Mary Meeker talk for BASES 150k challengeOn Monday, December 3rd 2012, the Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students (BASES)— a student organization promoting entrepreneurship, hosted a panel event open to the public.Co-Presidents Ruby Lee and Matt Goodyear kicked off the evening with an introduction to the BASES 150K Challenge which offers a total of $150K in three type of award competitions:

About the host, BASES

Stanford BASES Challenge competitions:

1. E-Challenge — teams compete to present the best business pitches for for-profit business models. Previous winners have included Courserank, LightBit, Ingenuity. A total of $50K is awarded to the winning teams.

2. Social E-Challenge — teams compete to present exceptional ideas that generate positive social impact in areas including health, education, economic development, and the environment. Prior winners include Kiva, One Acre Fund, Embrace.  $50K total is awarded to winning teams.

3. Product Showcase — teams compete to present the most compelling prototype ranging from mobile devices to hardware to medical devices.

*Note: Entries are due by January 25th 2012, and can be found here. All teams must have at least one Stanford connection (i.e. current student, alumnus, professor, etc.) to enter.


The Keynote : Mary Meeker

The main event of the evening was kicked off by the keynote speaker and Silicon Valley luminary, Mary Meeker. As General Partner of Kleiner Perkins her focus is to identify and support promising startups and to detect trends.  Her background in analysis paved the way to her current role She was named #43 on FORBES’ 2012 Midas List of VC royalty.

Meeker spoke about trends and shifts in the tech startup space. She reviewed the replacement of prior (and current) technologies with what is new and what’s ahead. Find her full slides here:


The Panel: Founders of Jawbone, Nest, and Gumroad

Following her keynote, Mary Meeker introduced the panel, founders of a few of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups. They were honest and candid with their responses and insight, emphasizing the importance of communicating effectively when things aren’t working out with an employee to the importance of seeking customer validation versus building what you believe audiences will love.
One of the memorable questions posed by Meeker was:
“What is the best advice you have received?”
entrepreneurship talk by Silicon Valley startup Founders

Hosain Raham, Founder & CEO of Jawbone (@hosain): “Think bigger.” Raham emphasized thinking about the biggest possibility. He said shooting for the stars may at least get you to the moon.

Matt Rogers, Founder & VP of Engineer at Nest (@nestmatt): Learn “how to talk about the ‘why’ behind your product.” Rogers emphasized showing ‘the why’ over ‘the what’ of a product. He suggested on being able to answer questions like why a product is a great for particular preferences.
Sahil Lavingia, Founder & CEO of Gumroad (@shl— “Think about what the product will look like in 10, 20, or 50 years.” A similar play on Raham’s advice of think bigger, Lavingia focused on visualizing a time frame for a startup. He noted that if you imagine staying at a company for 15 years, it will can change the way you think about your projects and will validate your attention to even the most minute details.