November 30, 2006
Video library of entrepreneurs offers expert advice on innovation
By Brian D. Lee
Free expert counsel awaits online from such pioneers as the founders of PayPal, Google and Facebook. Anyone interested in turning their passions and interests into a financially rewarding venture can consult hundreds of industry executives without paying a dime for their time. Videos and podcasts sharing their wisdom are only clicks away on the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) website at http://edcorner.stanford.edu/.
"Each of these speakers has found a great way to identify opportunity, to create value and to leverage resources," says Tina Seelig, the Chong-Moon Lee Executive Director of STVP. "This is essentially what entrepreneurship is about."
Seelig invites web surfers to cruise around the Educators Corner of the STVP website and pick from subjects of interest, such as "Career and Life Balance" or "Opportunity Recognition." The site includes topically arranged video clips, podcasts, book lists and links to direct the curious visitor to additional resources.
The brief video clips are introduced with succinct descriptions and captivating titles, such as "Five Biggest Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make" or "Top 10 Things You Must Have to Start a Business." For example, Larry Page, co-founder of Google, in less than five minutes shares five tips for entrepreneurs, with the number one recommendation being "just don't settle." Guy Kawasaki, founder of Garage Technology Ventures and former Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, shares how the key to a successful company is setting out to make a positive change in the world. He then gives three examples of ways to imbue your pursuits with meaning.
Teachersor anyone for that mattercan use the material for educational purposes, says Forrest Glick, who directs the Educators Corner project. One edited collection, "Invention to Venture," makes that goal easy with different presenters' clips assembled around business themes such as "Finding the Money" and "Intellectual Property and Licensing."
Seelig, who teaches Management Science and Engineering 277, Creativity and Innovation, considers the clips a way to have successful entrepreneurs help teach her class. "I can have different entrepreneurs compare and contrast different points of view," she says. "Essentially, I can have a virtual panel of experts in my class."
While Harvard and Cornell have similar programs, Stanford has a notable advantage. Its proximity to the technological Bay Area feeds distinguished lecturers into the online resources for everyone's benefit, Seelig says.
"The thing that makes us special is that we are in the heart of Silicon Valley and can bring in people who reflect the unique culture of our ecosystem," she says. "Additionally, as opposed to having only one hour of each speaker's time, we capture their lessons for future classes both at Stanford and for those around the world."
As an entrepreneurship center hosted by the School of Engineering, STVP is dedicated to accelerating high-technology entrepreneurship research and education for engineers and scientists worldwide. "We view our mission as reaching all students on campus as well as the students, educators and entrepreneurs from all over the world," says Seelig.
While the speakers' lives have taken a variety of paths and they offer differing advice, all share the common theme of turning problems into opportunities, says Seelig. "A valuable part of this collection is that you get to hear many different voices and many different perspectives about life and careers," she says. "There is certainly a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm for following your passions and making things happen."
Brian D. Lee is a science-writing intern with the Stanford News Service.
Science-writing intern Brian D. Lee wrote this release. A photo of Seelig is available on the web at http://newsphotos.stanford.edu/.