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Explore the Entrepreneurship.org Resource Center to find resources. Designed with entrepreneurs in mind, our resource center allows you to find materials to grow great ideas.
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.
Robert I. Sutton is Professor of Management Science and Engineering in the Stanford Engineering School, where he is Co-Director of the Center for Work, Technology, and Organization, an active researcher and cofounder in
the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, an IDEO Fellow and an Honorary PeopleSoft Fellow. Sutton is also a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Teaching and Learning. Sutton received his Ph.D. in Organizational
Psychology from The University of Michigan and has served on the Stanford faculty since 1983. He has also taught at the Haas Business School and was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences during the 1986-87,
1994-95, and 2002-03 academic years. He has served on the editorial boards of numerous scholarly publications, and as an editor for the Administrative Science Quarterly and Research in Organizational Behavior. Sutton's honors include the
award for the best paper published in the Academy of Management Journal, induction into the Academy of Management Journals Hall of Fame, the Eugene L. Grant Award for Excellence in Teaching, the McGraw-Hill Innovation in Entrepreneurship
Pedagogy Award, the McCullough Faculty Scholar Chair from Stanford, and selection by Business 2.0 as a leading "management guru" in 2002. Sutton studies the links between managerial knowledge and organizational action, innovation, and
organizational performance. He as published over 90 articles and chapters in scholarly and applied publications. He has also published seven books and edited volumes. His research and opinions are often described in the press and he is
also currently writing a bi-monthly column for CIO Insight on organizational behavior. Sutton has been a guest on numerous radio and television shows.
John W. Thompson is chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of Symantec Corporation. Since joining Symantec in April 1999, Thompson has led the transformation of the company from a consumer
software publisher to the global leader in information security solutions for individuals and enterprises. With global operations in more than 35 countries, Symantec offers a broad range of software, appliances and services designed to
help customers secure and manage their IT infrastructure. Under Thompson's leadership, the company has defined a new category of information security software for consumers and has made a number of strategic acquisitions to enhance its
ability to serve the rapidly changing security and management needs of large global enterprises. In September 2002, President George W. Bush appointed Thompson to the National Infrastructure Advisory Committee (NIAC), to make
recommendations regarding the security of the critical infrastructure of the United States. In addition, Thompson has served as the chair of the Silicon Valley Blue Ribbon Task Force on Aviation Security and Technology to identify and
evaluate technology-driven solutions to improve the security and efficiency of national and local aviation. Prior to joining Symantec, Thompson had a distinguished career with the IBM Corporation where he held senior executive positions in
sales, marketing and software development. In his last assignment, he was general manager of IBM Americas and a member of the company's Worldwide Management Council. Thompson is a member of the board of directors of UPS, NiSource, Inc.,
and Seagate. He completed his undergraduate studies at Florida A&M University and holds a master's degree in management science from MIT's Sloan School of Management.
Several studies has shown that a women entrepreneurs are better skilled than men. Skilled in the way that they have more factual knowledge about their product or service than men normally have.
Stephanie Tilenius is vice president and general manager for merchant services at PayPal, an eBay company. PayPal enables any individual or business with an email address to securely, easily and quickly send and receive
payments online. An eBay employee since early 2001, she is responsible for the strategy, growth, and financial performance of PayPal's merchant services group, the business unit providing payment solutions to small and large e-commerce
merchants. Before eBay, Tilenius was senior vice president of sales and marketing for PlanetRx.com, a company she co-founded and took public on the NASDAQ in 1999. Previously, she was vice president of business and product development for
Firefly, a software start-up that was sold to Microsoft Corp. in 1997. Early in her career, Tilenius spent several years as an investment banker at Deutche Bank Alex Brown, primarily focusing on software and telecom. In this capacity, she
worked on the Initial Public Offering for America Online in 1992, and she subsequently decided to join its corporate development group where she managed mergers, venture investments and strategic partnerships. Tilenius graduated with high
honors from Brandeis University where she earned both her bachelor's degree in economics and her master's degree in international finance. She also received her master's in business administration from Harvard Business School. Tilenius
also spent time as a presidential management intern through a two-year fellowship with the U.S. government where she worked for Treasury Secretary Brady and Carla Hills on Japan-U.S. trade negotiations.
Some of the very first decisions founders must make early on in their ventures are crucially important to the future of the business. Many of these decisions concern the ubiquitous "people problems" that challenge even experienced entrepreneurs. When should I found? Should I co-found with someone? With whom? How should we split the equity? Bad or ill-informed choices at critical junctures could have significant consequences for startups. In fact, research has suggested that 65 percent of new firm failures were related to problems within the management team.
Our founder, Ewing Marion Kauffman, once said: "It's your right to be uncommon if you can. You seek opportunity to compete. You desire to take calculated risk, to dream, to build, yes, even to fail, and to succeed". He was talking to entrepreneurs: those people who create new ventures, building visions into reality. Indeed, entrepreneurs are uncommon in many ways. They create something from nothing. They see problems (and solutions) that others might not. They take personal and financial risks.
According to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, a leading indicator of new business creation in the United States, men are “substantially more likely to start a business each month than women”. In the seventeen year period from 1996 – 2012, the average rate of entrepreneurial activity for men was .37 percent; for women during the same period it was .23 percent.
During my years at the Kauffman Foundation I have seen firsthand the effect that education can have on the development of entrepreneurs and their companies. The entrepreneurs with whom I have worked have taken the lessons they have learned and applied them to great effect in their endeavors as founders. These entrepreneurs benefited from opportunities to learn critical skills, and from gaining an understanding of crucial decisions or junctures that often can derail entrepreneurial businesses.
Entrepreneurship is flourishing on campuses around the country. In classrooms and through co-curricular programs and competitions, students on diverse campuses, at universities large and small, representing disciplines across the spectrum, have the opportunity to understand the role of entrepreneurship in the economy, explore innovation, test their own ideas, and learn what they need to know to be entrepreneurs.
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