We’re tapping the GSV Community—a deep global network of business leaders, educators, investors, celebrities, authors, media personalities, policymakers, and fellow entrepreneurs—to deliver a “Live Aid for Startups” talent collective.
John Chambers is the founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures. In his role, Chambers focuses on helping disruptive startups from around the world build and scale, while also promoting the broader development of startup nations and a startup world. He invests in companies across categories and geographies that are leading market transitions, such as ASAPP, Aspire Food Group, Balbix, Bloom Energy, Cloudleaf, Dedrone, IoTium, Lucideus, OpenGov, Pensando, Pindrop, Privoro, Quantum Metric, Rubrik, SparkCognition, Sprinklr, and Uniphore. He serves on the Board of Directors for Bloom Energy, OpenGov, Pindrop, Sprinklr, and Uniphore.
In addition to investing in and mentoring startups, Chambers is focused on promoting entrepreneurship, gender equality, and accelerating overall new business creation around the world, as he believes that startups will be the core driver of economic growth and job creation in the Digital Age. He was appointed Global Ambassador of the French Tech by President Emmanuel Macron of France. Chambers is also the Chairman of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF). He will work closely with business and government leaders in France, India and the U.S. to create meaningful opportunities that have the power to change the lives of citizens.
Prior to founding JC2 Ventures in January 2018, Chambers served as CEO, Chairman and Executive Chairman at Cisco Systems. During his 25+ years at Cisco, he helped grow the company from $70 million when he joined in 1991, to $1.2 billion when he became CEO in 1995, to $47 billion when he stepped down as CEO in 2015. As Executive Chairman, a position Chambers held until December 2017, he led the Board of Directors and provided counsel to the CEO and leadership team on strategy, digital transformation and strategic partnerships. John also spearheaded the creation and development of Cisco’s country digitization program, where he partnered with government leaders across the world to harness the power of technology to create economic opportunities.
With countless lessons learned during his tenure at Cisco, as well as from his experiences working with startups, Chambers wrote Connecting the Dots: Lessons for Leadership in a Startup World in 2018, sharing the management, leadership and business principles that brought him and his teams unmatched success for decades. Connecting the Dots unleashes new rules for disruption and lasting success in the Digital Age that gives readers a playbook on how to act before the market shifts, tap customers for strategy, partner for growth, build teams, and disrupt themselves.
Chambers has received numerous awards for his leadership, including being named the number two “Best-Performing CEOs in the World” in 2015 from Harvard Business Review and receiving the Edison Achievement Award for Innovation. Chambers was also awarded the Outstanding Civil Service Medal by the U.S. Army, as well as France’s National Defense Gold Medal, the only foreign business leader to ever receive the award in its 35-year history. Most recently, Chambers was awarded the Padma Bhushan, one of the highest civilian awards recognized by the Government of India, for his contributions to trade and the tech industry in India.
Chambers was also named one of Barron’s’ “World’s Best CEOs,” “CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive Magazine, Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” the “Best Boss in America” by 20/20, one of BusinessWeek’s “Top 25 Executives Worldwide,” the Business Council’s “Award for Corporate Leadership,” “Best Investor Relations by a CEO” from Investor Relations Magazine three times, and the 2012 Bower Award for Business Leadership from the Franklin Institute.
Chambers has worked closely with government leaders around the world, including nine U.S. Secretaries of State. Chambers also served two American presidents during his career. He was Vice Chairman of President George W. Bush’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC), where he provided industry experience and leadership to help protect critical U.S. infrastructure. He also served on President George W. Bush’s Transition Team and Education Committee, and on President Bill Clinton’s Trade Policy Committee.
He has been widely recognized for his philanthropic leadership, including receiving the U.S. State Department’s top corporate social responsibility award (ACE) twice, from both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2010 and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2005. He also received the first-ever Clinton Global Citizen Award from former U.S. President Bill Clinton and has been awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship and the prestigious Excellence in Corporate Philanthropy Award, an award given by CEOs to their CEO peers.
Jaime Schmidt is an entrepreneur and the founder of Schmidt’s Naturals, a brand of natural personal care products that she started in her kitchen in Portland, Oregon in 2010. Jaime is known for modernizing natural personal care products, including the customer-favorite deodorant, and bringing them to the mainstream market. Under her leadership, Schmidt’s grew into a household name lining the shelves of retailers including Target, Costco, Whole Foods, Walmart and CVS across 30 countries. In 2017, Schmidt’s partnered with CPG giant Unilever, with Jaime continuing as the brand’s founder.
Today, Jaime is focusing her efforts on helping emerging entrepreneurs pursue their own dreams. Jaime is the co-founder of Color, an investment portfolio that supports women and people of color, and this spring Jaime launched the Entrepreneurial Dream Project, a grant fund and mentorship program supporting early stage entrepreneurs impacted by the recent economic recession. Recipients will receive capital and coaching from a dream team of 50 business leaders including Mark Cuban to Rebecca Minkoff and execs from Adidas to Harry’s.
Jaime recently released her first book entitled Supermaker: Crafting Business on Your Own Terms, a personalized guide on how to put your business on the map, turning your passion into profit.
She is regularly profiled in prominent press including Inc.,Entrepreneur, Forbes and Fast Company. Jaime is an inaugural member of the Inc. Founders Project and has also been recognized as 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs (Goldman Sachs, 2017 & 2018), PNW Entrepreneur of the Year (Ernst & Young, 2017), Women of Influence (Portland Business Journal, 2018) and Executive of the Year (Portland Business Journal, 2017).
As ferocious and hard-hitting as he was on the football field during a celebrated collegiate and professional career, Ronnie Lott is equally warmhearted and compassionate in his role today as entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist.
The combination of his unbelievable tenacity as a player and conscientious concern as a human being make Lott one of the seminal figures on the American sports scene.
Perhaps the greatest defensive back to ever play the game, Lott was given the highest honors at every level of participation – college All-American at USC, NFL All-Pro with the San Francisco 49ers, world champion, college and pro football Hall of Fame. Ronnie was honored once again as the top defensive player in the 100-year history of the Pac-12 conference.
In 2004, Lott lent his name to the Lott IMPACT® Trophy, one of the nation’s most prestigious awards, given annually to the college student-athlete who makes the biggest IMPACT® on his team both on and off the field. To date, the Pacific Club IMPACT® Foundation has raised in excess of $1.4 million for numerous charities throughout California and the country.
At Eisenhower High School in Rialto, California, just a few miles from Riverside, Ronnie was a superb athlete, excelling at quarterback, wide receiver and safety on the football team (the high school field is now named after Lott). John Robinson recruited Lott to USC where he was part of the fabled Trojan dynasty, starting on two Rose Bowl teams and a national championship team. Was captain of the 1980 team and a consensus All-American. The eighth choice in the NFL draft by the 49ers, Lott was an instant success. He started at cornerback his rookie season, intercepted seven passes and helped San Francisco win Super Bowl XVI, the first of four they would win during his tenure. “He’s like a middle linebacker playing safety,” Hall of Fame coach Tom Landry once remarked. “He’s devastating. He may dominate the secondary better than anyone I’ve seen.”
During his brilliant 14-year NFL career, Lott was named All- Pro eight times, intercepted 63 passes and was named to the 75th anniversary all-NFL team. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000. USA Today praised Ronnie as “one of the most successful athletes at making the transition to business.”
He now manages $2.4 billion in private-equity investments and owns both Toyota and Mercedes-Benz car dealerships. He also opened World Sports Cafe in Fresno, California. He also advises professional athletes who are making a transition to the business world.
In 1999, Ronnie, along with former 49er teammate Harris Barton, co-founded HRJ Capital, a private equity investment company. Lott is a managing partner of the firm that began with a $40 million fund, investing exclusively in the venture capital sector, but has evolved into a diversified global private equity investment platform with a series of funds focused on top performing venture capital, leveraged buy-out, distressed asset, real estate and hedge fund managers. Lott’s Toyota dealership has been awarded the prestigious Toyota President’s Award twice, for demonstrating a commitment to maintaining the highest standards for customer satisfaction.
In addition to the phenomenal success of the Lott IMPACT® Trophy, Ronnie is a man who believes in using his platform for others. In 1989, he founded All-Stars Helping Kids, a nonprofit organization that pools the resources of world class athletes, corporations and individuals to promote a safe, healthy and rigorous learning environment for disadvantaged children in low-income communities. With Ronnie leading the way, All-Stars has distributed millions of dollars to non-profits throughout the Bay Area.
Today, Ronnie lives in Cupertino with his wife, Karen.
Harry Stebbings is the Founder of The Twenty Minute VC, the world’s largest media asset in venture with over 300,000 subscribers and 100M downloads. Prior guests have included the likes of Reid Hoffman, Bill Gurley, Howard Marks, Ashton Kutcher and more. Harry is also the Managing Partner @ 20VC Fund with investments in the likes of Hopin, Roam Research, Nex Health and Linktree. If that was not enough, Harry is also a General Partner at Stride.VC, one of Europe’s leading early-stage funds having led the seed for Cazoo, Europe’s fastest ever unicorn.
Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande is a venture capitalist and entrepreneur born in Hubli, Karnataka, India. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, an MEng in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick, and PhD in Data Communications from Queens University, Kingston.
Although an engineer by training, he is most often considered a “serial entrepreneur”, and has pursued an entrepreneurial career for the past three decades. He is the founder, founding investor and/or chairman of several companies, including Cascade Communications, Sycamore Networks, Coral Networks, Tejas Networks, Cimaron, Webdialogs, Airvana, Sandstone Capital, A123 Systems and Curata.
Dr. Deshpande began his engineering career in Canada at the Motorola Corporation before moving to the U.S. in 1984. In 1990, he co-founded Cascade Communications, a company that played a key role in the infancy of the internet, before selling the company in 1997. Dr. Deshpande went on to found Sycamore Networks and is currently President and Chairman of Sparta Group LLC.
Dr. Deshpande serves as a life-member of the MIT Corporation, and his generous donations are behind the creation of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT. Leveraging the experience gained there, the Deshpande Foundation has supported the work of hundreds of emerging entrepreneurs by setting up three other centers: the Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship in India, the Merrimack Valley Social Entrepreneurship Sandbox in Massachusetts and the Pond-Deshpande Center at the University of New Brunswick.
In addition, Dr. Deshpande chairs Akshaya Patra USA, which raises awareness and funds for Akshaya Patra in India, a secular non-profit organization that simultaneously addresses childhood hunger and promotes education for over 1.3 million underserved children in India.
Dr. Deshpande also co-chairs a U.S. National Council to support President Obama’s innovation and entrepreneurship strategy.
Ms. Archambeau is an experienced CEO and Board Director with a track record of accomplishments building brands, high performance teams, and organizations. Ms. Archambeau currently serves on the boards of Verizon [NYSE:VZ], Nordstrom [NYSE: JWN], Roper Technologies [NYSE: ROP], and Okta [NASDAQ: OKTA]. She is also a strategic advisor to Forbes Ignite and to the President of Arizona State University, and serves on the boards of two national nonprofits, Catalyst and Braven.
She is the former CEO of MetricStream, a Silicon Valley-based, governance, risk, and compliance software company that enables corporations to improve their business operations through better risk management across the enterprise. Ms. Archambeau built the company into a global market leader with over 1200 employees serving customers around the world. Under her leadership MetricStream was recognized for growth and innovation over the years and was named in the top 10 of the “Deloitte Technology Fast 50” and named a global leader in GRC by leading independent analyst firms for 9 consecutive years.
Ms. Archambeau has over 30 years of experience in technology leading organizations focused on business to business as well as business to consumer. She is a recognized expert in marketing and co-authored, “Marketing That Works: How Entrepreneurial Marketing Can Add Sustainable Profits to Any Sized Company.” She has held EVP of Sales and Chief Marketing Officer roles for two public companies and as President of Blockbuster.com, launched the entertainment retailer’s first online presence.
She was named the second most influential African American in IT by Business Insider. She was ranked one of the “100 Most Influential Business Leaders in America” by Newsmax and that same year received the NCWIT Symons Innovator Award from The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT).
She is the author of Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers and Create Success on Your Own Terms (Published by HBG Grand Central 10/2020). A book that helps professionals achieve their aspirations and create the life they want.
Shellye is also a sought-after speaker on governance, risk and compliance as well as marketing and entrepreneurship. She has guest lectured at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and The Wharton School of Business. She is a Forbes contributor and has been featured or referenced in major publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Financial Times.
In her spare time Shellye enjoys exercising, the performing arts, entertaining and cooking.
Ryan Nece is Founder and Managing Partner of Next Play Capital, a venture investment firm that invests in the most access-constrained venture funds and companies. Prior to starting Next Play Capital, he was Co-founder of StraightCast Media which was acquired by FOX Sports in 2015. Ryan also spent time as an investor at both Arenda Capital and Provident Investment Advisors. He is an advisor to tech start-ups Tonal and Bridge Athletics, asset-manager Rocky Mountain Resources and sports market research firm Sports Innovation Lab.
He began his career as a professional football player starring for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and winning the 2002 Super Bowl before finishing with the Detroit Lions. Ryan spent five years post-NFL as a Football Analyst for FOX Sports, Pac-12 Conference and Versus along with three years hosting a radio show on 640 WADE in Tampa and on 1040 ESPN Radio.
Ryan remains active in the Tampa Bay area as Founder and Chairman of the Ryan Nece Foundation, which creates opportunities for teens to embrace the power of giving through volunteerism and inspirational leadership programs. He was a 2010 Fellow for the Lifework Leadership. He also serves as a board advisor to the Tampa Bay technology redevelopment project and the Tampa sports commission.
Ryan holds a BS in economics with honors from UCLA and completed the Harvard Business School NFL Executive Business Program and the Stanford Graduate School of Business NFL Entrepreneur Executive Program. He also serves as an advisor to the NFLPA’s one team collective and a board member for the V foundation for cancer research (WCB). He co-wrote Go Pro Like A Pro, a booklet published in 2011 advising athletes and their parents. He is a member of the 2018 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.
Michael Moe is the founder and CEO of GSV, a growth focused investment platform based in Silicon Valley. GSV has invested in companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Snap, Lyft, and Spotify. GSV has several funds focused on the emerging education technology sector and has invested in Coursera, Chegg, Pluralsight, 2U, and Course Hero. GSV stands for “Global Silicon Valley,” the Megatrend of innovation and entrepreneurship that has made Silicon Valley such a remarkable place, which continues to spread throughout the World.
Before GSV, Michael was the founder and CEO of ThinkEquity, Head of Global Growth Research at Merrill Lynch, and was voted to be on the Institutional All-American Research Team, and named “Best on the Street” by the Wall Street Journal. Michael is a Board Member at Course Hero, SharesPost, Whittle Schools, OZY Media, a Board Observer at Coursera, and an advisor to TAL and Arizona State University. Michael is the founder of GSV University and GSV MBA, an accredited graduate program for entrepreneurs. He is the author of three books, Finding the Next Starbucks, The Global Silicon Valley Handbook, and The Mission Corporation (publishing later in Q1 2021), which he co-authored with longtime friend and business partner Michael Carter. In addition, he is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).