Founder & CEO | Rocket Lawyer
Charley is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Rocket Lawyer, a long-time entrepreneur, and a legal commentator. Charley has been at the forefront of Internet corporate development since beginning his career as an attorney at Venture Law Group in Menlo Park, California in 1996. While practicing at Venture Law Group, he participated in the early-stage representation of Yahoo! (IPO), WebTV Networks (acquired by Microsoft) and Cerent Corporation (acquired by Cisco Systems) and was the founder of Onstation Corporation (acquired by The Cobalt Group). He served as a U.S. Naval officer and is a Gulf War veteran. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Northern California Public Broadcasting Corporation (KQED) and the UC Berkeley School of Law, among other organizations. Charley resides in San Francisco with his wife Monique and their three children.
Read our interview with Charley here.
Chairman | Grammy Foundation
Rusty is a co-founder of Tech4America. He is a prolific startup advisor and investor, and serves on a number of corporate and philanthropic boards. He was CEO of SNOCAP through the sale of the company to imeem, Inc. in 2008. He also served as EVP, HR at Electronic Arts (EA); during his tenure, EA was named one of the “100 Top Places to Work For” by Fortune magazine. Rusty and his wife Patti are dedicated patrons of the arts; Rusty has been Chairman of the GRAMMY Foundation and was a Barack Obama appointee to the Advisory Committee for the Arts at the Kennedy Center. The Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts at Purdue University is named for them.
Read our interview with Rusty here.
SVP | Salesforce
Jim is a co-founder of Tech4America and SVP of Government and Public Affairs at Salesforce. Jim founded and led Tech4Obama in 2012, working very closely with tech community to organize and leverage the broad support of the community around the President’s successful reelection. In the past, Jim worked as a finance consultant, fundraising throughout California and the Northwest for candidates, non-profits, and trade associations. Jim lives in San Francisco with his wife Cammy and their two children.
Founder & Chairman | The Melt
Jon is the Founder & Chairman of the Melt, a chain of fast casual restaurants based in San Francisco. Jon founded the Melt in 2011. Prior to this, he founded Pure Digital Technologies, creator of personal video player Flip Video, that was subsequently purchased by Cisco. In 2008, Jon was named one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Web by Businessweek. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for POPSUGAR Inc. Jon lives in San Francisco with his wife Marci, with whom he established the Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund at Carnegie Mellon University, which provides early-stage financing and support to recent Carnegie Mellon alumni.
Read our interview with Jon here.
Chairman & Founder | Salesforce
Marc is the Founder and Chairman of Salesforce, an on-demand information management service founded in 1999. Salesforce is the technology leader in cloud computing and has consistently ranked in Business Week’s top 100 Innovative Companies. Prior to founding Salesforce, he worked at Oracle for thirteen years. President George Bush appointed Marc as the Co-chair of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, on which he served from 2003 to 2005. He also served as a Campaign Co-Chair to President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. Marc lives in San Francisco with his wife Lynne.
R. Miller Adams
Founder & Managing Director | Pier 70 Ventures
Miller is the Founder & Managing Director at Pier 70 Ventures. He is also Managing Director at Triad Capital Partners. In the past, Miller has been VP Global R&D Strategy at The Boeing Company and president of Boeing Phantom Works Investments, Inc. through which he was responsible for a venture capital investment and due diligence program resulting in investments in 32 venture capital funds world-wide. He has also made numerous personal angel-investments in technology companies. He was also GC and EVP for Corporate Affairs at Integral Systems, Inc., the world leader in satellite command and control systems. Miller holds a BA from Seattle University and a JD from the University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University School of Law). He holds U.S. Government Top Secret Clearance.
Founder | craigslist & Craig Newmark Philanthropies
Craig Newmark is a Web pioneer, philanthropist, speaker, and one of America’s most recognized nerds. In 1995 he founded craigslist, which to date has seen more than 5 billion classified ads posted. In 2012 he was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. In 2015 he created the Craig Newmark Philanthropies, a private foundation to promote philanthropy and civic engagement through a number of initiatives. He was born in Morristown, New Jersey and received degrees in computer science from Case Western Reserve University. He now lives in San Francisco.
Read our interview with Craig here.
Chief Administration Officer | JUUL Labs
Ashley is Chief Administrative Officer at JUUL Labs, whose mission is to drive innovation that will eliminate cigarettes. Prior to this, she was Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs and Chief Legal Officer at Hyperion Therapeutics, a biotech company developing therapies to address “orphan or underserved patient populations.” Before assuming her role at Hyperion, she served as the Vice President of Corporate Development and the Chief Legal Officer at 23andMe. Prior to joining 23andMe in April 2007, Ashley was Vice President of Legal Affairs at CoTherix, Inc. Previously, she was an associate with the law firms of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and O’Melveny & Myers LLP. Ashley attended UC Berkeley and the University of San Francisco School of Law. She is a native of San Francisco!
Read our interview with Ashley here.
Founder | CNET
Shelby is the CEO at Pylon ai, Inc. Prior to this, he was Managing Director of Allen & Co., Chairman of the Board at RPX, Inc., and the CEO of Whiskey Media, an online publisher. Shelby made his mark by co-founding CNET in the early nineties. Before CNET, Shelby worked for Tiger Management Corporation, Lynx Capital, and Morgan Stanley. Shelby is the cousin of Matthew Barzun, former Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Shelby lives in San Francisco with his wife Carol.
Co-Founder & Former CEO | RPX Corporation
John is an investor and Co-Founder of RPX Corp., and was Chief Executive Officer until 2017. Prior to that, he served as the General Manager of Strategic Acquisitions and Vice President of Licensing at Intellectual Ventures (IV), responsible for strategic acquisitions of patent portfolios as well as developing the software and e-commerce licensing programs. He also served as Managing Director and founded the M&A Advisory practice for Ocean Tomo. Prior to Ocean Tomo, John served as Vice President and Secretary at InterTrust Technologies, where he worked on intellectual property transactions, merger and acquisition activities, and late-stage financing activities. He started his career as an associate at Weil Gotshal & Manges, where his practice included mergers and acquisitions, equity investments, venture capital financings, intellectual property licensing, and patent litigation. He has been a Director of RPX Corporation since July 2008.
Read our interview with John here.
CTO | Zillow
David is the Chief Technology Officer at Zillow. In this role, he manages the Technical Engineering team and is responsible for all website, mobile and internal product development, corporate IT, and datacenter operations. Previously, David was one of the initial members of the Expedia team, and held many leadership roles in product development during his 10-year tenure there. David began his career as a software design engineer in 1992, and before his Expedia years, David worked at Microsoft in the handheld computing group. David is a recognized leader in the tech industry and was named as Puget Sound Business Journal’s Most Innovative CTO in 2012. David lives in Seattle with his wife and kids.
Read our interview with David here.
Angel Investor & Advisor/Co-Founder | Code.org
Ali is an angel investor, entrepreneur and co-founder of Code.org, a non-profit foundation dedicated to growing computer programming education. Ali founded code.org with his brother, Hadi, who lives in Seattle. Ali has been an advisor and angel investor to a number of companies including Zappos, Facebook, Dropbox and MySpace. Previously, Ali co-founded and served as CEO of iLike, Inc and served as a CEO of GarageBand.com. Ali lives in Oakland, California.
Read our interview with Ali here.
Angel Investor & Advisor/Co-Founder | Code.org
Hadi is the co-founder of Code.org and an angel investor and entrepreneur. He was on the founding teams of Tellme and iLike. As an angel investor and startup advisor, Hadi’s portfolio includes Facebook, Zappos, Dropbox, OPOWER, Flixster, Bluekai, and many others. Hadi was General Manager of MSN.com during MSN’s only year of profit, and incubated Start.com (now Live.com). After leaving Microsoft, Hadi co-founded iLike with twin brother Ali Partovi, and together they built the leading music application on the Facebook platform. in 2009, iLike was acquired by MySpace where both Partovis worked as Senior Vice Presidents.
Read our interview with Hadi here.
Co-founder | Men's Wearhouse
Richie is the co-Founder of Men’s Wearhouse (now retired). He is widely recognized as the marketing mastermind of MW, from his insistence on using TV as the main form of advertising as far back as 1975, to his careful nurturing and managing of the MW brand and image as the company expanded from one part of the country to another. In January of 2009, Richie released his book, Luck by Design Certain Success in an Uncertain World
. The book, aimed at the children of Baby Boomers, received praise from educators, fellow authors, and reviewers. It won “Best General Non-Fiction” at the San Francisco Book Festival in 2009 and was a Finalist in the Self-Help: Motivational category at the National Best Books 2009.Richie graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in English.
Read our interview with Richie here.
Sr. Advisor | Glassdoor
Dawn is a senior communications and social marketing counselor with experience working for large multi-national Fortune 500 companies, technology start-ups, and not-for-profit organizations. With 20 years experience in marketing, branding, PR and public affairs, Dawn has created her own communications consultancy, offering clients access to a cross-section of expertise and services, tapping into a network of stellar pros worldwide. Dawn has a proven track record running global communications departments and programs, helping companies create value propositions and go-to-market strategies that generate international attention, taking companies public (Zillow 2011 IPO) and navigating companies through reputational and life-threatening operational crises.
Managing Partner | Protocol Ventures
Rick is the Managing Partner at Protocol Ventures, the first fund of funds focused on crypto assets. Protocol identifies and invests in the top 10 crypto hedge fund managers to deliver diversification with outsized returns via a single LP investment. He is also Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Dragonfly Ventures, a cross-border M&A advisory firm specializing in complex transactions with a focus on China. They cover the internet, technology, media and consumer categories. Prior to this, Rick was Founder and CEO of BranchOut, the largest professional network leveraging the Facebook social graph, was the Founder & CEO of SuperFan, a profitable social entertainment site, and was the Co-Founder, CFO & Chief Strategist for Tickle.com, which was one of the largest social media sites with 200 million registered users. Rick lives in San Francisco.
Read our interview with Rick here.
Founder & Principal | Cotton Mountain Group
Erik is the Founder and Principal of Cotton Mountain Group, through which he makes angel investments in technology start-ups and invests in real estate. He is also Managing Director at The Presidio Group, which he joined to create the Silicon Valley Team, advising entrepreneurs and tech leaders with their investments whether managed by Presidio or direct. Erik has more than 25 years of business experience raising funds, launching businesses, and developing strategies. He has spent the majority of his career working in leadership positions with technology companies innovating new ways of doing business. Erik holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He is Chairman of the Board of CUPP Computing (mobile data security company), and sits on the Boards of Uformia (3D software company), and Summer Search.
Read our interview with Erik here.
VP European Union Government Affairs | Microsoft
John is Vice President EU Government Affairs and is leading the Microsoft Brussels office. Prior to this role Frank was Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, leading the Digital Trust and Security group which includes the Law Enforcement and National Security team, the Digital Crimes Unit, the Industry Affairs group, and Competition Law, Privacy and Government Contract Compliance teams. Prior to joining Microsoft, John practiced law in San Francisco with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (1988-1994) where he specialized in securities law, mergers and acquisitions, and cross-border investments, and with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (1985 – 1997). Prior to joining Microsoft, Frank practiced law in San Francisco with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Mr. Frank received his A.B. degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and his J.D. from Columbia Law School.
Read our interview with John here.
Mayor of Novato, California
Josh is currently the Mayor of Novato, California, and President of Golden State Opportunity Foundation. Prior to this role, Fryday served as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for NextGen Climate Action, founded by Tom Steyer. He was a Lieutenant and member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) in the United States Navy (’09–’13). He served overseas in Yokosuka, Japan, where in addition to his legal duties, he augmented the Navy’s 7th Fleet’s Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief efforts during “Operation Tomodachi” following the March 11th earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. He was also stationed in the Office of Military Commissions, working on the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detainee cases, and testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the closing of Guantanamo. Before serving in the Armed Services, Josh worked as a political advisor on local, state and national campaigns, including the 2003-2004 Presidential elections. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. He also received his law degree from the UC Berkeley School of Law. He is a fellow with the Truman National Security Project, and a Term-Member on the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Ambassador Doug Hickey
Investor, Executive, Public Servant
Doug was most recently US Ambassador for the Milan Expo 2015 and was President and CEO of Binwise, a company focused on creating solutions for the distribution and tracking of wine, beer and spirits. He has more than 20 years of operational experience holding senior-level positions in the telecom, Internet, and technology space. Doug spent 10+ years as Managing Partner at Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. Prior to Hummer Winblad, Doug was CEO of Critical Path. He was also President and CEO of Global Center, one of the first and largest providers of advanced web hosting. After selling Global Center to Frontier Communications in 1998, Doug was named President of Frontier Global Center and Executive Vice President of Frontier Communications Corporation. Doug is on the Board Plug Power Inc (NSDQ PLUG) and Siena College. Doug received a B.S. in economics from Siena College and lives in San Francisco with his family.
Founder & CEO | Glassdoor
Robert is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Glassdoor, the jobs and recruiting community helping people find jobs and companies they love. Before creating Glassdoor, Robert was most recently President of Hotwire, a leading discount travel site and division of Expedia, Inc. He was also one of the original team members of Expedia, a company designed to bring greater transparency to the travel industry, and was part of the executive team that took it public in 1999. Robert started his career at Microsoft and worked as a software developer in a range of areas from Windows 95 to interactive television to online games. Robert is currently on the board of directors of Glassdoor and OpenTable, an online real-time restaurant-reservation service. He also serves on the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE). Robert holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in computer science from Stanford University.
Founder | Counterpac
Jim is the founder of Counterpac, a non-profit organization dedicated to campaign finance reform. Previously, Jim was the CEO of Kongregate, a web and mobile platform that combines over 75,000 games with achievements, profiles, and virtual goods and other community features. Kongregate reaches over 15 million unique visitors who spend 35 million hours per month there. Kongregate was acquired by GameStop in 2010 and operates as an independent subsidiary. Before founding Kongregate in 2006, Jim was Technical Director at Electronic Arts. He holds a Computer Science degree from Princeton. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Daphne Keller and two children.
Read our interview with Jim here.
Managing Partner | Incept, LLC
Fred is is the Managing Director of Incept LLC, a health sciences and technology development company. Incept focuses on the unmet needs in the medical device industry and then creates valuable medical device companies from these needs. Fred is a Silicon Valley medical device entrepreneur who has co-founded eight medical companies and held senior management positions in both large and small enterprises. He is either the author or co-author on over 40 issued or filed patent applications, involving unique and novel medical devices. Fred lives in Mountain View, California, with his wife Flora.
Read our interview with Fred here.
CEO | PicMonkey
Jonathan is the chairman of Geekwire LLC and CEO of PicMonkey. He was the CEO of Picnik, an online photo editing service, which was acquired by Google in 2010. Sposato also took part in the creation of Microsoft’s Xbox. After Microsoft, Sposato’s first big hit was Phatbits, a tech startup that created a platform for developing mini-XML apps or ‘Gadgets.’ Phatbits was purchased by Google in 2005 and became Google Gadgets. Sposato is the first person in history to sell two companies to Google. Jonathan lives in Seattle with his wife and son.
Read our interview with Jonathan here.
CEO & Founder | Flowroute
Bayan is the CEO & Founder of Flowroute. Flowroute, founded in 2007, provides voice and messaging services to businesses and developers. Bayan has a strong entrepreneurial background with expertise in telecom regulation, software architecture, information security, vulnerability development, and telephony. In 2013, Flowroute was ranked the fastest growing tech company in telecom on Deloitte’s 2013 Fast 500.
Read our interview with Bayan here.
Founder & Chairman | InsideTrack
Alan is the founder of InsideTrack and has devoted his career to enhancing student motivation, success, and achievement. With InsideTrack, his attention is focused on the success of college students, as reflected in academic performance, persistence and graduation rates. Previously, Alan launched SCORE! Educational Centers, a national system of K-7 centers aimed at helping students strengthen their academic skills and love of learning. As the founder and CEO of SCORE!, he helped to grow the company to nearly 100 centers with more than 1,500 employees. Alan has also served as a management consultant with Boston Consulting Group, a reporter and editor for the Wall Street Journal and as a Lecturer at the Stanford Graduate Schools of Business and Education, where he co-taught the core course for education entrepreneurs. Alan lives in San Francisco.
Read our interview with Alan here.
Faculty Director, Master of Global Entrepreneurial Management | University of San Francisco
Jennifer is a Faculty Director of the Master in Global Entrepreneurial Management at the University of San Francisco. Previously she was the Faculty Director of theGlobal Social Venture Competition, a worldwide program that develops next generation social entrepreneurs, and the Director of Social Entrepreneurship within the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, Haas School of Business, U.C. Berkeley. Jennifer was the 2011 recipient of the Earl F. Cheit Award for Teaching Excellence. She also received “Best Paper” at the NYU-Stern Conference in Social Entrepreneurship in 2011, researching firm formation and performance within venture philanthropy. In 2000, Jennifer founded Myriad Investments, LLC, an NVCA registered venture capital firm, where she remains a partner. She continues to serve on the boards of both non-profit and for-profit enterprises, including the national Net Impact Board and the San Francisco Ballet Board. Prior to her career in academia, Jennifer was a nationally ranked equities analyst by Institutional All-American, and was a regular guest commentator on CNN and CNBC. Previously, she held marketing and sales positions within the high tech industry, based in Silicon Valley.
Read our interview with Jennifer here.