The Entrepreneurs

Jay Borenstein

Jay Borenstein is the CS210 (Project-Based Software Design, Innovation & Development) instructor at Stanford University and a mentor to SSE Labs. He was also the founder and CEO of Integration Appliance ( among being in other pivotal positions in companies prior. Jay provides valuable insights into the realm of entrepreneurship. He was a Stanford student and he has started his own company. Now as a part of CS210, he encourages his students to pursue their entrepreneurial ventures and he provides a lot of guidance to companies as a part of SSE Labs.

Ricky Yean

Ricky is a recent Stanford Science, Technology, and Society graduate, who, along with David Tran, co-founded Crowdbooster, a Twitter analytics tool ( supported by YCombinator. During his time at Stanford, Ricky made ample use of the resources available to him. He was president of BASES and AKPsi, the business fraternity, founder of the Stanford Venture Capital Club, and was deeply involved with many other entrepreneurial organizations on campus. He provides much information about the entrepreneurial environment at Stanford from a fairly recent viewpoint.

David Tran

David is a recent Stanford grad, who, along with Ricky Yean, co-founded Crowdbooster, a Twitter analytics tool ( David, who holds a B.S. in computer science and is taking a leave-of-absence from his co-term in CS, was also the CTO of BASES during his time as an undergraduate at Stanford. While Ricky is the business side of the start-up, David brings his technical expertise and can expound on what it's like to be a technical entrepreneur.

Joachim de Lombaert

Joachim is a 2009 Stanford Symbolic Systems graduate. He has taken a less traditional route to entrepreneurship and can provide valuable information on the road less traveled. He, for one, did not make use of many of the entrepreneurial groups on campus but was focused much more on academics at Stanford. Of course, by taking advantage of his studies, he was able to meet great people who would become his future teammates and capitalize on course projects that would eventually lead to future start-up ideas. Joachim was a part of the now-famous "Facebook class" where he created the popular "Send Hotness" app. He also co-founded Demigo, a social mobile application, and is currently a co-founder at (

Yin Yin Wu

Yin Yin is a senior CS major at Stanford and current president of the Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students (BASES), Stanford's largest student entrepreneurship group. She views the Stanford start-up environment as an extension of Silicon Valley and the on-campus resources as a pyramid that Stanford entrepreneurs climb successfully. For Yin Yin, ETL was the "gateway drug to entrepreneurship," and further involvement in BASES and social enterprises—along with computer vision research in CS Professor Andrew Ng's lab—pushed her to start her own video advertising company, AdRaid, which she plans to work on full-time after graduating in June.

Erin Parker

Erin is a senior Economics major and co-founder of, a VC-funded start-up focused on building a marketplace for city tours by locals. During her first three years at Stanford, she was president of the Blythe Fund and Stanford Finance and spent each summer working at a large investment bank. Her thoughts on entrepreneurship then: "That's nice but that's for other people." During her last summer at JP Morgan, she realized that she was trying to be entrepreneurial in an environment that didn't allow it and asked herself for the first time, "Why not just do my own thing?" Erin provides a variety of insights, including how her internships were crucial in developing a skill set to allow her to succeed in running her own start-up, how even consulting and finance people want to start their own company, and her thoughts on Stanford's bias toward tech and entrepreneurship.

Travis Kiefer

Travis has been an entrepreneur since before Stanford, when he took a year off after high school to run an online scholarship system based in South Dakota. He took another year off after his Junior year to work full-time as Gumball Capital's Executive Director, expanding the social entrepreneurship microfinance-based competition to over 25 schools and securing over 75K in funding. He then co-founded with Erin Parker. Travis talked about how his experience with nonprofits created more personal value in developing skill sets than working for a for-profit enterprise and the importance of start-ups that actually create value for society, e.g. solving poverty versus a mobile fart app.

Martin Hu

Martin is currently a senior Computer Science major and is in the process of co-founding his own start-up, Tezzit. After interning at Cisco Systems, he felt that interning or working for another employer would not be as meaningful as running his own start-up. He spoke about his previous startup experiences and in particular, how Stanford allowed him to realize that creating his own business was a possibility. He strongly felt that budding entrepreneurs should "just go out and do it" instead of studying business strategies in a classroom. As a result, he argued that many of the resources and student groups on campus were not that helpful, as entrepreneurs, by definition, "go against the norms."

Dan Thompson

Dan is a Stanford undergraduate studying computer science. He recently got interested in entrepreneurship and worked with a start-up called MoveTogether. Dan went on to found the entrepreneurial community called Think Outside at Stanford. He will be Stanford's Chair of Entrepreneurship starting next year.

Tom Currier

Tom is a 19-year-old Stanford sophomore majoring in Physics and was recently named a Thiel Fellow as a part of the Thiel 20 Under 20 Fellowship. Tom developed a deep obsession for entrepreneurship, cost reductions, and renewable energy after starting his first business when nine years old. To achieve grid parity, Tom believes that the solar industry needs a fundamental balance of systems breakthrough. He co-founded Black Swan Solar two years ago to commercialize an invention that enables low cost dual-axis photovoltaic module tracking. As a recently named Thiel Fellow, Tom was able to give us insight into the mind of a young and successful entrepreneur--someone that Peter Thiel considers to be a mover and shaker.

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