Anna Khan, Founder and CEO
Anna was one of three female venture capitalists at Bessemer Venture Partners, the oldest fund in the United States with over $1.6 billion in deployable capital and more than $4 billion in assets under management. Anna focused on investments in the consumer web, SaaS, and mobile sector. Prior to venture, Anna was Chief of Staff to the CEO of 4INFO, a mobile advertising platform that raised over $50MM in venture funding. At 4INFO, she sat on the executive team and managed product development, fundraising, and ad sales. Anna has also worked as an investment manager at both Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Anna graduated with Honors from Stanford University with degrees in English Literature, Political Science, and Science, Technology, and Society. At Stanford, she was elected to the Cap & Gown Academic Honor Society and was President of the largest undergraduate women's organization on campus - Stanford Women in Business. Today, Anna is pursuing her MBA at the Harvard Business School and is an Arthur Rock Fellow. She is also a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and serves on the Social Investment council at Echoing Green.
Steve Blank, Advisor
Steve Blank is a serial entrepreneur, father of the Lean Startup movement, and a professor at Stanford and Berkeley, Blank has started and funded some of the best startups in the world.
After 21 years in 8 high technology companies, Steve retired in 1999. He co-founded E.piphany in his living room in 1996. His other startups include two semiconductor companies, Zilog and MIPS Computers, a workstation company Convergent Technologies, a consulting stint for a graphics hardware/software spinout Pixar, a supercomputer firm, Ardent, a computer peripheral supplier, SuperMac, a military intelligence systems supplier, ESL and a video game company, Rocket Science Games.
After Steve retired, he took some time to reflect on his experience and wrote a book about building early stage companies called Four Steps to the Epiphany. It’s been called the book that launched the Lean Startup movement. His latest book, co-authored with Bob Dorf, The Startup Owners Manual integrates 10 years of new knowledge.
He moved from being an entrepreneur to teaching entrepreneurship to both undergraduate and graduate students at U.C. Berkeley, Stanford University, Columbia University, NYU and UCSF. The “Customer Development” model that he developed in my book is one of the core themes in these classes and the core of the Lean Startup movement. In 2009, he was awarded the Stanford University Undergraduate Teaching Award in the department of Management Science and Engineering. The same year, the San Jose Mercury News listed him as one of the 10 Influencers in Silicon Valley.
In 2011 at the request of the National Science Foundation he modified his Lean Launchpad class and it became the curriculum for the NSF I-Corps. Science wrote an article about the I-Corps and so did Nature, the Economist, and Forbes. National Public Radio did a story on the class here and so did the San Jose Mercury. In 2013 Steve partnered with UCSF and the National Science Foundation to offer the Lean LaunchPad class for Life Science and Healthcare (therapeutics, diagnostics, devices and digital health.)
Lorraine Fox, Advisor
Lorraine joined Aspiriant in 2014 after spending 17 years in various aspects of financial services. She has been a general partner in a venture capital firm, an equity research analyst, and a wealth manager. In addition to serving high net worth families and individuals, Lorraine serves on Aspiriant's Marketing Committee, Sales Team, and Private Equity Committee. In 2013, the Silicon Valley Business Journal named Lorraine "One of 100 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley." Lorraine earned her BA in Philosophy at Stanford University and her MBA at the Booth Graduate School of business at the University of Chicago. An active and enthusiastic Stanford alumna, Lorraine was named a Stanford Associate, awarded to the top 1% of alumni based on years of volunteer service to the University. She also serves as a Director of Stanford Professional Women, and an Associate Member of the Stanford Institute of Economic and Policy Research (SIEPR).