to page content
to site navigation
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.
One of the questions I get asked the most is some version of "what do you think of crowdfunding?" I usually answer with some noncommittal answer about how it is going to be important, but no really knows how it will impact the trajectory and success of startup companies. After all, the notion of banding together through social media to fund the development of a prototype, documentary film or art project has been going on for many years now.
Geoff Davis is the founder and CEO of Unitus. For the last nine years, Geoff has worked with microfinance programs worldwide, beginning with a program he founded in central Mexico. He was an early employee at Grameen
Foundation USA, a global microfinance leader, and has spoken widely on microfinance, including speeches and lectures at the International Monetary Fund, on National Public Radio, and at Harvard, Stanford and Brigham Young Universities. He
has also been a speaker on microfinance topics at conferences in Chile, Switzerland, Bangladesh and elsewhere. In addition, Geoff is an entrepreneur, having worked at numerous startups and formed several companies earlier in his career.
Geoff holds a B.A. in international relations from Brigham Young University and a master's degree in development economics and public policy from Harvard University.
As the president of Yahoo! Inc., Susan L. Decker is a key participant in determining Yahoo!'s business strategy and vision. She is responsible for all of the global business operations of Yahoo!, including sales, product
marketing, and distribution across the three major customer groups of audience, advertisers, and publishers. Prior to that, from December 2006 - June 2007, she served as the head of one of Yahoo!'s two major business units, the Advertiser
and Publisher Group (APG). In that role, she was instrumental in developing the company's recent reorganization plan and strategy to transform how advertisers connect with their target customers online. Preceding her work with APG, Decker
was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for seven years, managing all aspects of the company's financial and administrative direction within key functional areas, including finance, facilities, investor relations (and
human resources and legal through December 2006). Decker served on the board of directors of Pixar Animation Studios from June 2004 to May 2006 until its sale to Disney, and currently serves on the board of directors for Berkshire
Hathaway, Intel Corporation, and Costco Wholesale. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Tufts University, with a double major in computer science and economics, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Before you can create a winning brand strategy, you've got to have a winning product or service to promote.
Michael Dell is the founder of the computer company Dell, Inc. He created one of the most profitable computer companies in the world with annual sales of up to $50 billion American dollars. Dell has also become one of
the wealthiest people in the world with a 4th place listing on the Forbes rich Americans list in 2005 with an estimated worth of $18 billion. Michael Saul Dell was born on the 23rd of February, 1965 in Houston to an orthodontist father and
a mother that worked as a money manager. Dell was interested in computers from a very young age and was already pulling them apart at the age of 15. He attended the University of Texas with hopes of becoming a doctor but abandoned studies
to start his own business at just 19 years of age. With just one thousand dollars in his pocket Dell started "PC's Limited" in 1984. From his university dorm room Dell started building and selling personal computers from stock computer
parts. The idea that set the young entrepreneur apart from others was to sell directly to the customer, rather than going through a third party to sell his products. PC's Limited allowed the customer to customize their computer before it
was custom built to their specifications. The prices could also be kept much lower than PC's Limited's competition as they had no stores to maintain or middlemen to pay commissions to. All computers were sold direct to the customer with
the use of order forms, phone orders, and now Internet orders. In 1988 PC's Limited had a name change to "Dell Computer Corporation" and had an initial public offering (IPO) that valued the company at roughly $80 million. By 1992 Dell
Computer Corporation was listed on the Fortune 500 list of the five hundred largest companies in the world, making Michael Dell the youngest ever CEO to head a Fortune 500 company. The company continued to grow and expand dramatically year
after year, eventually selling more c
Ken Denman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of iPass, is focused on making iPass enterprise connectivity secure, simple and convenient to use from any location of the world, on any platform installed and
any device deployed. Since joining iPass in October 2001, Ken has guided the company in leveraging the explosion in new broadband and wireless access technologies to make them real and globally available to any enterprise or service
provider. Under Ken's leadership, iPass has remade itself, from a leading aggregator of dial-up remote access networks, into a company that provides a broad array of enterprise connectivity technologies that meet the needs of large
corporate customers with thousands of traveling and telecommuting employees, all which require secure access to their corporate networks, mission-critical applications, e-mail and the Internet. Ken's career spans more than 20 years in the
telecommunications and IT industries, with both domestic and global market experience. Before joining iPass, Ken was the founder, president and CEO of AuraServ Communications, a managed service provider of broadband voice and data
applications. He has a strong background in the wireless industry, having held executive positions in the wireless and broadband divisions of MediaOne and US WEST. Ken was senior vice president of the National Markets Group at MediaOne's
Domestic Broadband Unit before founding AuraServ; and prior to that, he was chief operating officer - wireless, at MediaOne International in London. Ken also serves on the board of directors of Openwave (NASDAQ: OPWV), a publicly traded
leading provider of open software products and services for the communications industry. Ken holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Washington and a bachelor's degree in accounting from Central Washington
Dr. Diamandis is the Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, which awarded the $10,000,000 Ansari X PRIZE for private spaceflight. Diamandis is focused on building the X PRIZE Foundation into a world-class prize
institute. The X PRIZE is now developing X PRIZEs in Genomics, Automotive, Education, Medicine, Energy, and Social fields. He is also an international leader in the commercial space arena, having founded and run many of the sector's
leading entrepreneurial companies. Diamandis serves as the CEO of Zero Gravity Corporation, a commercial space company developing private, FAA-certified parabolic flights utilizing Boeing 727-200 aircraft. In addition, he is the chairman
and co-founder of the Rocket Racing League. Diamandis is a co-founder and director of Space Adventures, the company that brokered the launches of four private citizens to the International Space Station. In 1987, Diamandis co-founded the
International Space University (ISU), where he served as the University's first managing director. Today he is a trustee of the $30M ISU, based in Strasbourg, France. Prior to ISU, Diamandis was chairman of Students for the Exploration and
Development of Space (SEDS), an organization he founded while earning his undergraduate degree in molecular genetics and graduate degree in aerospace engineering at MIT in 1980. SEDS is the world's largest student pro-space organization.
After MIT he attended Harvard Medical School, where he received his M.D. In 2005 he has was also awarded an honorary Doctorate from the International Space University. Diamandis is the winner of the 2007 Arthur C. Clarke Award for
Innovation, the 2006 (inaugural) Heinlein Award, the 2006 Lindbergh Award, the 2006 Wired RAVE Award, the 2006 Neil Armstrong Award for Aerospace Achievement and Leadership, the Konstantine Tsiolkovsky Award, twice the winner of the
Aviation & Space Technology Laurel, and the 2003 Worl
Startup CEOs wear many hats. None, perhaps, is more important than that of "company pitchman."
John Doerr joined Intel in 1974 just as they invented the famous "8080" 8 bit microprocessor. At Intel, he held various engineering, marketing and management assignments, and was one of their top-ranked sales executives.
In 1980, he joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and sponsored a series of investments including Compaq, Cypress, Intuit, Macromedia, Netscape, Lotus, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, S3, Sun Microsystems, Amazon.com, and Symantec. John
was the founding CEO of Silicon Compilers and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Google, Intuit, Amazon.com, Homestore.com, and Sun Microsystems. His privately held company board seats include Good Technology, and Segway. He
holds patents for computer memory devices he invented as a design engineer at Monsanto. Recent interests include education, the Internet and biotechnology genomics. John was born one of five children and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He
holds a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from Rice University and an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.
After the recent "48 Hour Launch" weekend that drew more than five dozen participants, eight new companies now dot the city's small-business landscape.
The third annual event, sponsored by LaunchMemphis, replaced the organization's former Startup Weekend program. Interest in the program easily surpassed previous incarnations, leaders said, and the number of viable companies was nearly triple that of last year.
Want to get connected? Sign up to receive regular news, polls and updates from The Kauffman Foundation.
A robust online curriculum for entrepreneurs.
Explore Founders School >
A network of U.S. cities facilitating a weekly entrepreneur education program. Go to 1 Million Cups >
Whether you are starting or growing a company, FastTrac will help you live your dream at each stage.
Get started with FastTrac >