Speakers

Luke Nosek

Luke Nosek is notable for being a co-founder of PayPal and famous VC firm Founders Fund. His venture capital career was influenced heavily by the connections he made as one of the first employees at PayPal, the online payment company bought by eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion. Nosek followed fellow PayPal mafioso Peter Thiel to Founders Fund, where his two biggest investments to date have been in companies founded by former PayPal employees. He was the first institutional investor in Elon Musk's SpaceX, a company whose progress, Nosek says, is "critical to the human race." Nosek was also the first backer of PayPal COO David Sacks' Geni, which later spun out Yammer (acquired by Microsoft in June 2012 for $1.2 billion). While at PayPal, he served as vice president of marketing and strategy, creating the company's "instant transfer" product.

Robert Siegel

Robert Siegel researches strategy and innovation in both large and small companies, as well as the opportunities and challenges that technological change brings to these firms. Additionally, Robert teaches product management and product development best practices and methods, as well as entrepreneurial finance over the life-cycle of growing companies

Steve Ciesinski

Stephen Ciesinski was recent president of SRI International (www.sri.com), one of the world’s leading independent research and development organizations. SRI performs client-sponsored R&D for government agencies, commercial businesses, and private foundations.

 

Steve’s professional experience includes a number of industries and businesses: consumer products, semiconductor capital equipment, telecommunications, mobile/wireless, applications software, Web 2.0, open source, medical devices, and many others. As a corporate officer, board member, advisor and investor, he has participated in or managed numerous strategic events, including new business formation, major product launches, private financings, IPOs, M&A transactions and leveraged buy-outs.

 

Over the course of his career Steve has held executive management positions with Applied Materials, the global manufacturer of semiconductor capital equipment; Octel Communications, the worldwide leader in voice-messaging products; Resumix, Inc., the inventor of Web-based personnel recruiting applications; and Laszlo Systems, a pioneer in Web 2.0 software and provider of complex Internet applications to Global 2000 and telecommunications service operators. He started his career at Procter & Gamble, was a consultant with Booz, Allen & Hamilton, and also served as a venture partner with Earlybird Ventures.

 

Steve is past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Union College and is a lifetime trustee. He is also past chairman of The President’s Cabinet at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), and has been on several advisory boards at Stanford University.

 

Steve is an active angel investor, and assists several Silicon Valley-based private companies as advisor and board member.

He is a graduate of Union College with a double major in Electrical Engineering and Modern Languages, and received an MBA from Stanford University.

Steve resides in Los Altos Hills, California with his wife. They are founders of the Kalele Foundation, dedicated to providing character and self-esteem development experiences for disadvantaged children