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President Obama bet his legacy and the nation on the creativity, energy and drive of the American people. His entire persona is that of a man bent on creating a better future, placing the long and short bets that will insure the US remains the most vital and creative nation in the history of the world. His faith in American ingenuity and the abilities of the people to innovate and create fill every speech he makes. In particular four areas are the focus of his belief that Americans can lead the world into a brighter tomorrow; clean energy, communications, medicinal technology and space development.
Be it encouraging the development of a US clean energy industry, supporting our amazing internet and communications entrepreneurs, developing new ways to save lives and make Americans healthier at lower cost, or catalyzing a vital new commercial space industry to follow in NASA's footsteps and open the frontier to the people, in each of these areas the president is pursuing initiatives that are transformative.
Early stage company entrepreneurs have been warned about a "valley of death" for funding. Read about whether it's real or just a myth.
Last night I had the privilege of watching the first ever Get in the Ring Competition in the United States. Though this competition is in its sixth year, this was the first year that the United States had participated. The process began in August with groups of judges sorting through about 300 applications from startups all across the country. After several rounds of judging, the final eight startups were invited to Kansas City to participate in the U.S. version of Get in the Ring, the American Startup Clash.
William Sahlman is the Dimitri V. d'Arbeloff - Class of 1955 Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. The d'Arbeloff Chair was established in 1986 to support teaching and research on the
entrepreneurial process. The Chair honors the late Dimitri d'Arbeloff (HBS '55), whose entrepreneurial skills helped make Millipore Corporation a world leader in its industry. Mr. Sahlman received an A.B. degree in Economics from Princeton
University, an M.B.A. from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Business Economics, also from Harvard. His research focuses on the investment and financing decisions made in entrepreneurial ventures at all stages in their development. Mr.
Sahlman was co-chair of the Entrepreneurship and Service Management Unit from 1999 to 2002. From 1991 to 1999, he was Senior Associate Dean, Director of Publishing Activities, and chairman of the board for Harvard Business School
Publishing Corporation. From 1990 to 1991, he was chairman of the Harvard University Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility. He is a member of the board of directors of several private companies.
J. Michael Cline is the founding Partner of Accretive LLC. Michael and other Accretive principals founded Exult, Xchanging, Fandango and Accretive Health. Before founding Accretive Michael spent 10 years as General
Partner at General Atlantic Partners helping build General Atlantic into the world's largest private investment firm focused on software and related investments. Prior to General Atlantic, Michael was an associate at McKinsey &
Company. Michael received his MBA from Harvard Business School where he was a Baker Scholar and he received a BS from Cornell University. He serves on the boards of Accretive Commerce, Fandango, Accretive Health and Willow. He is a Trustee
of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) where he chairs the Tigers Forever initiative - the world's largest effort in global tiger conservation and is a Trustee of the Brunswick School. He also serves on the board of the National Fish
and Wildlife Foundation, Endeavor Global and the Harvard Business School Rock Center for Entrepreneurship.
The structure of EDN consists of three service providers. Loan and Political Risk Insurance Originators (Originators) serve as local service providers to micro, small-medium enterprises (MSMEs) to help develop the OPIC application package, refine marketing strategies, and draft or enhance business plans. Financial institutions serve as Designated Lenders to establish OPIC-backed lending facilities that are used to make loans to MSMEs or their affiliates for projects in OPIC-eligible countries. EDN Advisers are specialists in particular business sectors and geographic areas throughout the world and assist OPIC in credit underwriting and due diligence on OPIC-funded loans.
Steve Blank is a retired serial entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in high technology companies and management. He is a Consulting Professor at Stanford in the Graduate School of Engineering STVP Program.
Steve has been a founder or participant in eight Silicon Valley startups since 1978. His last company, E.piphany, started in his living room. His other startups include two semiconductor companies (Zilog and MIPS Computers), a workstation
company (Convergent Technologies), a supercomputer firm (Ardent), a computer peripheral supplier (SuperMac), a military intelligence systems supplier (ESL) and a video game company (Rocket Science Games). Steve is on the board of
CafePress.com, an on-line marketplace, and IMVU, a 3D IM social network. Steve was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Coastal Commission and is the Chairman of Audubon California and on the board of the Peninsula
Open Space Trust (POST.) His Google Tech talk, "The Secret History of Silicon Valley" (available on YouTube) is one of the definitive views on the early history of innovation in Silicon Valley. Steve teaches entrepreneurship and a
methodology of managing marketing, sales and business development in high technology startups. His course text "Four Steps to the Epiphany" is the definitive work on Customer Development and is one of the foundations of Lean
With a decade of experience in venture capital, Erik has been a catalyst for Cleantech in Silicon Valley and abroad. He leads MDV's Cleantech investment team and applies his expertise in areas of solar, biofuels, energy
storage, industrial biotech and clean coal. Prior to MDV Erik worked at Interval Research Corp., a technology incubator funded by Paul Allen, and at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a technical staff member. He also consulted to several
seed and early stage venture capital firms. While pursuing a PhD in engineering at Stanford, Erik led an interdisciplinary project between the electrical, mechanical, and civil engineering departments to develop a next-generation
monitoring system for critical facilities. He holds a U.S. patent from his research work. Erik serves on the advisory council of the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency, as well as on the advisory boards of the Stanford
Technology Ventures Program (STVP), Stanford's BASES, NVCA Cleantech Council, and Cleantech Venture Network. He is a winner of the 2006 World Technology Award for Finance, presented by the World Technology Network, in association with the
New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Dow Chemical, Cisco, TIME magazine, Fortune magazine, Science magazine/AAAS, Red Herring, and CNN. Erik earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from Harvey Mudd College and both doctoral and master's
degrees from the Stanford University School of Engineering.
Vinod grew up dreaming of being an entrepreneur. He was raised in an Indian Army household with no business or technology connections. When, at age 16, he first heard about Intel, he dreamt of starting his own technology
company. Upon graduating with a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, he tried to start a soy milk company to service the many people in India who did not have refrigerators. He then came to
the US and got his Masters in Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie-Mellon University. His startup dreams attracted him to Silicon Valley where he got an MBA at Stanford University in 1980. In 1982, Khosla started Sun Microsystems to build
workstations for software developers. At Sun he pioneered "open systems" and RISC processors. Sun was funded by long time friend and board member John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In 1986 he switched sides and joined
Kleiner Perkins where he was a general partner. There, he worked with Nexgen/AMD, Juniper, Excite, and many other ventures. In 2004, Khosla formed Khosla Ventures. Khosla Ventures offers venture assistance, strategic advice and capital to
entrepreneurs. The firm helps entrepreneurs extend the potential of their ideas in both traditional venture areas like the Internet, computing, mobile, and silicon technology arenas but also supports breakthrough scientific work in clean
technology areas such as bio-refineries for energy and bioplastics, solar, battery and other environmentally friendly technologies.
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.
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