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SpaceX is the third company founded by Mr. Musk. Prior to SpaceX, he co-founded PayPal, the world's leading electronic payment system, and served as the company's chairman and CEO. PayPal has over twenty million
customers in 38 countries, processes several billion dollars per year and went public on the NASDAQ under PYPL in early 2002. Mr. Musk was the largest shareholder of PayPal until the company was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in October
2002. Before PayPal, Mr. Musk co-founded Zip2 Corporation in 1995, a leading provider of enterprise software and services to the media industry, with investments from The New York Times Company, Knight-Ridder, MDV, Softbank and the Hearst
Corporation. He served as Chairman, CEO and Chief Technology Officer and in March 1999 sold Zip2 to Compaq for $307 million in an all cash transaction. Mr. Musk's early experience extends across a spectrum of advanced technology
industries, from high energy density ultra-capacitors at Pinnacle Research to software development at Rocket Science and Microsoft. He has a physics degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a business degree from Wharton and originally
came out to California to pursue graduate studies in high energy density capacitor physics & materials science at Stanford.
Carol Bartz is executive chairman of the board of Autodesk, Inc. Bartz was chairman, president and CEO of Autodesk for 14 years and stepped-down in April, 2006. During her tenure, the company diversified its product line
and grew revenues from $285 million to $1.523 billion in FY06. Bartz previously held positions at Sun Microsystems, 11 years ago serving as vice president of worldwide field operations and an executive officer of the company. Before
joining Sun, she held product line and sales management positions at Digital Equipment Corporation and 3M Corporation. Appointed to President Bush's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Bartz is one of a select group of industry
leaders expected to play a key role in shaping and setting the government's high tech agenda-ranging from R&D funding to new broadband incentives. She also serves on the Board of Directors of BEA Systems, Cisco Systems, Network
Appliance, and the Foundation for the National Medals of Science and Technology. Bartz holds an honors degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin. She was granted an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the New
Jersey Institute of Technology, an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from William Woods University.
John R. "Trip" Adler III is an American entrepreneur who started the social publishing company Scribd. Adler grew up in Palo Alto, California, and then attended Harvard University where he studied biophysics and graduated in June 2006.
Danish-born David Heinemeier Hansson is the programmer and creator of the popular Ruby on Rails web development framework and the Instiki wiki. He is also a partner at the Web-based software development firm 37signals,
based in Chicago. Ruby on Rails provides a "basic development environment" for programmers, according to Wikipedia.org. Based on the programming language Ruby (developed by Japanese programmer Yukihiro Matsumoto in 1995), Ruby on Rails
focuses on user interface and "convention over configuration"; meaning, developers can focus on the unique qualities of their Web site or program rather than the building blocks that every application may require. Released in 2004, Ruby on
Rails has been incorporated into many applications used by some of the biggest companies, from Twitter to Apple's 2007 release of Mac OS X v.10.5 "Leopard." Aside from his development of Ruby on Rails, Heinemeier Hansson also works as a
partner for Web-based software development firm 37signals. Joining the company in 2003, he has helped develop Basecamp, Campfire, Backpack and other Web-based applications. Working in similar ways like Web-based e-mail services like Yahoo!
e-mail and Google's Gmail, 37signals hosts a broad range of IT services for companies, including project management to information-sharing. The firm's software has been used by Kellogg's, Sun Microsystems and even Obama '08. Hansson
received his bachelor's degree from the Copenhagen Business School in 2005. In that same year, he moved to Chicago and received Hacker of the Year honors for his work on Ruby on Rails from Google and O'Reilly Media. He runs a blog called
Robin Li is the Co-founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Baidu, Inc., and oversees the company's overall strategy and business operations. Since founding Baidu in January 2000, Li has turned the company into
the largest Chinese search engine, with over 70% market share, and the third largest independent search engine in the world. In 2005, Baidu completed its successful IPO on NASDAQ, and in 2007 it became the first Chinese company to be
included in the NASDAQ-100 Index. Prior to Baidu, Li was already regarded as one of the world's top search engine experts. His hyperlink analysis, patented in 1996, is among the inventions that shaped today's search engine technology. Li
worked as a staff engineer for Infoseek, a pioneer Internet search engine company, from July 1997 to December 1999, and as a senior consultant for IDD Information Services from May 1994 to June 1997. Robin Li received a Bachelor of Science
Degree in Information Management from Peking University in 1991, and a Master of Science Degree in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1994.
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.
The term entrepreneur has what I like to refer to as positive brand confusion. Whereas the opinions range in scale from the billion dollar company to the life style enterprise, most people nevertheless have a positive connotation of what an entrepreneur is. This post shows that an entrepreneurial mindset can exist almost anywhere people are paying attention to problems while working towards solutions.
At Jim Berlin's company, interns bring fresh energy and get practical experience.
As we move into August, and inch ever-closer to Labor Day – the unofficial end of summer – I’ve been thinking a lot about squeezing the most out of the last few weeks of the beautiful summertime weather. July 4th is a fading memory,...
A husband-and-wife team who founded an Internet telecommunications company began to tackle one of the toughest challenges facing them: They looked to find a CEO, a replacement for themselves as heads of the business.
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