS), an organization he founded while earning his undergraduate degree in molecular genetics and graduate degree in aerospace engineering at MIT in 1980. SEDS is the world's largest student pro-space organization.
After MIT he attended Harvard Medical School, where he received his M.D. In 2005 he has was also awarded an honorary Doctorate from the International Space University. Diamandis is the winner of the 2007 Arthur C. Clarke Award for
Innovation, the 2006 (inaugural) Heinlein Award, the 2006 Lindbergh Award, the 2006 Wired RAVE Award, the 2006 Neil Armstrong Award for Aerospace Achievement and Leadership, the Konstantine Tsiolkovsky Award, twice the winner of the
Aviation & Space Technology Laurel, and the 2003 Worl
Timothy C. Draper is the Founder and a Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. He was instrumental in bringing viral marketing to web-based e-mail to geometrically spread the successes of Hotmail and YahooMail, and
the practice has been adopted as a standard marketing technique by countless businesses and organizations. Draper launched the DFJ Global Network, an international network of early-stage venture capital funds with offices in over 30 cities
around the globe. He also serves on the boards of Skype, SocialText, Project Y, MailFrontier and Chroma Graphics. He was an original investor in Parametric Technology (PMTC), Tumbleweed Communications (TMWD), Overture.com (OVER),
Digidesign (AVID), Preview Travel (TVLY), Four11 (YHOO), Combinet (CSCO), and Redgate (AOL). He also founded or co-founded Wasatch Ventures (Salt Lake City), Zone Ventures (LA), Draper Atlantic (Reston), Draper Triangle (Pittsburg),
Timberline Ventures (Portland), Polaris Fund (Anchorage), Draper Fisher Jurvetson Gotham (NYC) and DFJ Frontier (Sacramento and Santa Barbara). Draper has been recognized as a leader in entrepreneurship and venture capital through numerous
awards and honors, and he has frequent TV, radio, and headline appearances. He was number seven on Forbes? Midas List and number 52 on the list of the most influential Harvard Alumni. He was also named AlwaysOn Magazine?s number one top
venture capital dealmaker for 2008. Tim is the course creator and Chairman of BizWorld, a 501c3 organization built around simulated teaching of entrepreneurship and business to children. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from
Stanford University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Last week, we hosted Ice House Facilitator Training here at the Foundation. We had people come from across the country and the international community to be trained in how to facilitate an entrepreneurial mindset to members of their community. I had the chance to sit down with one of the facilitators, Rob Elwood, and learn about his reason for coming to this training, and how he sees it benefiting his community in Annapolis, Md.
Kauffman Labs is not your typical classroom, but then again, Nancie and I are not your typical instructors. In fact we do little in the way of instruction in the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program (IHEP) and focus more of our energy towards facilitation. Students are encouraged to explore, experiment, solve problems and learn from one another. It's not what they're used to, but I think they liked it. It gave them the opportunity to expand their idea of education beyond the confines of absorption and regurgitation. It's about learning from the experiences they have with each other.
In this installment of my Ice House series, I sat down with Ice House alum Chris Vallee to learn first hand what he got out of the entrepreneurship program. Vallee, an intern at the Kauffman Foundation, attended the program two years ago at Johnson County Community College. Signing up for the class by chance, he quickly found a new perspective on the decisions he had been making in his life, and a renewed, invigorating urge to chase the life goals he had let fall by the wayside.
Kathy Eisenhardt, co-director of Stanford Technology Ventures Program and professor in Management Science and Engineering, shares results from her research regarding successful ventures, addressing fundamental issues such as team building, market creation and financing.
In becoming a teacher, former CEO Jim Ellis says he gained much more than he lost.
Judy Estrin is CEO of JLABS, LLC, formerly known as Packet Design Management Company, LLC. She is the author of Closing the Innovation Gap, published in September, 2008. Prior to co-founding Packet Design, in May 2000,
Estrin was chief technology officer for Cisco Systems. Beginning in 1981 Estrin co-founded three other successful technology companies: Bridge Communications, Network Computing Devices, and Precept Software. In 1998 Cisco Systems acquired
Precept, and she became Cisco's chief technology officer until April 2000. Estrin has been named three times to Fortune Magazine's list of the 50 most powerful women in American business. She sits on the boards of directors of The Walt
Disney Company and FedEx Corporation as well as two private company boards - Packet Design, Inc. and Arch Rock. She also sits on the advisory councils of Stanford's School of Engineering and Stanford's Bio-X initiative. She holds a B.S.
degree in math and computer science from UCLA, and an M.S. in electrical engineering from Stanford University.
Read about a common denominator among successful entrerpreneurs--having the ability to think strategically and make critical decisions about the future direction of their business.
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