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Peter Thiel is an American businessman and entrepreneur widely known as co-founder (with Max Levchin) and former CEO of PayPal. From San Mateo, California, Thiel is an avowed Libertarian. He studied 20th-century
philosophy at Stanford University and continued at the law school. Interestingly, he once proposed that PayPal could be a catalyst for change in world politics. In 2002, Thiel sold PayPal to eBay for US$1.5 billion. Currently he is the
Founder and Managing Member of Clarium Capital Management, LLC, a hedge fund managing over $250 million.
Dr. Donald Francis is currently doing research to develop a vaccine for HIV at Genentech, Inc. In February of 1992 he retired after 20 years in the U.S. Public Health Service. At the time of his retirement he was the
Centers for Disease AIDS Advisor to the State of California and Special Consultant to Mayor Art Agnos in San Francisco. In the latter capacity he served as the Chair of the Mayor's HIV Task Force. Dr. Francis is a Californian having done
his undergraduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley. He received his M.D. from Northwestern University and his Doctor of Science from Harvard. Before beginning his work on AIDS, Dr. Francis was involved in epidemic
control around the world. He was instrumental in eradicating smallpox from Sudan, India and Bangladesh. He was also on the front line of the cholera epidemic in Nigeria in the early 1970's and the Ebola epidemic in Sudan in 1976. Dr.
Francis also did some of the early developmental work on the hepatitis B vaccine, both in the United States and in the People's Republic of China. He began his work on AIDS in 1981. He was one of the first scientists to suggest that AIDS
was caused by an infectious agent. As director of CDC's AIDS Laboratory Activities, he worked closely with the Institut Pasteur to prove that HIV was the cause of AIDS. He was also one of the earliest scientists to realize the impact HIV
would have on the United States and has been an indefatigable advocate for a logical public response.
An important area of financial literacy for entrepreneurs concerns the ability to establish an effective commercial banking relationship and to prepare a loan proposal. No small or growing company survives and prospers without some debt component on its balance sheet.
Entrepreneurs launching growth companies need an understanding of the financial basics to work with professionals and spot problems early, says a serial entrepreneur and investor. Tips for acquiring literacy are provided.
As senior vice president, Worldwide Marketing, Ken is responsible for all palmOne marketing activities, including product marketing. Prior to joining the company, Ken was the founder and chief executive officer of
Riffage.com, a venture capital-funded music media company backed by Mayfield Fund, Bertelsmann and AOL. The management team he recruited built Riffage into a popular music site on the Internet, with 1 million unique visitors per month,
signing major sponsors including Sony, Sega, Lipton's and Telocity. Before founding his own company, Ken was vice president of corporate marketing for Diamond Multimedia Systems, a leading PC peripherals company, where he managed all
worldwide marketing functions, tech support, customer service and Internet marketing. Ken also led the introduction of the Rio portable MP3 player, which established the MP3 market and maintains a leading share today after the entry of
Sony, Compaq, Philips, Samsung and Intel, among others. Previously, Ken headed marketing for Apple Computer's PIE (personal interactive electronics) division, overseeing all Newton marketing programs. Ken also has held key marketing roles
at NEC Technologies, Cognitive Systems and Atari. He holds a master of business administration degree from Stanford University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan.
An entrepreneur turned mergers and acquisitions specialist advises owners selling a privately held company to secure representation and educate themselves about the process.
As Senior Vice President of Hardware, Matt Hershenson brings a wealth of experience to Danger. He is responsible for Danger's hardware engineering, development and design efforts. Before co-founding Danger, Matt managed
the hardware group at Mainbrace Corporation, a Windows CE systems integrator. Prior to Mainbrace Corporation, Matt served in various roles at Philips Electronics. During his tenure with the Philips Mobile Computing Group, he was
responsible for the hardware of the Velo-1 handheld PC, one of the first Windows CE devices. While at Philips Semiconductors, Matt served as a systems architect, where he played an integral role in the design of numerous consumer handheld
devices, including the Sharp Mobilon, Philips Nino, and the Compaq C-series. Before Philips, Matt was a hardware engineer with Catapult Entertainment, since acquired by Hearme. He was part of the team that turned the vision of multi-player
gaming over the Internet into a reality. He handled all aspects of product development and design for the XBAND Video Game Modem. Matt also played a key role in the product development and design of the Apple Powerbook 150, then Apple's
most affordable PowerBook computer. Matt also co-founded MOTO Development Group, a product design consultancy firm specializing in product development. MOTO aided in the design of many technical products, such as remote controls for Apple
Ann Winblad is the co-founding Partner of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. She is a well-known and respected software industry entrepreneur and technology leader. Her background and experience have been chronicled in
many national business and trade publications. Ann has over 25 years of experience in the software industry. She began her career as a systems programmer at the Federal Reserve Bank. In 1976 Ann co-founded Open Systems, Inc., a top selling
accounting software company, with a $500 investment. She operated Open Systems profitably for six years and then sold it for over $15 million. Prior to co-founding Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Ann served as a strategy consultant for
prestigious clients such as IBM, Microsoft, Price Waterhouse, and numerous start-ups. In addition, Ann has co-authored the book Object-Oriented Software and has written articles for numerous publications. Ann received a BA in mathematics
and in business administration, as well as an MA in education and international economics from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. Ann also has an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of St. Thomas. Ann has served
as a Director of start-up and public companies and currently serves as a director of Intacct, The Knot, Voltage Security, Krillion and Mulesource. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of St. Thomas and is an
advisor to numerous entrepreneur groups.
Entrepreneurs need to be leaders to motivate people to undertake the daunting task of turning a vision into a tangible entity, says the founder of the nation's largest pediatric home healthcare provider.
Before co-founding Fluidigm, as Mycometrix, Mr. Worthington held a variety of engineering, operations and marketing positions at Actel Corporation, which designs, develops and markets field programmable gate arrays
(FPGAs) and associated design and development software and programming hardware. Mr. Worthington served in several departments during his tenure at Actel, including product engineering, R&D engineering management, program management,
product planning, and strategic marketing. His last position at Actel was Director, Strategic Marketing and Product Planning. Mr. Worthington received his undergraduate degree in Physics and a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from
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