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Roboticist Keenan Wyrobek’s first career was founding Willow Garage which created ROS (Robot Operating System) that now makes robotic components inter-operable. After creating a foundation to sustain this vital piece of open source software, Keenan went in search of new engineering challenges. He became intrigued with the idea of helping developing countries deliver crucial medical supplies to areas that are poorly served by roads. He co-founded Zipline, the VC funded venture that is improving the lives of people in rural Rwanda. Zipline is now poised for profitable growth. Listen to this inspiring and brilliant engineer speak passionately about solving major problems while building a business.
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Joe Meyer founded ExecThread, https://execthread.com/, to solve a pain point he felt acutely himself. Joe had sold his company to Apple and, after the obligatory stint at the acquirer, was looking for a senior executive position. He was astonished when he revealed all sorts of important things about his career profile to a recruiter and the recruiter did not take notes. That’s when it hit him that the recruiting industry was totally broken and he decided to build a solution for the problem. Two and half years later he has $7MM in VC funding and 25,000 highly selected and engaged users helping him map where the “hidden jobs” are. Among his backers is a co-founder of LinkedIn who was astonished that ExecThread could be aware of the “passive job seeker”, execs who would entertain an offer but who are not seeking a new position actively. Listen to this interview with a founder building a company that promises to be very big and very profitable.
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In college, Diane Stokes juggled caring for a sick mother, working full-time, doing ROTC and even had time to be on U Mass Lowell’s cheer leading squad. This energy and focus served her well as she progressed in her career of helping build startup after startup. Eventually, Diane founded a startup of her own. It succeeded beyond her greatest expectations. She invested as an angel for a while but is now back at another startup, helping them grow. My conversation with her revealed a personality of impressive determination and stamina leavened by good humor and genuine caring. I really enjoyed this interview, I think you will too.
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