Past Final Event Judges
Founder/CEO - Leanstack
Best Selling Author of Running Lean & Scaling Lean
Ash Maurya is the author of two bestselling books “Running Lean” and “Scaling Lean”, and is also the creator of the highly popular one-page business modeling tool “Lean Canvas”. Ash is praised for offering some of the best and most practical advice for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs all over the world. Driven by the search for better and faster ways for building successful products, Ash has developed a systematic methodology for raising the odds of success built upon Lean Startup, Customer Development, and Bootstrapping techniques. Ash is also a leading business blogger and his posts and advice have been featured in Inc. Magazine, Forbes, and Fortune. He regularly hosts sold out workshops around the world and serves as a mentor to several accelerators including TechStars, MaRS, Capital Factory, and guest lecturers at several universities including MIT, Harvard, and UT Austin. Ash serves on the advisory board of a number of startups, and has consulted to new and established companies. Ash lives in Austin, TX.
Stanford, Berkeley, & Columbia
After 21 years in 8 high technology companies, Steve Blank retired in 1999. His last company, E.piphany, was co-founded in his living room in 1996. Blank also founded two semiconductor companies, Zilog and MIPS Computers, a workstation company Convergent Technologies, a consulting stint for a graphics hardware/software spinout Pixar, a supercomputer firm, Ardent, a computer peripheral supplier, SuperMac, a military intelligence systems supplier, ESL and a video game company, Rocket Science Games.
In retirement, Blank wrote Four Steps to the Epiphany, a book about building early stage companies. His latest book, The Startup Owners Manual integrates 10 years of new knowledge (and fixes lots of typos.)
Blank now teaches entrepreneurship to both undergraduate and graduate students at U.C. Berkeley, Stanford University and the Columbia University/Berkeley Joint Executive MBA program.
Dr. Alex Osterwalder works as an independent author, speaker and advisor with a particular focus on business model innovation, strategic management and management innovation.
Besides his independent activities he is partner at Arvetica, a consulting boutique focusing on the private banking and wealth management industry. His role includes business development and the management of a peer knowledge exchange platform for senior executives in private banking (www.privatebankinginnovation.com).
Before that Dr. Osterwalder founded and ran BusinessModelDesign.com, a consulting boutique active in strategy consulting with a focus on business model innovation.
Dr. Osterwalder has a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems (MIS) from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, where he worked as a teaching and research assistant and published extensively. He also developed and taught a seminar on Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D).
Brigham Young University
Nathan Furr earned his Ph.D. at Stanford University in the Stanford Technology Ventures Program and is currently an assistant professor of entrepreneurship at Brigham Young University. Nathan’s research focuses on market development and early stage entrepreneurial processes. In particular, Nathan has been working on ideas around Customer Development, Lean Startup, and the Nail It then Scale It methodologies which propose processes that entrepreneurs can use to dramatically transform their business models. In addition, Nathan’s other research examines issues of change, innovation, cognition and strategy in entrepreneurial and dynamic environments.
Professionally, Nathan has acted as the founder or advisor to startups in web 2.0, clean technology, retail, professional service, and financial services industries. In addition, Nathan is currently on the investment board of the Kickstart Seed Fund, an innovative early-stage fund. Nathan was also a consultant at Monitor Group, a premiere international strategy consulting firm, working with senior executives on a range of strategic and market discovery initiatives including strategy development, organizational change, technology commercialization, communication processes, strategic planning, competitive analysis, and marketing. In addition to his doctoral studies, Nathan has a BA, MA, and an MBA.
Thomas R. Eisenmann
Thomas R. Eisenmann is the Howard H. Stevenson Professor of Business Administration in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at the Harvard Business School. He studies lean startups and management challenges in platform-based businesses that exploit network effects. Professor Eisenmann is Chair of Harvard's MBA Elective Curriculum. He teaches Launching Technology Ventures in the MBA Elective Curriculum, is course head of The Entrepreneurial Manager in the MBA Required Curriculum, and faculty co-leader of the Harvard Innovation Lab-sponsored Silicon Valley Immersion Program.
Professor Eisenmann received his DBA ('98), MBA ('83), and BA ('79) from Harvard University. Prior to entering the HBS Doctoral Program, Eisenmann spent eleven years as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. As co-head of McKinsey's Media and Entertainment Practice during the early 1990s, he directed teams addressing strategic, organizational, and operational issues for clients engaged in network broadcasting; cable programming; newspaper, magazine, and book publishing; and motion picture production.
Professor Eisenmann is a member of the Strategic Management Journal editorial board. He is the editor of Internet Business Models: Text and Cases, (McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2002).
Eisenmann is a director on the boards of Harvard Business Publishing; Harvard Student Agencies, the world's largest student-run corporation; and Brilliant Film Fund LLC, a UK-based motion picture production fund.