learning about career paths from others
Debbie Sterling is the founder and CEO of GoldieBlox, an award-winning children’s multimedia company known for disrupting the “pink aisle” in toy stores around the world, and challenging gender stereotypes with a girl engineer character. In 2015, Sterling was inducted as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship under the Obama administration and honored by the National Women’s History Museum with a “Living Legacy” Award for her work to empower girls around the world. She holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.
Bonny Simi is the president of JetBlue Technology Ventures, the venture capital arm of JetBlue Airways that invests in and partners with early-stage startups that are improving the future of travel and hospitality. Simi remains an active JetBlue pilot and is also a three-time Olympian in the sport of luge. She earned three degrees at Stanford University: a BA in communications, and masters degrees in management and engineering.
Adam Pisoni co-founded Yammer in 2008, and oversaw product, analytics, and engineering as the SaaS company scaled to 500 employees and was acquired by Microsoft in 2012 for $1.2 billion. More recently, he has turned his attention to the US education system. Abl, the company he founded in 2015, aims to help all schools move beyond the 20th century model of education.
Jeff Seibert is a serial entrepreneur and active angel investor. His current focus is Digits, which he co-founded in 2018 to build modern, intelligent, real-time finance tools for business owners. Seibert previously served as Twitter’s Head of Consumer Product and led the company’s product efforts for iOS, Android and the Web, as well as its Developer and Data platforms. He was also the co-founder and CEO of Crashlytics and the co-founder and COO of Increo. Seibert graduated from Stanford in 2008 with a BS in computer science.
Beverly Parenti and Chris Redlitz are the co-founders of The Last Mile, an organization that aims to break the cycle of incarceration by providing education and career training opportunities in prisons. Founded in 2010 at San Quentin State Prison, The Last Mile has become one of the most requested prison education programs in the United States.
Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone co-founded Carbon in 2013 and served as the company’s CEO until being named Executive Chairman in 2019. As CEO, Joe grew Carbon from a small team of scientists and engineers into an over 400-person global company valued at almost $2.5 billion that is defining the digital revolution in manufacturing. Previously, as a professor at the University of North Carolina, Joe made scientific breakthroughs in areas including green chemistry, medical devices, and nanotechnology, also co-founding several companies based on his research.
Julie Zhuo is the co-founder of Inspirit, an advisory firm that partners with fast-scaling tech companies to build and scale products that people love. Prior to founding Inspirit, she was the VP of design and research for the Facebook app, where she helped scale the service from 8 million users to over 2 billion. She is also the author of The Making of a Manager, a field guide for new managers that was named one of Amazon's Best Business and Leadership Books of 2019. She earned a computer science degree from Stanford University.
When Kevin Systrom first visited ETL in May 2011, Instagram had just launched the previous October. He and co-founder Mike Krieger spoke about how, as two young Stanford alums, they leveraged their education in engineering and entrepreneurship to create an unexpectedly viral photo-sharing app, then navigated the first eight months of rocket-like growth.
Almost a decade later, he returns to the ETL stage to examine Instagram’s startling success from the far side of that massive scaling effort.
Now a senior strategist and “Space Cowboy” at X, the “moonshot factory” at Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Andy Karsner has spent the past two decades driving renewable energy innovation and other climate solutions. In addition to his role at X, Karsner is the founder and executive chairman of Elemental Labs, an organization that pursues systems-based solutions to promote a sustainable future and equitably empower communities.
Joe Tsai is a co-founder and the executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group, a global Internet technology company based in China with a portfolio that includes e-commerce, cloud computing, digital media and entertainment. Tsai joined Jack Ma and others to incorporate the company in 1999 and latter served as its CFO; he is now responsible for the company’s strategic acquisitions and investments, and serves on its board of directors.