Introducing the Rock Center’s Entrepreneurs-in-Residence

by on January 8th, 2013

The Rock Center for Entrepreneurship oversees an Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EiR) program in which accomplished entrepreneurs and VCs visit campus monthly. During this time, they are available to students to offer counsel on their career or business planning issues. This year, we have 17 EiR representing industries such as: mobile, online media, consumer products, life sciences, and venture design. We invite you to visit the Rock Center website to learn more about the EiR program and schedule an appointment: www.hbs.edu/entrepreneurship.

Kent Dauten

What is your background?

I ama Managing Director of Keystone Capital, Inc., a private equity investment firm and entrepreneurial holding company which he co-founded in 1994. Keystone is an operationally focused acquirer and longer term holder of controlling interests in a diverse portfolio of middle market manufacturing and business services companies, currently ten in number with a total of $500 million in revenues. A graduate of Dartmouth College and HBS, my EiR focus includes Venture Capital, Private Equity, Health Care Services and Entrepreneurship through Acquisition/Search Funds.

Why entrepreneurship?

My interest in entrepreneurship stems from my family business background, working for a medical products start-up during college and spending 15 years in the venture capital/private equity arena working with many entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship offers the ability to control your own destiny and set your own career course, creates a more direct linkage between your efforts and achievement of goals (as opposed to being a small cog in a larger organization) and has significant potential financial rewards.

Chuck Davis

What is your background?

I joined Technology Crossover Ventures as a Venture Partner in September, 2011. TCV is or has been an investor in Netflix, Facebook, Fandango, and many other strong and highly successful digital brands. I earned my BA from Brown University and my MBA from Harvard University.

Why entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship can occur at anytime. I was an entrepreneur as a kid and teenager, then was an intrapreneur within big companies, and finally led a series of Internet startups beginning 10 years after leaving HBS.

Dayna Grayson

What is your background?

I am a Principal at North Bridge Venture Partners, specializing in Digital Media. I invest in companies seeking to change the way the Internet is used to deliver and monetize consumer services. She has led investments in several seed investments and in growing companies such as Awareness, and Viximo, she served as the CEO during 2009. Before joining North Bridge in 2006, I led new product development efforts at Blackbaud, the leading global provider of software to nonprofit organizations. I have a BS from the University of Virginia in Systems Engineering and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Why entrepreneurship?

Becoming an entrepreneur is not a career path—it’s not something you plan to do after you achieve Y or Z. That said, the entrepreneurial ability to take the risk to build something new in the face of little data and a lot of uncertainty has to be nurtured. If you know it’s in your DNA, go out and create something now.

Steven J. Halmos

What is your background?

I been involved in business since childhood. I received an Industrial Engineering degree from Georgia Tech and his MBA from HBS, class of 1972.  At age 21 while at Georgia Tech, I co-founded SafeCard Services, which went public in 1971with just $52 in assets. Shares eventually were listed on the NYSE and reached a market capitalization of $1.2 billion.

Why entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. In most cases it requires hard work, sacrifice, and low pay, with no guarantee of success. But the rewards can be great, both personally and financially.

David Hornik

What is your background?

For more than a decade, I have been a venture capitalist at August Capital, investing broadly in information technology companies. I focus on enterprise application and infrastructure software, as well as consumer facing software and services. Prior to joining August Capital, I was an intellectual property and corporate attorney at Venture Law Group and Perkins Coie in the San Francisco Bay Area, and was a litigator in New York City at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. I am currently a lecturer at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Stanford Law School, and the Harvard Law School.

Why entrepreneurship?

There is literally nothing more exhilarating that working with entrepreneurs. Other people live in the world they are given. Entrepreneurs create the world they want to live in.

Terry D. Kramer

What is your background?

I have had a 25-year career in telecommunications. For 18 of the 25 years, I worked for Vodafone Group Plc/AirTouch Communications in a variety of roles domestically and internationally including Group Strategy and Business Improvement Director, Regional President, Vodafone Americas. I have also spent several years leading and advising small, growing technology companies in roles including CEO, QComm International and as a Board member of Fiber Tower, 724 Solutions, and Sonim Technologies. I am a lecturer for the Global Access Program at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. I hold a Bachelors degree in Economics from UCLA and MBA from Harvard University.

Why entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship gives a leader a chance to take their dreams, skills and experiences to innovate and create in a fast moving and ever changing environment.

Eric Paley

What is your background?

I founded both Brontes Technologies and Abstract Edge. I am now a managing partner of Founders Collective, a seed-stage venture capital fund built by a team of entrepreneurs.

Why Entrepreneurship?

I’m inspired by the idea of creating something from nothing. I can’t imagine a more exciting way to spend my time than imagining and building businesses with great teams.

Jules Pieri

What is your background?

I am Founder and CEO of the Daily Grommet, a product launch platform that discovers and celebrates inspiring and innovative companies. I started my career as industrial designer for technology companies, and was subsequently a senior executive for large brands such as Keds, Stride Rite and Playskool. Daily Grommet is my third startup, following roles as VP at Design Continuum and President of  Ziggs.com. I completed my undergrad degree at the University of Michigan and graduated from Harvard Business School.

Why entrepreneurship?

As government entities get increasingly constipated and distrusted, business has become the most nimble force to shape the world. Being an entrepreneur has become a high calling with meaningful responsibility and power.

Eric Ries

What is your background?

I am an entrepreneur and author of the New York Times bestseller The Lean Startup. I serve on the advisory board of a number of technology startups, and has consulted to new and established companies as well as venture capital firms. Previously I co-founded and served as CTO of IMVU, my third startup.

Why entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship allows you to take the raw materials of innovation and create real-world breakthrough successes; entrepreneurs can be both young visionaries with little backing but great ideas, as well as seasoned visionaries within larger companies. The fundamental goal of entrepreneurship is to engage in organization building under conditions of extreme uncertainty, and its most vital function is learning, which is always exciting and important to me.

Diego Rodriguez

What is your background?

I am a partner at IDEO and a founding professor at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University.  I currently leads IDEO’s offices in the Bay Area, where I work with colleagues and clients on venture design, organizational processes, and marketing. Prior to joining IDEO, I was a R&D engineer at Hewlett-Packard and a marketer at Intuit. I earned bachelor’s degrees with honors in engineering and humanities from Stanford and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.

Why entrepreneurship?

Innovating means making good ideas happen.  Entrepreneurship — no matter the context, Fortune 100 or startup — is a worldview which helps bring others along on that journey, hurdling obstacles as they come, doing the most with what you’ve got, learning by doing.

Ray A. Rothrock

What is your background?

I am a partner with Venrock, a diversified $2 billion venture capital firm, originally founded by the Rockefeller Family in 1938. After 24 years and 52 direct investments, my passion for building companies is as strong as ever.

I began my career as a nuclear engineer with Yankee Atomic Electric, and later spent a year at Exxon Minerals in its nuclear operations. Before joining Venrock, I also participated in three venture capital-backed companies – two that failed and one that was very successful, Sun Microsystems. I graduated from Harvard Business School in 1988.

Why entrepreneurship?

Everything new in the world is derived from the ideas of people. The creation of products, services, and experiences are all by entrepreneurs who see a problem and set about providing a solution to that problem. We can thank entrepreneurs for all the wonderful products we enjoy today and the quality of life those products provide.

Cristián Shea

What is your background?

Cristián Shea is Chairman and CEO of Equitas Capital, an international investment firm based in Santiago, Chile. Equitas Capital specializes in later stage venture capital and early stage private equity investments in the areas of environmental services, natural resources and consumer-related industries. I am a member of the board of directors of several privately held companies and of the Asociación Chilena de Administradoras de Fondos de Inversión – ACAFI. I am a graduate of Yale Law School (LLM) and of Universidad Diego Portales Law School (LLB).

Why entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship and venture capital investing are probably among the most powerful tools to further economic development in the world, especially when working with high impact entrepreneurs who are able to launch scalable, international, profitable businesses. Knowing that your daily activities help create numerous jobs, meaningful wealth, significant value and many positive externalities for communities at-large, particularly in an emerging world, is inspiring and hugely gratifying both personally and professionally.

Steve Sydness

What is your background?

I am a Board Member of The Endurance International Group and its former Chief Executive Officer.  Endurance is a leading provider of online solutions to small and medium businesses. I joined Endurance as its Chief Executive Officer in 1999 as the fifth employee and served as CEO through 2010. Before joining Endurance, I served as Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales, Marketing, Support and Product Management at Great Plains Software. I hold a BA in business administration and history from Principia College, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Why entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship is the most satisfying career path out there. It gives you the opportunity to start with nothing more than an idea and create something of lasting value. You’ll need to draw on all your skills and abilities to turn an idea into reality.

Tony Tjan

What is your background?

I am a Managing Partner and Founder of the Boston-based venture capital firm Cue Ball.  I was previously a Senior Partner at The Parthenon Group, a leading strategy consulting and investment firm, where I remain Vice Chairman.  In 1998, I won the Harvard Business School Business Plan competition with the company he founded, ZEFER, a pioneering Internet services and development firm that grew to a $100M+ company before becoming part of NEC.  I hold an A.B. degree in Biology from Harvard College, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and was a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Why entrepreneurship?

There is nothing more rewarding than trying to realize the full potential of human capital. At the end of the day, entrepreneurship is about doing just that – a journey of making the most of human equity and in doing so introducing the world to new ideas and possibilities.

Lauri Union

What is your background?

Lauri have focused my career on transforming underperforming small to medium sized businesses into profitable, high impact ventures. In 1992, immediately after graduating from HBS, I took over Union Corrugating Company, a family business manufacturing metal building products. During her 14 years as President and CEO, I turned the business around from an underperforming minor industry player into an industry leader with over $110MM in revenue and EBITDA margins substantially above industry norms. Lauri sold Union Corrugating to a private equity firm and continues to serve on the Board of the company.  I received a BA in Economics, Magna Cum Laude, from Princeton University and an MBA from HBS.

Why entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship means charting your own course – it’s about identifying your vision for a product or service, a company culture, and even a lifestyle and making that vision a reality.  The personal satisfaction that comes from creating your vision is worth the risk and sacrifices required to make it happen.

Russ Wilcox

What is your background?

I co-founded E Ink Corporation in 1997 to launch an electronic paper display technology invented at the MIT Media Lab. As CEO I led the company through six years of rapid growth from $1 million to $160 million in revenue. Under his leadership E Ink scaled up its processes and shipped tens of millions of displays, notably for popular eBook devices such as the Amazon Kindle, SONY Reader, and B&N Nook. I graduated with honors from Harvard College and was a Baker Scholar at the Harvard Business School and is a co-inventor of twenty-five issued patents.

Why entrepreneurship?

Will it be a creative, courageous, and consequential life… or a velvet treadmill for you?

Gwill E. York

What is your background?

I am the Co-Founder of Lighthouse Capital Partners and have spent the last 23 years focused on venture debt. At Lighthouse, I am currently one of five Managing Directors who oversee investment and operating activities for the firm.  I hold an AB in economics from Harvard University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Why entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship, in its broadest form, bridges what we have today with what we have tomorrow. Everyone can support a better future and entrepreneurship is one of the ways we move forward as a community.

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