understanding a variety of career paths
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.
Heidi Roizen is a partner at Threshold Ventures, and currently serves on the boards of Zoox, Planet, Memphis Meats, HelixRE and DMGT.
Alexi Robichaux is the co-founder and CEO of BetterUp, a mobile-based platform that brings personalized professional coaching to employees at all levels. BetterUp uses evidence-based assessments and machine learning to match employees to coaches who can encourage lasting behavior change.
Ethan Brown is the founder, president and CEO of Beyond Meat. By shifting consumption from animal to plant-based meat products, Beyond Meat aims to positively impact human health, the climate, natural resources, and animal welfare. The company raised more than $145 million in capital, as well as placements at prominent grocery and restaurant chains like Whole Foods and TGI Fridays, before debuting on the Nasdaq stock exchange in May 2019.
Amy Francetic is a managing partner at Buoyant Ventures, a new Chicago-based venture fund that invests in digital climate solutions in North America.
Annie Kadavy is a managing director at Redpoint Ventures, a firm that emphasizes early-stage investing and has backed companies like Netflix, Stripe and HashiCorp.
Prior to joining Redpoint, she served as head of strategic operations at Uber Freight, and also spent four years as a general partner at Charles River Ventures, where she focused on early-stage investments in consumer-driven companies like ClassPass, DoorDash and Patreon.
Practice the art of informational interviews and make connections with other grad students in this preview of the popular d.school course, Designing the Professional.
Kathy Davies, lecturer and managing director, d.life Lab
Read Kathy's Bio
Join the virtual session at 12PM on Thurs., Apr. 23 via Zoom. A Zoom meeting link will be emailed to you once you register for the session.