Steve Blank is an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University. He teaches courses on Lean Startups, innovation, entrepreneurship, defense, and international policy. Blank served four years in the U.S. Air Force, was part of/co-founded 8 startups and is considered the "father of modern entrepreneurship." Blank’s book The Four Steps to the Epiphany launched the Lean Startup movement. His Lean LaunchPad class ENGR 245 was adopted by the National Science Foundation to become the NSF I-Corps, now taught in 98 colleges and universities. His Hacking for Defense class MS&E 297 (co-authored with Joe Felter and Pete Newell) was adopted by the Department of Defense and is now taught in 40 universities. His talk, The Secret History of Silicon Valley is the canonical history of how the DOD and intelligence community helped start Stanford's and Silicon Valley's innovation ecosystem. You can find his blog at www.steveblank.com
Joe Felter is an educator, researcher and entrepreneur with over 30 years of organizational leadership and management experience including 15 years working at the nexus of Stanford University and Silicon Valley. He maintains teaching and research appointments at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, the Hoover Institution and Stanford Technology Ventures Program. From 2017 to 2019, Dr. Felter served as US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia. Joe is also the co-creator of “Hacking for Defense,” a defense-innovation focused academic curriculum that was developed and piloted at Stanford in 2016. A retired US Army Ranger and Special Forces officer, Joe served in a variety of special operations assignments with combat deployments to Panama, Iraq and Afghanistan. He received a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point, MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, Graduate Certificate in Management from the University of West Australia, and Ph.D. from Stanford University.
Raj Shah is a technology entrepreneur and investor. Most recently he was the Managing Partner of the Pentagon's Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), reporting directly to the Secretary of Defense. Raj led DIUx in its efforts to strengthen the US Armed Forces through contractual and cultural bridges between Silicon Valley and the Pentagon. Previously, he was the Senior Director of Strategy at Palo Alto Networks, which acquired Morta Security, where he was CEO and Co-Founder. He began his business career as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. Raj serves as an F-16 pilot in the Air National Guard and has completed multiple combat tours. He holds an AB from Princeton University and an MBA from The Wharton School.
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