Fostering innovation and sustainability in a tech-driven world

Visionaries, industry leaders, and innovators converge to explore the intersection of technology, sustainability, and entrepreneurship at the Bay Area Entrepreneur Summit. This summit is a unique opportunity for startup, large companies, and early-stage ventures to connect, collaborate, and catalyze growth in diverse industries.


11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Registration and Networking and Welcome

12:30-1 p.m. | Keynote Speaker |
Grand Ballroom

Cultivating Innovation from Within: Entrepreneurial Leadership within Corporate America

1-1:40 p.m. | Breakout Session 1
• Cultivating Collaborative Innovation: Bridging Corporations and Startups Panel | Grand Ballroom

• Financial Perspective for Entrepreneurs and Startups | Cardinal Room

1:45-2:30 p.m. | Breakout Session 2
• From Starting Up to Exit: Insights on Navigating the Founder Journey | Grand Ballroom

• The Future of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at WashU | Cardinal Room

2:35-3:35 p.m. Fireside Chat |
Grand Ballroom
Navigating the Frontier: AI’s Journey into Tomorrow

3:35-3:45 p.m. | Networking Break

3:45-4:25 p.m. | Breakout Session 3
• Venture Perspective: Fueling Innovations and Growth Panel | Grand Ballroom

• Critical Minerals, Net Zero, and AI | Cardinal Room

4:25-6 p.m. | Closing Toast and Happy Hour | Outdoor Patio

Sessions and guest speakers

Welcome: 12:15-12:30 p.m.

II Luscri

Assistant Vice Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Managing Director, Skandalaris Center

II (pronounced “two”) Luscri is Washington University’s assistant vice provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the managing director of the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In these roles, he cultivates a creative and startup-oriented culture across all eight academic schools at WashU and leads the nationally-recognized new venture. The center supports all WashU students, faculty, and alumni and fosters and empowers an inclusive community that finds opportunities in problems and transforms ideas into action.

Luscri is a professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship and has taught courses on innovation and entrepreneurship in five academic schools at two different institutions, including “The Endgame of Entrepreneurship: Leveraging Capitalism for Good” which was recognized as an innovative pedagogical model by the University Industry Innovation Network.

Prior to WashU, Luscri launched and built the university-wide Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship Institute at Villanova University and served as the institution’s assistant vice provost for Centers and Institutes.

II Luscri


Keynote: 12:30-1 p.m. | Grand Ballroom

Cultivating Innovation from Within

Entrepreneurial Leadership within Corporate America

Spotlighting the dynamic fusion of entrepreneurial spirit and corporate prowess, join us as Scott Silver, vice president for Product and Engineering at YouTube, unveils the secrets to driving innovation and growth within large enterprises. From his transformative roles at Google and Amazon to pioneering ventures earlier in his career, Scott Silver’s journey exemplifies the power of entrepreneurial leadership to revolutionize industry landscapes. Don’t miss this exclusive keynote session to discover how to thrive as an entrepreneur from within the ranks of corporate giants.

Learning outcomes

  • Participants will be able to identify and leverage internal resources, navigate organizational structures, and foster cross-functional collaboration to drive innovative initiatives within their corporate environments.
  • Participates will understand and apply entrepreneurial principles such as risk-taking, resilience, and proactive problem-solving to spearhead innovative projects, thereby enhancing their ability to create and sustain a culture of innovation in their organizations.

Presenters and speakers

Scott Silver

Scott Silver
Vice President for Product and Engineering, YouTube

Session 1: 1-1:40 p.m. | Grand Ballroom

Cultivating Collaborative Innovation

Bridging Corporations and Startups

This session will focus on ways startups can work together with corporations or the government to drive innovation and growth that is mutually beneficial. We will focus on success stories, lessons learned, and leveraging a collaborative framework that promotes ongoing collaboration. We look forward to exploring these topics, and our panelists’ perspectives on sustainable business models.

Learning outcomes

  • Participants will be able to identify and analyze various sustainable business models.
  • Participants will learn at least two practical strategies for implementing eco-friendly practices within their businesses.

Presenters and speakers

Pat Burt

Pat Burt (moderator)
Council Member and Former Mayor of Palo Alto

Readie Callahan

Readie Callahan, AB ’05
Managing Director for Sustainable Finance & Advisory, Wells Fargo

Meena Elliott

Meena Elliott, JD ’88, MBA ’95
President, Kiverdi, Inc.

Session 1: 1-1:40 p.m. | Cardinal Room

Financial Perspective for Entrepreneurs and Startups

Participants will explore essential financial concepts and strategies critical to the success of startups and entrepreneurial ventures. Attendees will gain insights into effective financial planning, investment strategies, and cash-flow management. This session is designed to equip entrepreneurs with the knowledge needed to make informed financial decisions, attract investors, and sustain growth.

Learning outcomes

  • Participants will be able to identify and interpret essential financial metrics and ratios that indicate the health of a startup.
  • Participants will learn how to create and implement effective financial strategies to manage cash flow, secure funding, and scale their businesses.

Presenters and speakers

Chris Peetz

Chris Peetz, BSBA ’01
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mirum

Session 2: 1:45-2:30 p.m. | Grand Ballroom

From Starting Up to Exit:

Insights on Navigating the Founder Journey

Learn the latest insights on making key decisions in the startup founder journey from a seasoned venture capitalist, experienced attorneys, and startup advisors. Access hidden insights for AI and other technology startups from fast-scaling companies in Silicon Valley, and prepare yourself for the challenges and opportunities of building and exiting and successful technology venture. Whether you’re a founder, investor, or advisor, you will learn practical advice and strategies to navigate the complexities of the changing entrepreneurial landscape.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the various stages of a company’s development from ideation to exit.
  • Familiarize yourself with the foundational steps in starting a company, the challenges of scaling up, and strategies for successfully exits.
  • Acquire actionable advice and tips for navigating the complexities of starting and growing a business in the tech industry.

Presenters and speakers

Sophie Alcorn

Sophie Alcorn, JD ’08 (moderator)
Founder & CEO, Alcorn Immigration Law

Steve Goldberg

Steve Goldberg, BS ’75, MS ’80
Partner, Finistere Ventures

Joy Mickle

Joy Mickle, AB ’96
Founder and Lead Consultant, Iveywood Consulting

Doug Mandell

Doug Mandell, AB ’91
Partner & Global Head of the Founder Practice, Withersworldwide

Session 2: 1:45-2:30 p.m. | Cardinal Room

The Future of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at WashU

This session will explore the dynamic landscape of innovation and entrepreneurship within the university, highlighting cutting-edge research, successful startup stories, and strategic initiatives aimed at fostering a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. Participants will gain insights into the latest trends, opportunities, and challenges in the field, and learn how WashU is positioning itself at the forefront of innovation and advancing alumni nationwide.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the strategic initiatives and resources that WashU is implementing to support and nurture innovation and entrepreneurship within its community, including alumni.
  • Identify and analyze the latest trends in innovation and entrepreneurship at WashU that are shaping the future landscape.

Presenters and speakers

II Luscri

II Luscri
Assistant Vice Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Managing Director for the Skandalaris Center

Fireside Chat: 2:35-3:35 p.m. | Grand Ballroom

Navigating the Frontier: AI’s Journey into Tomorrow

Join us as we explore the ever-evolving landscape of artificial intelligence. From its beginnings to its current impact on society, we’ll dive into the world of AI and discuss how it’s shaping the future of technology, business, and society. Whether you’re a seasoned expert or simply curious about the possibilities of AI, this discussion promises to ignite your imagination and spark meaningful dialogue about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in AI.

Learning outcomes

  • Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of the current state of artificial intelligence, including key technologies, applications, and ethical considerations.
  • Participants will be able to identify and discuss at least two potential future advancements in AI, including emerging trends, innovations, and societal impacts.

Presenters and speakers

Dev Bala

Dev Bala, BS ’02, MS ’16 (moderator)
VP of Product Management, Coursera

Sydney Katz

Sydney Katz, BS 19
Postdoctoral Researcher, Stanford Intelligent Systems Laboratory

Raj Thaker

Raj Thaker, BS ’23
Co-Founder, Boondoggle AI

Conrad Warmbold

Conrad Warmbold, BS 05
Product & Engineering, AI/ML Absidy Holdings

Session 3: 3:45-4:25 p.m. | Grand Ballroom

Venture Perspective:

Fueling Innovations and Growth

This session will focus on how venture capitalists (VCs) can support innovations that not only promise high returns but also foster sustainability in a rapidly evolving technological landscape. Esteemed VCs who have a history of successful investments in tech startups will share their insights on identifying and nurturing sustainable business ideas, the dynamics of funding in the current economic climate, and strategies for leading a tech business to a successful exit.

Learning outcomes

  • Participants will be able to identify at least one key factor that venture capitalists consider when investing in tech startups.
  • Participants will gain at least one insight into effective strategies for securing venture capital funding and driving a startup towards a successful exit.

Presenters and speakers

Rob Shelton

Rob Shelton, BS ’74 (moderator)
Chief Executive Officer, Scale Conundrum

Jack Helfand

Jack Helfand, JD ’94
Managing Partner, VIVE Capital, LLC

Susan Mason

Susan Mason
General Partner and Co-Founder, Aligned Partners

Ben Stein

Ben Stein, BSBA ’11
General Partner, Cartography Capital

Charlotte Xia

Charlotte Xia
Investor, Fusion Fund

Session 3: 3:45-4:25 p.m. | Cardinal Room

Critical Minerals, Net-Zero, and AI

In order to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, the world economy must transition to a net-zero carbon emission energy system by 2050. Every feasible plan to achieve this transition relies on an abundance of sustainable copper, nickel, aluminum, and other critical metals. Unfortunately, we are projected to underproduce most of these critical metals by significant margins. To achieve net-zero, we need to increase the global supply of critical minerals—which will require accelerating the rate of mineral resource discovery and development. In this session, we will discuss the various ways that AI can help solve some of the core challenges in mineral exploration. This includes how algorithms behind state-of-the-art systems like Dall-E, AlphaStar, and vehicle autonomy can be adapted to support critical resource development. We will also discuss how investors, developers, and the larger technology innovation ecosystem can support climate and AI innovation.

Learning outcomes

  • Participants will be able to identify the key critical minerals essential for renewable energy technologies and explain how increasing their global supply is vital for transitioning to a net-zero carbon emission economy.
  • Participants will evaluate the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize the extraction, processing, and recycling of critical minerals, thereby enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of the supply chain required for a net-zero transition.

Presenters and speakers

John Mern

John Mern, BS ’13
Co-Founder and CEO, Terra AI

Closing: 4:25-6 p.m. | Outdoor Patio

A Toast to Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Join Rasheen Coleman, director of advancement, Skandalaris Center at WashU, for a celebratory toast/remarks at the conclusion of the Bay Area Entrepreneur Summit. Amidst the bustling, tech-driven landscape of the Bay Area, let’s raise our glasses to the fusion of technology and sustainability, fostering a future where innovation thrives while preserving our planet. Cheers to advancing the boundaries of sustainability in a tech-driven world, guided by the spirit of collaboration and forward-thinking entrepreneurship.

Presenters and speakers

Rasheen Coleman

Rasheen Coleman
Director of Advancement, Skandalaris Center