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Pear Speaker Series

a series of remote talks

Startup Success Online Events

We invite Silicon Valley superstars to share their wisdom with our founder community. RSVP to join  upcoming online events or view past recordings.

Upcoming Speakers

Mario Schlosser

Disrupting Healthcare Insurance

January 27, 2021

12:30 pm

PST on  Zoom

Mario founded the health insurer Oscar to 'make health care easy'. Oscar now helps over 400,000 members navigate their health care. He previously cofounded the largest social gaming company in LatAm, and worked at Bridgewater Associates and McKinsey. During his time as a Stanford visiting scholar, he authored 10 CS publications, including one of the most-cited CS papers published in the past decade. Mario CS degree from the University of Hannover and an MBA from HBS.

Oscar is a health insurance company offering telemedicine, modern UX, and transparent claims pricing systems.

Join us as Mario shares advice for aspiring and current entrepreneurs!

Disrupting Healthcare Insurance

Mario Schlosser

Oscar Health, CEO Cofounder

January 27, 2021

PST

RSVP

Pear Pitch!

Watch Past Speakers

Helmy Eltoukhy

Building Biotech Companies

December 2, 2020

Fireside chat with Helmy Eltoukhy, the Guardant Health CEO founder. We will discuss his journey from lab research to a building category-defining company in cancer detection.

Building Biotech Companies

Helmy Eltoukhy

Doug Leone

Do's & Don'ts of Company Building

November 18, 2020

Join us for a special opportunity to speak with Doug Leone, Global Managing Partner at Sequoia Capital, for a conversation around the Do's & Don'ts of Company Building.

Since its' founding in 1972, Sequoia has and remains to be a pioneer in the VC industry and has invested in companies including Airbnb, Apple, Google, Youtube, Instagram, and Whatsapp. Sequoia has partnered at every stage of growth with the founders of companies that now have an aggregate, public market value of over $3.3 trillion.

This is an excellent opportunity to gain unique insight and learn from Doug Leone's 30+ years in the business.

Do's & Don'ts of Company Building

Doug Leone

Jason Susser

US Immigration for Founders

November 4, 2020

Jason Susser is an Attorney at Siskind Susser PC, where his practice focuses exclusively on immigration and nationality law. Jason works extensively with entrepreneurs to find creative immigration solutions for startup companies in the US. Jason recently co-authored the book, Immigration for Startups: A Guide for Founders.

This talk will cover:

  • Permissible entrepreneurial activities
  • Life after OPT (for students)
  • Nonimmigrant options for entrepreneurs
  • Green card strategies for entrepreneurs

We will also have time for live Q&A.

US Immigration for Founders

Jason Susser

Mostafa Ronaghi

Next Generation Biotech

October 21, 2020

Dr. Ronaghi started as a molecular biologist and became a serial entrepreneur, and he now leads Illumina's accelerator. He cofounded GRAIL, recently acquired by Illumina for $8 Billion.

In this talk, we will discuss:

  • Dr. Ronaghi's inspiring story
  • Building companies out of lab research
  • Qualities of successful entrepreneurs
  • Future of genomics


Next Generation Biotech

Mostafa Ronaghi

Cathy Polinsky

Path to CTO

September 22, 2020

Join us for a conversation with Cathy Polinsky, ex-CTO of Stitch Fix. We'll discuss her journey from software engineer to CTO of a public company.

Cathy will also speak about:

  • Challenges faced at Stitch Fix
  • What she looks for in people she hires
  • Early career advice for engineers
  • Being a woman in tech

Path to CTO

Cathy Polinsky

Pedram Keyani

Building Your Engineering Team

September 15, 2020

Join us for an exciting discussion with Pedram Keyani, who served as Director of Engineering for many years at both Uber & Facebook. Pedram has built world-class engineering teams from the ground up and at Uber, scaled the team from 20 to 250 engineers over the course of 2 years. He also was responsible for designing the organizational structure, establishing training & mentorship programs & creating the hiring process to efficiently onboard engineers to create effective teams.

Pedram will share thoughtful insight gained from his vast experience on the following:

  • Recruiting the best talent
  • Interviewing criterion
  • Setting up teams
  • Strategies around planning & productivity

Building Your Engineering Team

Pedram Keyani

Transforming Healthcare with Tech

September 2, 2020

We'll sit down with the following panel of Vituity leaders:

  • Bobbie Kumar, Director of Care Delivery
  • Lindsay Kriger, Director of Transformation & Business Ops
  • Andrew Smith, Chief Operations & Innovation Officer

We will discuss the following with our panel:

  • How can startups succeed in disrupting healthcare?
  • How to draw from personal experience to deliver compassion and common-sense solutions?
  • From a practicing clinician's perspective, you’ll learn what we need a physician to do and what we need a broad care delivery team

Transforming Healthcare with Tech

Nikhyl Singhal

Adding Product Mgmt To Your Company

August 18, 2020

Nikhyl Singhal, VP of Product at Facebook, will share his view on:

  • How to approach product market fit
  • How to test a product idea in the early stages
  • When should founders hand over the product controls
  • What should founders look for in a PM

Adding Product Mgmt To Your Company

Nikhyl Singhal

Bob Baxley

Conditions, Constraints, Conviction

July 29, 2020

Bob Baxley, SVP of Design & Experience at ThoughtSpot, will join us for a talk on "Conditions, Constraints & Conviction."

He will discuss lessons in innovation from Dr. Seuss to Apollo and highlight case studies such as:

  • How Sputnik led to GPS
  • How a vocabulary limit of 250 words led to Cat in the Hat
  • How a Ukranian polymath figured out how to land on the Moon In 1925

Conditions, Constraints, Conviction

Bob Baxley

Mike Ghaffary

Defensibility for Startups

June 30, 2020

Mike Ghaffary, General Partner at Canvas Ventures, will join us for a talk around Strategic Advantage & Defensibility for Startups. He discusses:

  • The importance of strategic advantage and defensibility
  • How to identify your source of defensibility as a founder

Defensibility for Startups

Mike Ghaffary

Pouyan Salehi

Effective Outbound Sales

May 26, 2020

Pouyan Salehi, CEO and Co-founder of Scratchpad, will discuss outbound sales and cover the following:

  • Why outbound sales (more than just sales)
  • 3 key components to effective outbound strategy
  • Tactical tips

Effective Outbound Sales

Pouyan Salehi

Dennis Woodside

Scaling Disruptive Companies

May 14, 2020

Dennis Woodside, President of Impossible Foods and former COO of Dropbox, is a tech industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience at both startups and major multinationals. During his time at Dropbox, he helped increase global revenue to nearly $1.4 billion and was part of the company’s IPO in early 2018.

Join us for a fireside chat to learn how Dennis Woodside scales disruptive companies.

Scaling Disruptive Companies

Dennis Woodside

Founder Panel

Non-dilutive $ for Startups

May 6, 2020

Learn about SBIR grants and other non-dilutive government funding for early-stage startups, through a discussion panel of founders, investors, and SBIR experts.

  • Steve Weinstein, Stanford Lecturer "Hacking for Defense"
  • Paige Brown, Founder of Windborne
  • Will Dickson, Principal at FedTech

Non-dilutive $ for Startups

Founder Panel

Matthew Prince

Zero to IPO in a Downturn

April 27, 2020

Matthew Prince founded CloudFlare after graduating from HBS during the last downturn in 2009, and led the company to IPO in 2019. He will share his experience of:

  • Advice on starting a company during a downturn
  • Maintaining morale through difficult times
  • Evolving as a CEO as your company grows

Zero to IPO in a Downturn

Matthew Prince

Mada Seghete

Marketing With $0

April 13, 2020

Mada Seghete, Co-Founder & Head of Strategy/Market Development at Branch, will talk about:

  • How to get scrappy on a tight marketing budget
  • How to establish a healthy marketing strategy
  • How to get creative with building an online presence

Marketing With $0

Mada Seghete

Armando Mann

Early-Stage Sales

April 1, 2020

Armando Mann, angel investor, B2B sales exec @ Salesforce, Dropbox, Google, HBS alumnus, will share strategies around:

  • Getting your first customers
  • Building the sales team
  • How to drive account expansion

Early-Stage Sales

Armando Mann

Founder Panel

Surviving the Downturn Economy

March 24, 2020

Gain insight on what to expect from customers, investors, acquirers and others from CEOs and Investors who’ve gone through previous downturns. Mar Hershenson, Founding Managing Partner of Pear will moderate a panel discussion with:

Surviving the Downturn Economy

Founder Panel

Mar Hershenson

Strategies for Student Entrepreneurs

February 26, 2020

Mar Hershenson, the founding managing partner of Pear VC, speaks to Stanford students about how to beat imposter syndrome and build confidence by learning from failure, facing the hard questions, and always “playing up.”

Strategies for Student Entrepreneurs

Mar Hershenson

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