Every year, the MIT/Stanford Venture Lab (VLAB) has the honor of hosting a special session called Concept-to-Company, moderated by Ann Winblad, the co-founding partner of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. This year's Concept-to-Company will focus on Widgetbox, an open web widget marketplace and syndication platform. With the recent proliferation of widgets, widget companies entering the marketplace, and the atomization of content and services, what opportunities do entrepreneurs and VCs see as ways to capitalize on this current trend? Is there a profitable business model for the current trend of decoupling content and services from their source -- pushing revenue generation to the distributor as opposed to the creator?
Please join speaker Ed Anuff, moderator Ann Winblad and industry leading panelists as they explore how the widgetization of the web will impact the way we maximize the potential of online communication, efficiency, and revenue generation.
Ed has over 10 years of experience in general management and marketing of consumer, developer, and enterprise technology products. Prior to his position as CEO of Widgetbox, Ed co-founded Epicentric, a leading vendor of enterprise portal solutions. He became the VP of Portals and Collaboration at Vignette after they acquired Epicentric in 2003. Prior to founding Epicentric, he was Director of Product Management at HotWired and General Manager for the HotBot.com search engine, which was a partnership between Wired and Inktomi.
Hummer Winblad Venture Partners
Ann Winblad is the co-founding Partner of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. She is a well-known and respected software industry entrepreneur and technology leader. Her background and experience have been chronicled in many national business and trade publications.
Ann has over 25 years of experience in the software industry. She began her career as a systems programmer at the Federal Reserve Bank. In 1976 Ann co-founded Open Systems, Inc., a top selling accounting software company, with a $500 investment. She operated Open Systems profitably for six years and then sold it for over $15 million. Prior to co-founding Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Ann served as a strategy consultant for prestigious clients such as IBM, Microsoft, Price Waterhouse, and numerous start-ups. In addition, Ann has co-authored the book Object-Oriented Software and has written articles for numerous publications. Ann received a BA in mathematics and in business administration, as well as an MA in education and international economics from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. Ann also has an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of St. Thomas.
Ann has served as a Director of start-up and public companies and currently serves as a director of Dean & Deluca, Intacct, Market Wire, The Knot and Voltage Security. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of St. Thomas and is an advisor to numerous entrepreneur groups.
Senior Director of Platform and Innovation
Max Mancini is responsible for eBay's Developer's Program and Disruptive Innovation in eBay's Marketplaces business. In his innovation leadership role, Max drives idea creation across the business, and directs innovation projects, new business strategies and product investment. For the eBay Developers Program, Max enables third-party developers to extend the eBay marketplace by creating solutions that make it faster, easier and safer to buy and sell on eBay. In his previous roles at eBay, Max led an engineering team of 70+ developers responsible for development on eBay Stores, merchandising, registration, sign-in, trust & safety, and customer support tools. He also led the product and technology teams for Kijiji, eBay's local community classifieds websites, as well as eBay's New Business Ventures.
Prior to joining eBay, Max spent a number of years at startups in various business and technology roles. Most recently, he was the CTO & VP of Engineering at Cranite Systems, a wireless network security company, and President & CEO of Consumer Review, a Web portal delivering consumer-generated product information. Max has been an adjunct faculty member at Santa Clara University and served as a Military Intelligence officer in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves.
Architect, Google Gadgets
Adam Sah is the architect of Google Gadgets. Prior to Google, Adam was a founding engineer at several startups, among them Inktomi and Sensage, where he is a member of the board. He holds several patents in databases and web systems.
CEO and Founder
Lance is the CEO and founder of RockYou, the leading provider of widgets on the web. Incorporated in 2006, RockYou serves over 100M widget views a day. Prior to RockYou, Lance was a VP & CTO in consumer (Iconix) and enterprise (Open Harbor) web services. He was also employee four at Resumix, now Yahoo! HotJobs. Lance has multiple patents in text extraction, document categorization, and email (pending) and has received the American Association of Artificial Intelligence Award of Innovation for work on spatial text understanding. He received his Bachelors and Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Hawaii and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas.