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Mentors: Role Models for a Sustainable Business

For us, perhaps the most exciting part of competing for The Wall Street Journal’s Startup of the Year is being paired with innovative, successful mentors. We look forward to conversations with entrepreneurs who have shown tremendous courage and intelligence in their approach to creating sustainable businesses. Not just the ones that make money, but a lasting impact in their community and the environment. 

Business can be a force for good,” Richard Branson recently said, and it’s a mantra we strive to put into practice every day.

We share Branson’s B Team mission, which encourages companies to take a triple bottom line approach to business, one where people, profits and the planet are all taken into account. And we aim to emulate Case’s disruptive business model, now put into practice through the Case Foundation, which expands civic engagement through technology.

This week it was announced which mentors we would be paired with and we couldn't be more pleased.  Who are they? 

(drum roll please)

Vivek Wadhwa has been creating innovative solutions to complex problems for decades. Before becoming Vice President of Academics and Innovation at Singularity University, he led the development of a tool focused on developing client-server model software for Credit Suisse First Boston, which was spun off into Seer Technologies. 

A teacher, author, speaker and one of Time magazine's 2013 Top 40 Most Influential Minds in Tech, we are in awe of his creativity, impressed with his commitment to ethics and inspired by his entrepreneurial spirit.  We're excited to pick his brain about everything from corporate leadership to creating a harmonious work-life balance.  

Carly Fiorina, (named the most powerful woman in business (for SIX consecutive years) will bring a unique view on what it takes to succeed in the tech world. As Chairman of Good360, she takes a common sense approach to charity, funneling surplus merchandize to nonprofit organizations, with an outstanding 99% of funds going directly to programs. We look forward to discussing management, leadership, marketing and a host of other topics. 

Alexander Osterwalder, whose innovative business model programs have been used throughout the world, is an expert in helping companies find their core value, ensuring segments, activities and resources are aligned. We can’t wait to brainstorm with him, putting our thought tornados into commonsense, well-laid plans for the future. 

In a few short weeks we will have our first (digital) meeting with these business experts. To say we're looking forward to collaborating with these remarkable entrepreneurs is an understatement. But we'll say it anyway. We can't wait!  

Posted by: Sarah