Category Archives: education

Episode 11: The Five Smartest and Dumbest Things I did as a Founder



The Managing Director of Techstars LA shares the story of her journey as an entrepreneur.  She will talk about how she transitioned from a McKinsey consultant to a tech founder, how she raised money, grew her company and sold it, and the mistakes she made along the way.  She’ll also provide an overview of the new Techstars LA accelerator program and how she’s applying what she learned as a founder to helping other entrepreneurs.

Bio:

Anna Barber is the Managing Director of Techstars LA, an accelerator program that is part of the global Techstars network.  After graduating from Yale and Yale Law School, she started her career as a corporate lawyer focused on public company transactional work and spent two years at McKinsey as a strategy consultant to retail, media and financial services companies. She served as VP Product at Petstore.com and two other early stage e-commerce companies, before transitioning to Los Angeles where she started a talent management firm and produced two feature films.  In 2006 Anna sat next to a woman on an airplane who became her business partner in her next startup, Scribble Press. Anna was most recently GM and VP Partnerships at Fingerprint Digital, after exiting Scribble Press to Fingerprint. During the past decade she has served as an advisor, strategy consultant and coach to many other entrepreneurs, with a focus on product roadmap, commercialization, business development and financing.

She loves the concept-to-launch phase, go to market strategy, fundraising strategy and growth planning.  In her coaching work she focuses on building high performance teams and helping founders grow with their companies.  She believes in the power of storytelling and creating harmony between personal and company goals.  Find her @annawbarber.

email anna.barber@techstars.com


Episode 05: How Prioritizing Purpose Makes All The Difference In Creating a Lasting Business



“Technology will change our future as much as all the religious and spiritual leaders combined.” ~ Dan Brown

With exponentially increasing attention options and rapidly decreasing attention spans, it can feel like a helpless struggle to get people to engage with our products and services – not to mention foster long-lasting loyalty. In a systemic marketing machine built on reeling people in with perceived value, the only way to have any possibility of sustained engagement is from rigorous focus on tangible value – and that all beings at the core of our business. Our government recognizes businesses as people, and we need to start doing the same thing. We want to spend our time with people who make us feel happy and important, so why would it be any different for the businesses that are asking us for that same time and engagement?

As the innovators, entrepreneurs, creators, and builders of technology, we have the opportunity and obligation to apply our talents and tools towards cultivating a world that chooses Love over Fear at every intersection. Establishing this baseline is requisite to create a deep and lasting connection with our customers, suppliers, distributors, employees, families, and everyone else that is touched, influenced, and effected by our business creations. We cannot take for granted the power that comes with being able to have our products, services, and ideas literally reach billions of people across the globe, and our professional endeavors will reap the benefit of appealing to the the highest good that we all strive to access in our lives.

Bio

Eron Zehavi is the Founder and CEO of Wellnest, a holistic wellness lifestyle brand and local digital marketplace to easily and affordably connect yoga teachers with students for personalized 1-on-1, small group, and corporate yoga  sessions. He was previously the Co-Founder and Chief Rewards Officer of Swagbucks, the web’s largest and most engaged rewards and loyalty community with over $160 million is distributed rewards. Swagbucks grew bootstrapped for 6 years and raised $60M from TCV in May 2014. Eron is also a socially conscious investor and consultant, working with companies who’s Missions are focused on creating a more healthy, compassionate, and joyful world.


Episode 04: How to Motivate Girls to Become Innovators



Iridescent is a science and engineering education non-profit with the mission to empower the world’s underrepresented young people, especially girls, through engineering and technology, to become innovators and leaders. In order to make a lasting impact on the community, we have learned that you need to work closely with the community including parents and children and the corporations who can provide mentorship and role models. It is important to not only provide meaningful skill-based volunteer opportunities for corporations and their employees, but we also need to provide trainings and help them connect the skills they are developing through volunteer opportunity to their careers. In this talk, we will share how our model works and how it can be mirrored in your community specifically focused on our technology entrepreneurship program called Technovation.

Technovation is the world’s largest technology entrepreneurship program for girls. Through Technovation, girls ages 10-18 identify a problem in their community, develop a mobile app to solve this problem, and launch a startup. Over the course of three months, teams of students learn how to plan, develop, and execute a complete business model and technology product. These young girls go through the same design thinking process any innovator goes through with the help of mentors  who offer real-world connections to STEM careers. Not only does this program serve the girls but it also has a very positive impact on the mentors who learn project management skills, technical skills, mentoring skills, and renewed passion for their professions.

Bio

Amy Hee Kim, Ph.D., Sr. Director of Corporate Partnership at Iridescent. She has a doctorate in Physical Chemistry from University of Chicago. She was a Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences, following which she was the STEM Program Manager for the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles. She was also the Senior Associate Director of Women in Engineering Programs at the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC. At Iridescent, she has led the team that trains scientists and engineers to become role models and mentors for underserved community children. She also manages corporate relations and find ways for connecting skilled-based volunteer opportunities to educational programs in the community.