Each week, experienced entrepreneurs and innovators come to Stanford University to candidly share lessons they’ve learned while developing, launching and scaling disruptive ideas. The Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series is produced by Stanford eCorner during fall, winter and spring quarters.
James Joaquin (Obvious Ventures) - World Positive Investing
James Joaquin is the co-founder and managing director of Obvious Ventures, leading the team’s investments focused on plant-forward approaches to food (like Beyond Meat), “good for you” consumer goods (like Olly), and companies at the forefront of how people find and do their best work (like Incredible Health). Joaquin has been working in venture capital since 2007. Prior to investing, he served as president and CEO of Xoom.com and president and CEO of Ofoto, and co-founded When.com. In this conversation with Stanford adjunct lecturer and STVP director of principled entrepreneurship Jack Fuchs, Joaquin discusses his commitment to “world positive investing” and his belief that many highly successful 21st century businesses will be devoted to solving the world’s biggest problems.
Juliet Anammah (Jumia Nigeria) - E-commerce in Africa
Juliet Anammah is the chairwoman of Jumia Nigeria and the Chief Sustainability Officer of Jumia Group, the largest e-commerce platform in Africa and the first African tech startup to be listed on the NYSE. She previously served as the CEO of Jumia Nigeria for more than 4 years, overseeing the growth and transition of Jumia Nigeria from online retail to a full digital ecosystem that included marketplace, logistics and payments services. In this conversation with Darius Teter, executive director of Stanford Seed, Anammah explores the challenges of building a marketplace business in Africa as well as the huge untapped potential of e-commerce on the continent.
Daphne Koller (insitro) - Innovation in Ed-Tech and Biotech
Daphne Koller is the CEO and founder of insitro, a machine learning-enabled drug discovery company. Previously, she was a professor of computer science at Stanford University for 18 years, co-founder and co-CEO of Coursera, and the Chief Computing Officer of Calico, an Alphabet company in the healthcare space. She received the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2004. In this conversation with Stanford adjunct lecturer Ravi Belani, Koller examines the key turning points in her diverse and innovative career, and speaks about how she searched for the opportunities that would have the greatest impact on the world.
Jeff Epstein (Bessemer Venture Partners) - What Investors Want
It’s understandable that, amid a flurry of pitch meetings and rejections, founders might find themselves mystified about what venture capital investors want. However, according to Bessemer Venture Partners operating partner Jeff Epstein, it’s actually very simple: They want to see a business that has the potential to grow exponentially, some evidence of traction, and a concrete plan for further de-risking the enterprise. As you de-risk the enterprise, he explains, you create opportunities for larger fundraising rounds.
Reshma Saujani (Girls Who Code) - Fixing Tech’s Gender Gap
Reshma Saujani is the founder of Girls Who Code and the Marshall Plan for Moms, and is the author of the forthcoming book Pay Up: The Future of Women and Work (and Why It's Different Than You Think). She has spent more than a decade building movements to fight for women and girls’ economic empowerment, working to close the gender gap in the tech sector, and most recently advocating for policies to support moms impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this conversation with Stanford adjunct lecturer Ravi Belani, Saujani discusses the root causes of the gender gap in tech and explores what companies and individuals still need to do to make the field more fair and equitable.
James Reinhart (thredUp) - Scaling Sustainable Fashion
James Reinhart is the co-founder and CEO of thredUP, one of the world's largest online resale platforms. thredUP designed a digital resale experience that aims to take the work and risk out of thrift in an effort to make used clothes the new normal and create a more sustainable future for fashion. Prior to thredUP, he helped develop one of the nation’s premier public schools, Pacific Collegiate School. In this conversation with Stanford adjunct lecturer Ravi Belani, Reinhart discusses how thredUp arrived at its business model, and explores the challenges, pivots, and insights that emerged during thredUP’s decade-long journey to becoming a publicly traded company.
Keeps the spirit alive
Great podcast to listen to individuals making the leap. Keeps my mind turning and wanting to start something worthwhile myself.
Always Makes Me Think
Kudos Tina Seelig for bringing these excellent conversations to those of us working to build early-stage companies. Your podcast never fails to prompt me to think deeper about the problems I’m working on. Tom Byers interviewing Tom Eisenmann was a great example of this.
This show does such a good job covering a variety of topics. The guests offer awesome advice as well. I would recommend this show to anyone looking to be inspired!