Insights and intelligence from business, sports, entertainment, and cultural leaders.
An OS for Immigration – Amir Hemmat, CEO, WelcomeTech
Amir Hemmat is Co-Founder and CEO of Welcome Technologies (Welcome), the “digital Ellis Island '' and future operating system for immigration. Welcome is a venture funded technology platform that is building innovative financial solutions for this cohort, including a digital wallet, to ensure access to previously elusive opportunities and to propel this consumer sector, and our society, forward. Welcome is currently focused on the Hispanic community, the largest immigrant group in the world, through its consumer platform SABEResPODER® (SEP). The platform reaches over 9 million immigrants a year across 50 US markets and connects these consumers to custom financial services. To date, Welcome has raised $50 million from TTV Capital, Owl Ventures and SoftBank’s Opportunity Fund, with participation from Crosscut Ventures, Mubadala Capital, Next Play Capital and Owl Capital.
Prior to Welcome Tech, Amir co-founded an educational platform also called SABEResPODER (SEP). SEP provided informational content to the Hispanic community and produced comprehensive and practical information for navigating life in the United States, including topics such as healthcare, financial services, education, technology, and governmental services. Through SEP, he conducted in-depth market research on the U.S. immigrant market and co-authored educational guides on financial literacy, with millions of copies distributed nationwide.
Compassionate Leadership – w Donato Tramuto, Phil Johnston, Tom Riley, Kurt Small, and Laurie Cameron
Donato J. Tramuto is the author of The Double Bottom Line, How Compassionate Leaders Captivate Hearts and Deliver Results.
Donato joins Bob to discuss his new book along with a superstar panel including Kurt Small, Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer for the Government Business Division at Anthem, Inc., Tom Riley, Chairman of the Board of Seniorlink, Laurie Cameron, Founder of PurposeBlue, and Phil Johnston, President & CEO of PWJ Associates.
Ken Goldman – On the Tech Industry, Board Roles/Lessons, and Running Eric & Wendy Schmidt’s Family Office
My second guest of the new season is Ken Goldman, who currently serves as President of Hillspire, which is Eric and Wendy Schmidt’s family office. Eric, of course, being the former executive chairman of Google and its parent company, Alphabet. Ken is widely known in Silicon Valley and the broader business world, as well, having served as CFO of Yahoo, Fortinet, Siebel, and currently sits on a number of corporate, startup and non-profit boards.
Ken and I cover his high school days in Peabody, Mass. – where only 25% of his graduating class went to college, yet he managed his way to Cornell through grit and a competitive spirit – to his time at Cornell and Harvard Business School, and why he chose the technology industry as a career path at a time when it was an outlier. We also discuss why picking the right place to work when first starting out can make a huge difference (and the advice he gave his kids on this front).
Ken also provides his views on why Silicon Valley is still a meritocracy (hint: there’s a lot of money around for the right ideas) and industries where he feels entrepreneurs should consider creating new companies, such as the political arena. As a longtime observer of the political sector, I agree completely. Of note, there are nearly 100 “decacorns” roaming around – unicorns with over $10Bn in value – and this number is growing every quarter. As such, Ken discusses his own investment philosophy as an angel investor as well as the focus at Hillspire, ranging from environment to human rights to non-profits.
Finally, Ken and I dig into the notion of ethical businesses (and the importance of transparency with your boards), the non-profits that he’s involved in…what’s on his browser (fun fact: he’s a big weather buff)...and more.
PS: You’ll notice a trend with Ken and the conversation with my first guest of the season a few weeks ago, Mark Hawkins – both Ken and Mark have developed a widely respected personal and business ethos and have imbued this ethos in their teams, industry peers, and startups in which they invest. Dissecting this ethos is an overarching theme in both podcasts. Ken and Mark are leaders to whom other leaders look up. Lots of great learnings!
Ken Goldman is the current president of Hillspire, a family office responsible for financial and administrative functions, along with real estate, aviation and maritime activities.
Goldman is the former chief financial officer of Yahoo. He joined Yahoo in 2012 and throughout his five-year tenure was responsible for Yahoo’s global finance functions, including financial planning and analysis, controllership, tax, treasury and investor relations.
Mark Hawkins – On Silicon Valley, Second Acts, and Startups
Mark Hawkins is an award-winning executive who, for four decades, has led finance organizations at global software and technology companies including Salesforce, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard.
Raised in Michigan, Mark attended Michigan State where he studied operations management. His first job was at Hewlett-Packard where, at just 21, he was a buyer for the supply chain by day and getting his MBA in finance from University of Colorado Springs by night. Hewlett-Packard later sponsored him to attend the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Mark was the President and CFO of Salesforce until 2021 and is currently a board member at Toast, Plaid, DataRobot, Secureworks, and sits on the NYSE Listed Company Advisory Board.
Longevity & Anti-Aging – Eric Marcotulli, CEO, Elysium Health
Hi Gang, we’re kicking off the Fall podcast season with a deep dive discussion around longevity and anti-aging with Elysium Health’s Co-founder and CEO, Eric Marcotulli.
I interviewed Eric at the Executive Council’s annual Health & Biotech Summit in 2017, which feels like forever ago, particularly given all of the buzz around anti-aging regimens and the popularization of the space from various industry leaders and mainstream press.
To start off, Eric and I discuss why it’s important to track aging. This might seem like a basic questions but the idea of “aging” isn’t so much about “old age” as it is about addressing health in a more holistic manner, as you’ll learn. Chronological age is only a number, in a sense, and what might matter most is cellular age. More on that in our discussion.
We also talk about quantifying and measuring products such as Elysium’s Basis, which is Eric’s core product. Elysium also has a product called Index which measures your biological age and also tracks your cumulative rate of aging which may be the most important metric of all. Absorption rate of products like Basis is also an important factor and we hit on that, as well.
On the personal front, we touch on Eric’s evolving daily regimen vis a vis supplements and routines (AM/PM, exercise, diet, etc.). It’s always fun to discuss this particular topic with guests because I personally get tips that I can use and of course you can hopefully gain some actionable tips, too.
Finally, we talk about what’s coming down the pipeline for Elysium and across the industry and what Eric is most excited about.
Eric Marcotulli, Elysium Health co-founder and chief executive officer, graduated from Harvard Business School and joined Sequoia Capital as its youngest partner to lead growth investing in mobile technologies. While in Silicon Valley, Marcotulli realized that despite the significant, positive impact of new technologies on our understanding of health and disease,
there remained a lack of innovation in the consumer-facing portion of the healthcare market beyond wearables and basic mobile apps.
With a keen interest in aging research and its potential to have a profound impact on the most important areas of health, he wanted to create a company focused on developing compelling compounds found in nature that support long-term health.
Innovation in Voting ("GovTech") – Nimit Sawhney, CEO, Voatz
Nimit Sawhney is Co-Founder and CEO of Voatz, Inc, an elections platform that uses identity proofing, biometrics, and blockchain technology to enable end-to-end verifiable and accessible remote voting via smartphones and tablets. Voatz has run more than 76 elections in partnership with both major political parties at the state level, as well as with state/county governments, towns, cities, universities, professional organizations including the country’s first mobile voting project with West Virginia in 2018. Nimit’s background is in mobile security and software development, previously serving as Director of R&D at Oberthur Technologies, and prior to that, as Director of R&D at MoreMagic Solutions.
Nimit holds a graduate degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Business Management and is an alumni of the Harvard Business School’s YALP (Young Americans Leadership Program) Class of 2019.
Loved the episode with Amir Hemmat
Recently found this podcast and just listened to your amazing interview with Amir Hemmat. I was so inspired by the great work he and his company are doing. Listed from start to finish. Amir is proof that it is possible to build a successful business while making the world a better place. Keep bringing us such amazing conversations with incredible guests like Amir.