Derek Andersen spent four years in product management at Electronic Arts working on games like the Godfather, Burnout, and Mirror’s Edge. He left in 2009 to found Vaporware Labs, a company that has tried and failed many times, but successfully launched products like Startup Grind, Commonred, and Steve Young Football (iOS). He’s also a contributing author for Techcrunch and Business Insider and lives in Palo Alto, California.
Bill is the managing partner of Google Ventures, where he and his team are seeking out new technologies, startups, and disruptive ideas. He brings with him a combination of technical expertise and hands on startup experience, including founding Web hosting pioneer Burlee.com (now part of Web.com), where he built much of the key computing, network, and technological infrastructure. Prior to that, Bill was a biotechnology and healthcare portfolio manager for Stockholm, Sweden-based Investor AB. Bill’s background also includes research at the Duke University Medical Center, Department of Neurobiology with a focus on molecular and behavioral neuroscience. Bill received his degree in neuroscience with highest honors from Middlebury College, and is based in Mountain View, CA.
Vinod grew up dreaming of being an entrepreneur, despite growing up in an Indian Army household with no business or technology connections. Since the age of 16, when he first heard about Intel starting up, he dreamt of starting his own technology company. Upon graduating with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Vinod failed, at age 20, to start a soy milk company to service the many people in India who did not have refrigerators. He came instead to the U.S. and got his master’s in biomedical engineering at Carnegie-Mellon University. His start-up dreams attracted him to Silicon Valley, where he got an MBA at Stanford University in 1980.
Upon graduation he was one of the three founders of Daisy Systems, which was the first significant computer-aided design system for electrical engineers. The company went on to achieve significant revenue, profits, and an IPO, but Khosla, driven by the frustration of having to design the computer hardware on which the Daisy software needed to be built, started the standards-based Sun Microsystems in 1982 to build workstations for software developers. At Sun he pioneered “open systems” and RISC processors. Sun was funded by longtime friend and board member John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
In 1986 Vinod switched sides and joined Kleiner Perkins, where he was and continues to be a general partner of KPCB funds through KP X. Through the years there, with other partners, he took on Intel’s monopoly with Nexgen/AMD (the only microprocessor to have significant success against Intel, sold to AMD for 28 percent of AMD), incubated the idea and business plan for Juniper to take on Cisco’s dominance of the router market, formulated the very early advertising-based search strategy for Excite, and transformed the moribund telecommunications business and its archaic SONET implementations with Cerent (sold to Cisco for $7B). He helped in creating value, having fun, succeeding, failing (remember Dynabook?), and driving impact in partnership with entrepreneurs and the partners at KPCB.
In 2004, Vinod, driven by the need for flexibility to accommodate four teenaged children and a desire to be more experimental, to fund sometimes imprudent “science experiments,” and to take on both for-profit and for “social impact” ventures, formed khoslaventures, funded entirely with family funds. His goals remain the same: work and learn from fun and knowledgeable entrepreneurs, build impactful companies through the leverage of innovation, and spend time in a partnership that makes a difference.
Over the past four decades he has founded numerous companies, including Catalyst Technologies, the first technology incubator; Etak, the first digital navigation system; ByVideo, the first online ordering system; and uWink, the first touchscreen menu ordering and entertainment system, among others. Currently, with his new company, Brainrush, he is devoting his talents to enhancing and improving the educational process by integrating the latest in brain science. Additionally, he enjoys motivating and inspiring others in his speeches on entrepreneurship, creativity, innovation and education.
Dan’l Lewin, Corporate Vice President for Strategic and Emerging Business Development, is responsible for leading Microsoft’s global engagement with venture capitalists and venture-backed startups and business relationships with strategic industry partners. Additionally, Lewin is the company’s ambassador and spokesperson for Microsoft’s global citizenship efforts to empower youth through education, employment and entrepreneurship. Lewin has executive and site responsibility for the company’s operations in Mountain View, California, which currently employ more than 2,500 people. Lewin has spent more than 30 years as a Silicon Valley-based executive, leading sales and marketing divisions for companies including Apple Computer Inc., NeXT Inc. and GO Corp. Before joining Microsoft, he was CEO of Aurigin Systems Inc., a startup that pioneered intellectual property asset management. He has also consulted for emerging companies, venture capital firms and corporate joint ventures. Lewin serves on the boards of the Churchill Club, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and the Tech Museum of Innovation, where he served as past chairman of the Tech Museum Awards program. In addition, Lewin is on the Corporate Advisory Board of the National Venture Capital Association. He holds an AB in politics from Princeton University.
Jessica Livingston is a founding partner at Y Combinator. She is also the organizer of Startup School, the big annual startup conference, and the author of Founders at Work, a collection of interviews with successful startup founders. Y Combinator was the first of the new startup “incubators” that fund a bunch of startups at once. Since 2005 YC has funded over 560 companies, including Dropbox, Airbnb, Stripe, and Reddit.
Last month I had the opportunity to sit down with Bing Gordon, founding team member of Electronic Arts, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), and a board member at Zynga and Amazon. Sitting down with Bing was a complete guilty pleasure for me as an ex-EA underling and personal admirer of his distinguished career. The community didn’t disappoint as about 300 people showed up to listen to him talk and kick off our 2013 global community event. Full transcript and video below.
[00:00:00] DEREK: Welcome to StartUp Grind! I think you went shopping before…
[00:00:13] BING: I was kind of curious whether you’d be sprouting a toupee since the last time I saw you. You know, some people, when they go into Startup Land, they trade in everything they believe in and most people start doing everything they believe in.
Excited to be at SXSW for the Startup Grind panel, led by Startup Grind Austin Chapter Director Andi Gillentine. The discussion will include Jim Butler (Manager at City of Austin), Susan Davenport (Sr VP Global Technology Strategies Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce), Kevin Koym (Founding Partner Tech Ranch Austin), and Bijoy Goswami Founder BootstrapU. Andi just made us cheer loudly for these people in true Startup Grind style. It’s a little early but we did it.
Jim Butler is first up. Austin works with the University of Texas which is close to downtown. They work with the school on the curriculum to service, promote, and grow entrepreneurship. Small business development program provides classes, events, and other resources to help. Austin works on improving arts, music, and make Austin into a place that’s not solely focused on business. Read more →
Interviewing Ryan Smith was a major guilty pleasure for me. I first met Ryan at school in Provo Utah. We used to play massive networked Halo team games at least weekly and multiple times per week during finals (yeah grades were not so good). When I first met him he was already working on Qualtrics with his dad.
Provo, a town of just over 100,000 people is a buzz with talk about Qualtrics. They’re sucking in talent and growing like crazy. Watch this edition of Startup Grind Utah when we talk through how they grew from doing $100K per month in the basement, to a company with 300 people and $70MM in funding.
Four years ago I finally convinced Erica to let me quit my job. I couldn’t have picked a worse time. It was mid-2009 and the world was in the midst of an economic panic. We just had our first child six weeks earlier. What a strategy! Have a child, quit your job, start a business. Just what every girl dreams for her family.
Working from a 500 sq ft apartment in Palo Alto, Erica never complained. Listening to pitch calls from the living room with a 2-month old baby I’m sure was just the life she envisioned. The first business failed in 5-months. I didn’t sell a thing. No money, no funding, no business. Nothing. The next business was angel funded. It failed in nine months. One year in I was back at square one with some scar tissue and what Steve Blank calls “experience.” Read more →
For a long time I’ve tried to really understand what ‘community’ means. It’s become such a simple phrase to throw around. Everyone has a community. Someone recently told me that Nike and Coke have ‘communities.’ I wear A LOT of NIKE, but come on.
In the startup world it’s abused even more. So I won’t describe what I saw last week at Startup Grind 2013 as a community, I’ll describe all the amazing things that I saw and you can figure out what that ‘community’ is if it even is one. It’s our entrepreneurs and founders helping each other around the world. We had attendees from over 20 countries. China, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, South Africa, Scotland, to name a few.
We had founders and speakers from Brazil, Atlanta, Singapore, Boston, and so many more. They all gave of their time and energy to support these amazing people. We had 25-Chapter Directors that gather local entrepreneurs on a monthly basis in their local cities.
We had some of the most interesting conversations I’ve ever seen. Steve Blank and George Zachary interviewing each other. Mark Suster interviewed Clayton Christensen. It’s Dave McClure, Bing Gordon, or Naval Ravikant at their best. It’s Jermaine Dupri telling us about how he broke into music. At least one founder cried during Ann Miura-Ko’s presentation on life balance. Plus 50 more speakers sharing and disseminating knowledge to take back across the world.
This was a 2-day embodiment of what Startup Grind is. It’s incredible people building amazing products across the world, taking a short moment out of their busy lives to make friends and help the entrepreneur sitting next to them. That’s what Startup Grind is. That is what I hope Startup Grind continues to be. Thanks for all that attended and those that made it possible. Until the next time we see you, keep grinding.