ENTREPRENEURSHIP. When the story is written five hundred years from now about what made the United States so extraordinary for so long, I think it will come down to two things: freedom/opportunity and entrepreneurship. While the US is famous for Starbuck's, Google, Subway, Avon, Uber and Amazon -- 90% of the businesses in the US are under 20 employees. They were all started by visionary and determined entrepreneurs and collectively represent 40% of our economy. Those small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures are the innovation engine for sustaining our growth and prosperity. It is the skill, courage and ecosystem that turns small businesses into really big ones. And while it can look serendipitous, it rarely is.
Businesses are increasingly relying on entrepreneurs for their next big product offerings. General Mills -- one of the largest food companies in the world--recently decided to become 'the best big small company' innovating from within, and partnering or purchasing new entrepreneurial ventures that have created new products or markets. Most pharmaceutical companies nowadays are buying their new big thing from entrepreneurs.
Governments are wondering if Silicon Valley is replicable and if so, how they can better support entrepreneurs. Many, from Estonia to Singapore to Mexico have entrepreneurship as a key element of their economic development policy. A part of our foreign policy initiative President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew seeding entrepreneurship globally was one of the best things we could do to provide more freedom for people in developing regions and politically fragile places. And prominent Republicans and Independents point to transformation power of giving people an opportunity to take an idea to scale.
Examples of work I have been a leader in:
A platform to download, read and study textbooks and other course materials. Since being acquired by Follett, its name has changed to BryteWave. Continues to be one of the top two in marketshare. Co-founder and Chairman.
Stealth: Founding Advisor to two start-ups who seek to disrupt the food and healthcare industries. Stay tuned as they launch in 2015.
The Arts: They are an essential part of creativity for an individual and for a community. Honored to be part of the producing syndicate of Amanda Lipitz, who has brought 2 award winning shows to Broadway, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Legally Blond: The Musical. Privileged to back Jacqui Naylor who the Jazz Times calls "one of the most superbly arresting vocalists around."
A platform to leverage Indian creativity, expertise, and resources to identify and scale innovative solutions being developed and tested in India to address development challenges that will benefit base of the pyramid populations across India and the world. I conceived this Millennium Alliance along with USAID India, FICCI, the Technology Development Board and some of the most important innovators/entrepreneurs in India.
Global Entrepreneurship: Included the launch of the Global Entrepreneurship Program and many public-private partnerships including Echoing Green Fellows and a debt guarantee credit facility for Acumen Fund investments.
A billing and customer service software company that served the electricity and natural gas regulated and deregulated markets. Co-founder and CEO